Rick Lazio Is ‘Comfortable’ With Offending 9/11 Veterans


Last week, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio released a web ad that used 9/11 footage generally deemed inappropriate for political ads — like firefighters running through rubble and the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center — to attack Andrew Cuomo. The Uniformed Fire Officers Association, a firefighters' union, didn't appreciate it, according to a letter it released:

We have always been opposed to the use of images from the attack on the World Trade Center in political advertising. Virtually every candidate for public office has honored that sentiment to date. So it was with a mix of surprise and disappointment to see your new video that seeks to capture the attention of the viewer with graphic images of Ground Zero that day.

Ed Mullins, the president of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association, a police officers' union, was similarly displeased:

“It is both outrageous and offensive that Rick Lazio has chosen to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 by using graphic images from that day in his campaign. For someone whose argument against the mosque is that it is insensitive to those who lost loved ones on that day, it is unconscionable that he would display similar insensitivity by evoking these painful memories for his own political purposes. I believe his actions are as irresponsible as they are reprehensible, and would hope that he do the right thing and apologize for using this footage to promote his campaign.”

Good point, Mullins! Obviously, Lazio, who ostensibly cares enough about the still-raw emotions from 9/11 to demand that a mosque be located far away from ground zero, would also be sensitive to the reasonable (and widely known) objections of the police officers and firefighters who lost friends and family that day. Surely he'd apologize and admit that he made a terrible mistake, right?

Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Lazio stood by the use of graphic footage of the World Trade Center attacks Tuesday during an interview with a local radio host.

“I am comfortable with the, with the ads that we have out,” Lazio said when pressed by 77WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.

Oh. Okay, then ... Now back to protecting that hallowed ground from the Muslims!

Lazio ‘comfortable’ with 9/11 imagery in mosque ads [Maggie Haberman/Politico]