Never mentioning Joe Lhota’s recent stint as New York’s transit chief, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that the Big Apple needs someone who experienced firsthand the aftermath of terror in order to protect the city.
Speaking Monday night at a Staten Island fundraiser for Lhota, who is running for mayor on the Republican slate, New York’s celebrity mayor invoked the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that raised his national profile, along with the recent Boston Marathon bombings, to make the case for a Lhota mayoralty.
“Joe is someone who will keep the city safe from Islamic terrorism, keep the city safe from criminals,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani said Lhota was involved in all the major decisions during his second term in office, including coordinating the post-9/11 response.
“Joe was at Ground Zero continuously,” he said.
Giuliani said, to thunderous applause, that Lhota will defend police tactics like stop-and-frisk and profiling Muslim communities to help prevent crimes. Minority groups have complained that it is racial profiling but Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the methods as pivotal in bringing down the city’s crime level to its current record low.
Most of the current Democratic candidates want to have greater oversight over the NYPD. Only Council Speaker Christine Quinn is seen as more supportive of more aggressive police tactics.
Giuliani blasted the Democratic mayoral field, saying that none of them has ever held down a real job. Lhota was an investment banker before serving in the Giuliani administration through the 1990s.
“That’s exactly what we need,” Giuliani said. “Not these career politicians who have never really held a job. Like our president, who never really held a job.”
Giuliani noted that all of the city’s public sector unions are now working without contracts, under the assumption that they would get a better deal with the next presumably Democratic administration.
“The Democratic candidates are going to be owned by the unions,” he said. “What they’re signaling to us is they want a lot more money than they think Mike Bloomberg would give them.”
“We cannot give this city back to a bunch of Democratic machine politicians,” he said.