While Joseph Lhota was targeted in a new ad Friday by an outside group, the Republican mayoral candidate was in Harlem touting the benefits of charter schools. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Joseph Lhota began his Friday morning with an appearance on national television. At first, he talked about crime and policing, but the topic soon turned to income inequality and Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio's campaign mantra that New York is a "tale of two cities."
Q: You just said it was divisive to talk about inequality, but now you think it's a problem, too.
Lhota: No, I don't think it's a problem. You said, 'Does it exist.' It exists. I don't think it's a problem. I don't think it's a problem. It exists.
Lhota's comment was quickly seized on by the de Blasio campaign, which released a web ad.
The Republican candidate is also under fire in a new TV ad by a group called New York Progress, a coalition of labor leaders. The ad tries to link Lhota to the Tea Party.
"The Tea Party Republicans shut down our government, but Joe Lhota told the Tea Party he shares their views."
New York Progress is running the ad on cable television with a $1 million buy. Lhota reacted to that figure when asked about it in Harlem.
"It's a million-dollar buy? Wow. I just heard just a second ago that they put up the buy. I didn't realize it's a million dollars," he said. "That would be the largest single buy of anyone throughout the entire campaign process, including the primary."
On Friday, Lhota stood with parents outside the Harlem Village Leadership Academy to reaffirm his strong support for charter schools.
"I want to make sure that we double the number of charter schools. I have made that a promise of my campaign," he said. "I will go to Albany, I will request an increase in the cap, and I want to make sure that we have them in all five boroughs."
Lhota said that his position on charter schools his position is the more popular one, as de Blasio has pledged to enact certain restrictions. He also said that Presidents Obama and Clinton support more charter schools.