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Republican Mayoral Candidates Turn On Each Other In Debate

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The Democratic candidates for mayor are slinging mud in their heated debates, and now, the Republicans making a run for City Hall are starting to get down and dirty, too. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

The Republicans campaigning for mayor are taking a break from their attacks on the Democrats running for City Hall, and they are starting to turn on each other.

Sarcastic retorts and zingers flew during a debate Tuesday at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

George McDonald, who founded the Doe Fund, accused his rival, John Catsimatidis, of handing out charitable gifts all over town, gifts, he suggested, that are designed to help the billionaire businessman with his campaign.

Catsimatidis said he believes in charity.

"Yeah, charity in an election year," McDonald responded.

Joseph Lhota, meanwhile, saved his harsh words for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He said the city dropped the ball during Hurricane Sandy, and he pointed to a NY1 report from the Rockaways. Lhota said angry residents sent the mayor running for cover after the storm.

"Remember what happened when the mayor actually did go down to the Rockaways?" Lhota said. "And how he needed to be taken away from that location for his own safety."

The mayor actually stayed after he was yelled at to speak with a NY1 reporter about the situation on the ground.

"I don't know why we have to take a knock at Mayor Bloomberg over Sandy," McDonald said. "But you seem to want to do that. I don't."

"Because the city wasn't prepared," Lhota said.

One area where the campaign rhetoric seems to be softening, though, is around bike lanes. Catsimatidis has said in the past that he does not like them.

"Do we want bikes? Yes. Do we want them in the right places?" he said Tuesday. "Yes."

There seems to be little softening, however, when it comes to the candidates and their rivals in the campaign.

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