November 3, 2013 7:46 pm -

Even though Democratic candidate and likely mayor-elect Bill de Blasio distanced himself from a remark by Harry Belafonte, that wasn’t enough for Republican Joe Lhota.

Less than an hour after he called Caribbean singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte’s comparison of the Koch brothers to the KKK “hateful” and “race-baiting,” Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota released a statement today taking more direct aim at his electoral rival, Bill de Blasio.

“It’s reprehensible that a candidate for mayor of the City of New York would closely associate himself with an individual who has equated the American government to Al Qaida and the 9/11 hijackers and has a long history of hateful, racist remarks,” Mr. Lhota declared.

Mr. de Blasio told reporters the KKK comparison was “the wrong way to talk about” the brothers after the church event today where Mr. Belafonte made the remarks while introducing the candidate, but declined to show any signs of disapproval to the congregation when he took the stage–which Mr. Lhota found unacceptable.

“What’s worse, when Bill de Blasio had an opportunity to speak out against his hate speech today, he was silent and instead called Mr. Belafonte ‘a treasure to our nation,’” he said.