In a speech before some of the city's business leaders, Republican candidate Joe Lhota stressed he was the true fiscal conservative in the race for mayor.
"My name is Joe Lhota and I am a fiscal conservative,"Lhota said before the Association for a Better New York on Tuesday morning.
The line, and much of his speech, was a rebuff of rival and Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, who said in front of the same organization Friday that he was a "progressive activist, fiscal conservative."
De Blasio later walked back the comment in response to an audience question, and qualified that he was "fiscally responsible."
Lhota distanced himself from de Blasio, who leads the former MTA chairman by a staggering 50 points in the polls, on poverty, crime and education.
Noting de Blasio's criticism of charter schools, Lhota attempted to paint himself a progressive on education.
"Unlike Bill de Blasio, I will not constrain our children’s education or their future to the zip code in which they live," Lhota said.
But the economy was one of his main talking points.
"For months I have been calling on the need to further diversify our economy and for the need to foster an environment where businesses, both small and large, will create jobs," Lhota said.
He said one of the mayor differences between him and de Blasio was his belief in shrinking government control and spending, key conservative tenets.
Lhota concluded that the election shouldn't be about change, as de Blasio's campaign has stressed from the beginning with its "Tale of Two Cities" slogan.
"This election isn’t about resetting New York. It is about unleashing New York and allowing every New Yorker to reach their full potential," Lhota said.
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