Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani stumped Friday for his protege Joe Lhota, warning older voters that if mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio is elected, he would "turn back the clock" on the city's progress against crime.
Four days before Election Day, the two Republicans barnstormed solid GOP pockets: retirees on Staten Island's southern shore. It was the 107th mayor's first public campaigning for Lhota since the Sept. 10 primary.
Giuliani struck his classic pugilist stance: de Blasio was "this guy who's trying to become mayor," his campaign "phony," a judge's just-suspended ruling on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic was "a bunch of malarkey."
Echoing his onetime deputy's theme, Giuliani said that Democrat de Blasio would doom the city to chaos.
"So now, we've got a mayoral election with one candidate who wants to take you back to 1990, 1991, '92," Giuliani said. "We were having 2,000 murders, 1,800 murders, 12,000 felonies a week. People wanted to leave New York City then. We changed all that."
The message resonated with cheers and applause from seniors waiting to dine on baked ziti at the Great Kills Friendship Club. Delores Duva, 80, said she didn't trust polls showing Lhota about 40 percentage points behind.
"It's not over till the fat lady sings," she said.
Next was the Mount Loretto Friendship Club, where Giuliani and Lhota greeted retirees playing bingo and shooting pool.
Giuliani snapped at a reporter who noted that the appeals court didn't rule on the merits of the stop-and-frisk case.
"Are you a lawyer? Well, I am," said Giuliani, who demanded de Blasio apologize to the NYPD for his critiques.
De Blasio responded: "I'm not looking to him for advice on police-community relations." He told a Brooklyn labor rally, "It's been 20 years since someone who believes like we believe has been in City Hall, in the most Democratic city in the country."
Giuliani acknowledged his value as a Lhota booster was largely limited to firing up Republican-friendly crowds.
"There are ways in which you can be helpful and ways that you can't," Giuliani said. With Emily Ngo