Complete coverage of the race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Joe Lhota Says Income Inequality Not a Problem, de Blasio Camp Pounces

Their campaigns tangled over the remark on Friday

Friday, Oct 25, 2013  |  Updated 8:07 PM EDT
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Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota played right into his democratic rival’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign narrative today by saying he doesn’t think income inequality is a problem in New York City. Melissa Russo reports.

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota played right into his democratic rival’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign narrative today by saying he doesn’t think income inequality is a problem in New York City. Melissa Russo reports.

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Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota said Friday that he doesn't think income inequality is a problem in New York City, and his Democratic opponent quickly pounced, releasing an ad featuring the remark just hours later.

Lhota appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," and in the midst of a discussion about how he believes Democrat Bill de Blasio's "Tale of Two Cities" campaign theme is divisive, he and the host tangled about income inequality.

At first, Lhota said "income inequality is a problem, and here's how to deal with it."

The host responded: "You just said it was divisive to talk about inequality, but now you think it's a problem too."

"No, I don't think it's a problem," Lhota said. "You said, 'Does it exist?' It exists. I don't think it's a problem. I don't think it's a problem. It exists, and here's how you deal with it."

Lhota went on to say that the key to addressing income inequality is a mayor who creates jobs, driving down unemployment. He said de Blasio won't do that.

The de Blasio campaign released an ad hours later, showing Lhota saying "I don't think it's a problem. I don't think it's a problem" over and over, in between shots of New York City, overlaid with grim statistics about poverty, with a somber soundtrack.

 

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