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Lhota Targets De Blasio's Activist Past In Attempt To Gain Campaign Momentum

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Bill de Blasio spent Tuesday on the defensive yet again over political activities from his 20s and 30s, as Joseph Lhota tried to use de Blasio's activist history to gain some momentum in the race for mayor. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Joseph Lhota and Bill de Blasio are at it again.

"He has a fascination with the socialist, Marxist world, and we need to make sure that all New Yorkers are aware of that," Lhota said.

"What I'm seeing from the other side is just a classic Republican tactic, a classic right-wing tactic of division, and it's something I think the people of the city will reject," de Blasio said.

Lhota is taking aim at de Blasio's activist roots, raising questions about his Democratic opponent's support for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and his illegal visit to Cuba.

De Blasio and his wife went to Cuba on their honeymoon, but they told their children they had gone to Canada.

"One of the things I always do is tell my family the truth," Lhota said.

"We didn't tell our children a lot of things about our honeymoon," de Blasio said.

For the second day in a row, Lhota is trying to capitalize on a report that examines de Blasio's political thinking in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He is also trying to distinguish himself from his Democratic rival by talking about his own different approach to spurring economic growth.

"I really believe if you get the government out of the way, you will find an absolute growth going on in this city and in any other city," Lhota said.

Lhota said de Blasio's opposition to government subsidies for large companies would drive businesses and jobs out of the city to New Jersey.

"That's exactly what we don't need on income inequality," Lhota said.

Lhota campaigned in Flushing on Tuesday, while de Blasio picked up an endorsement from John Liu, his former rival in the primary.

"It is clear that we do need change," Liu said.

De Blasio also got some good news from the Board of Elections. As expected, de Blasio won enough votes in the primary to avoid a runoff.

The Democratic candidate for mayor met privately with President Barack Obama Tuesday evening. The president endorsed his campaign earlier this week.

De Blasio is trying to build a unified Democratic front as he moves closer to election day.

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