Joe Lhota takes final swings at Bill de Blasio during last debate of mayor’s race

bill de blasio joe lhota debate
Mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio meet for their final debate Wednesday.
Credit: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal/Getty Images

Republican candidate Joe Lhota, trailing some 40 points in recent polls, touted his experience and attacked Democrat Bill de Blasio in a final push during the last debate in the mayor’s race Wednesday.

“He has absolutely no experience,” the former MTA chairman and deputy mayor said, calling de Blasio’s positions, most recently as public advocate and city councilman, “midlevel.”

De Blasio countered that Lhota’s time as deputy for Mayor Rudy Giuliani amounted to working under an administration that divided the city.

“Despite your much ballyhooed resume, you don’t understand what life in this city is like,” de Blasio said later.

As in previous debates, the candidates seemed to generally agree on the major issues facing the city, such income inequality, but sparred over solutions.

De Blasio said inequalities could be addressed by improving access to education, such as through his plan to pay for universal pre-kindergarten by increasing taxes for wealthy New Yorkers.

Lhota, on the other hand, said economic subsidies, in increasing jobs, could decrease inequalities.

His rival questioned this as a “trickle-down” solution later in the debate.

“I’m trying to understand why these polices, which have hurt our country and hurt New York City, why Mr. Lhota suddenly thinks trickle-down economics is going to work this time,” de Blasio said.

Lhota likened the comments to the boxing match between Rocky and Drago in “Rocky IV.”

“We know what happened in that match. The underdog won,” Lhota said. “New York loves an underdog and, quite honestly, I am that underdog.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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