The mayor's race is heating up, with Bill de Blasio's campaign on the attack, launching a new blog that attempts to tie Republican Joseph Lhota to the Tea Party. Lhota slammed the new site Tuesday. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Joseph Lhota and Bill de Blasio are now throwing punches.
De Blasio's campaign launched an attack website on Tuesday, attempting to paint Lhota's political philosophy as extremist.
The headline: Goldwater + Tea Party + Giuliani = Lhota.
The site hits Lhota for admiring conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater in his younger days and for remarks he made to the Staten Island Tea Party in April, saying his philosophical views were close to theirs.
"A meeting that took an hour, and take one sentence out and pull it out, it's not fair. I can't tell you how I disagree and have consistently disagreed with the Tea Party."
Lhota has long argued that his politics lean more Libertarian.
He is pro-choice. He supports gay marriage.
"He is making a very, very big mistake," Lhota said. "He goes into one debate and he wants to slam me that way, I'll go toe to toe with him."
Lhota says it's de Blasio who is extreme.
"He's in bed with the UFT," Lhota said. "He doesn't care one bit about educating the children of this city. He cares more about making sure that Michael Mulgrew feels good when he goes to bed at night."
Lhota continues to distance himself from members of his own party, especially following the federal government's shutdown in Washington, D.C.
"The hang-up in Obamacare in this particular case is wrong," Lhota said. "Using it as leverage is wrong. Shutting down the government in this case is wrong."
He was not signing up for the president's health care program either, however.
"I have some issues with it," Lhota said. "It needs to be developed fully."
He would not explain why he opposed parts of it.
"I'm not fully prepared to discuss it," he said.
De Blasio took the day off from the campaign trail. A radio interview scheduled Tuesday morning was cancelled. A spokesman said there was a scheduling conflict.
His absence came one day after we learned of his father's suicide more than 30 years ago.
The Democrat will be back in action tomorrow. He will have a Wall Street-backed fundraiser Wednesday morning.