Joe Lhota Answers Your Questions: On Marxism, Hugs, and His Favorite New Vodka

Republican mayoral candidate and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota joins New York's Chris Smith in the general election edition of our interview series. Watch him address Bill de Blasio's alleged Marxist sympathies — "I don't know what he is, quite honestly" — along with questions about pensions, the mythical Second Avenue subway, stop-and-frisk, Muslim spying, and congestion pricing.

Taking on a few of Daily Intelligencer's patented "21 Questions," Lhota admits that he does not give money to panhandlers ("I don't know why") and that he now prefers Tito's vodka to Grey Goose.

That said, "I don't drink when I'm running for mayor," he says. "I need to be as alert as possible. No headaches, no nothing."

Lhota, a self-professed hugging expert, then demonstrates his skills.