Bill de Blasio’s campaign is linking Joe Lhota to the Tea Party Republicans, trying to wrap him up in the partial federal government shutdown and all the bad things that have come with it.
Throughout the day, Mr. de Blasio’s campaign has repeatedly highlighted the shutdown–the result of gridlock after Republicans demanded concessions from President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law in exchange for continuing to fund the government.
On social media, Mr. de Blasio’s campaign has rebranded its accounts to be Obamacare-themed and has been shooting barbs at Mr. Lhota, linking him to conservatives in Washington and the impacts of the shutdown.
“Joe Lhota’s Tea Party friends have shut down the government. This includes shutting down the Statue of Liberty,” reads one image being circulated on Twitter.
But Mr. Lhota didn’t seem too friendly to the House’s Republican leadership yesterday, when he sent out a statement condemning the shutdown and tying Mr. de Blasio’s own “extremist” agenda to the partisan stalemate in Congress.
“What is happening in Washington is a disgrace,” Mr. Lhota said. “Leadership means putting the interest of the people you serve ahead of political gamesmanship. This has been the cornerstone of my professional career and campaign, and a stark contrast between me and Bill de Blasio. Agendas driven by extremists on either side never results in responsible governing.”
“I call on the national Republicans to get their acts together and do the right thing for the country. They must put self interest aside, pass a responsible budget and avoid a government shutdown. Do not play politics with the future of our country. Do not hold the American people hostage. The voters will not forget,” Mr. Lhota added.
In order to win in New York City, Republicans have typically been forced to project a more moderate brand in order to be viable. Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, wielding a quote of Mr. Lhota speaking favorably to a Tea Party audience last May, seems intent on not letting that happen.
Reached for a response, Lhota spokeswoman Jessica Proud called on Mr. de Blasio to engage in more substantive issues.
“Bill should come out of hiding and start talking about the important issues facing New Yorkers,” Ms. Proud wrote in an email, “instead of throwing out baseless attacks.”