Bill de Blasio’s glide toward Gracie Mansion arguably hit its first bumps this week thanks to a close examination (opposition research?) of his youthful interest in Cuba and Nicaragua. Now, via the New York Post, comes a refresher on the time De Blasio joined the City Council in welcoming Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe in 2002, a self-described “mistake” for which he apologized in 2008, when no one really knew who he was. “I feel ashamed of it,” De Blasio admitted then, and “even based on the information we had six years ago, there was sufficient information to not have [Mugabe] in our chambers.”
His underdog Republican opponent, though, is not ready to forgive: “Bill de Blasio needs to explain himself — and explain himself now — to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who escaped Marxist tyranny in Asia, Central America, and from behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe,” Lhota keeps repeating. “Mr. de Blasio’s class warfare strategy in New York City is directly out of the Marxist playbook. Now we know why.”
As the New York Times notes, “[Lhota’s] statement denouncing Mr. de Blasio and the Sandinistas is notably longer and more detailed than the sections of his Web site devoted to public safety, education and the police.” Down more than 40 points in the polls, he has to start somewhere.