Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Guess who Sen. Ted Cruz targets in his latest radio ad ahead of New York’s presidential primary?

Republican front-runner Donald Trump? No.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich? No.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio? That’s right.

Instead of taking on Republican rivals Kasich and Trump, Cruz (R-Texas) is looking to win support in Tuesday’s primary by continuing his feud with Gotham’s liberal Democratic mayor. The two have traded barbs over immigration and security, among other issues, and Cruz now is trying to make use of that.

The new ad, running on conservative talk radio stations, opens with an audio clip of de Blasio saying Cruz is “out of touch with New York State.”

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The announcer replies: “He’s got a lot of nerve. De Blasio’s socialist policies are tearing this city apart. . . . He treats cops like criminals and criminals like freedom fighters, . . . Now, he’s meddling in the Republican primary campaign against Cruz because when Cruz is president, de Blasio is done.”

The ad contends the city’s murder rate is up 10 percent.

It concludes: “Send de Blasio a message, vote Cruz for president.”

The ad is a notable change of direction for Cruz, who earlier in the campaign ripped Trump for having “New York values.” To be sure, Cruz has fired at Trump, too. But with Trump holding a huge lead in New York polls, Cruz is betting that taking on de Blasio helps his chances.

[UPDATE]

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De Blasio aide Karen Hinton responded in a email: “NYC’s murder rate is down almost 20%, and shootings are down 12% from 2015. But Mr. Cruz doesn’t deal in facts, only insults, and he just insulted New Yorkers once again by lying about the city’s murder rate, the officers who have kept murders and shootings down at record numbers and the millions of immigrants who work and live in NYC.”