Today Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis issued a statement describing competitor Joe Lhota’s most recent round of fundraising as “dismal” and saying that Lhota “should end this charade and drop out of the race now.” In his statement, Catsimatidis did not mention the fact that Lhota has led in every public opinion poll released on the Republican primary.
We spoke with Catsimatidis today about his statement, at the Richmond County (as in, Staten Island Richmond County for you city folk) Fair. I began by asking Catsimatidis about his statement referring to Lhota’s campaign as a charade.
Catsimatidis backed away from his characterization of Lhota’s campaign as a “charade”, saying “I didn’t write the press release … I think it was my political people.” In a less harsh, but similarly ending, approach Catsimatidis suggested that Lhota’s lack of money means an inability to win in November and that Lhota should therefor step aside in favor of Catsimatidis. Catsimatidis described himself as having done something similar in 2009, saying “I had the nomination uncontested and what did I do? I backed off and gave the nomination to Michael Bloomberg.”