They have not campaigned together since before Joe Lhota won the Republican nomination for mayor, but four days before Election Day, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined Lhota on the campaign trail on Staten Island. Giuliani had one target and one topic of conversation: Bill de Blasio. Courtney Gross filed the following report.
In his first time campaigning with Joe Lhota since Lhota won the Republican nomination for mayor, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined his former deputy mayor on Staten Island on Friday.
Giuliani didn't do a lot of talking about Lhota, though. He focused on Bill de Blasio.
"So this man has foisted on the city of New York a totally phony claim and he has maligned a great police department with his claim of racial profiling,” Giuliani said.
Bankruptcy and sky-high crime is the abysmal portrait the former mayor painted should de Blasio win on Tuesday.
"We could have the same number of murders as Chicago. We could have the bankruptcy of Detroit," Giuliani said to a crowd in Staten Island.
He said now the courts are backing him up.
On Thursday, a federal appeals court temporarily halted any reform of the city's stop-and-frisk practice.
De Blasio has said reforms are needed.
Giuliani said the court ruling is a sign. He called de Blasio's platform "malarkey" and said he should apologize to the NYPD.
"He owes the Police Department of the City of New York an apology for having premised his campaign on a phony issue,” Giuliani said.
De Blasio struck back.
"As for Mayor Giuliani, I am not looking to him for advice on police-community relations,” De Blasio said.
On Staten Island, the Giuliani/Lhota argument was an easy sell.
"You don't reduce crime by taking away the tools they need to protect you,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani largely overshadowed Lhota at two senior centers on Friday. Senior citizens rushed towards the former mayor.
The question remains whether Giuliani's presence will register citywide, diminishing de Blasio's commanding lead over Lhota.
If it doesn't, Giuliani said don't say he didn't warn you.
"Don't come to me six months from now, eight months from now, like they did in 1990, when a different mayor was elected, and say, 'Oh my God, what a mistake we've made,'" Giuliani said.
While Giuliani has been largely absent from the campaign trail, the Lhota campaign said that's about to change and we should expect to see him again before Election Day.