Well, that escalated quickly.
The general election reached a new heated phase this morning as Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota charged that Democrat Bill de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” message was “directly out of the Marxist playbook.”
Mr. Lhota had already criticized Mr. de Balsio yesterday following a New York Times report that described Mr. de Blasio’s past support for revolutionary Nicaraguan politics, as well as his desire for a “democratic socialism” vision for society–which Mr. Lhota called “unfortunate.”
But Mr. Lhota doubled down today in far harsher words–calling on Mr. de Blasio to “explain himself” and equating Mr. de Blasio’s views with communism.
“Bill de Blasio needs to explain himself — and explain himself now — to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who escaped Marxist tyranny in Asia, Central America, and from behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe,” he said in a statement.
“Mr. de Blasio’s involvement with the Sandinistas didn’t happen in 1917; it happened 70 years later when the cruelty and intrinsic failure of communism had become crystal clear to anyone with a modicum of reason. Mr. de Blasio’s class warfare strategy in New York City is directly out of the Marxist playbook. Now we know why.”
Mr. de Blasio yesterday dismissed Mr. Lhota’s criticism as ”a right-wing tactic,” telling reporters, “I’m very proud to be a progressive.”
This morning, during an appearance on PIX 11 news, he was asked whether he was a “radical, left-wing Democrat.”
“I’m a progressive and I’m a Democrat, that’s right,” he responded, describing his philosophy in the tradition of President Franklin Roosevelt. He went on criticize the “wrong, … failed Reagan-Bush policies” of the 1980s and said he was “very proud” to have been involved in work opposing them.
The de Blasio’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.