After making his anti-ground-zero-mosque stance the centerpiece of his gubernatorial campaign, Rick Lazio has seen his campaign “attract a burst of public attention,” grabbing some of the spotlight cast on front-runner Andrew Cuomo. Lazio has made his position on the controversial mosque the focal point of his campaign speeches and television commercials, and he continued the assault Sunday on Meet the Press, attacking the imam behind the effort (whom he’s called a “terrorist sympathizer”). And now, the Times reports, Lazio is using images of September 11 in campaign advertisements, breaking what the paper calls “something of an unwritten rule of politics.” The ads — appearing both online and on TV — feature images of the destroyed towers and declarations that Cuomo is “very, very wrong” on the issue.
The bold strategy at the very least gives him some name recognition, though it’s unclear if that will help him gain any political ground against his rival.
“It’s a double-edged sword here,” said Michael Long, the chairman of the state’s Conservative Party, which has sponsored some of Mr. Lazio’s most controversial commercials on the Muslim center. “There will be people who will be more adamantly against him because of it. But there are a whole host of people who did not know about Rick Lazio who now do, and think favorably of him.”
Considering Lazio has about $600,000 to spend on his campaign compared to Cuomo’s … $23 million, it seems understandable that the guy would try something.