Odd that we're talking about 1982 foreign policy in a 2103 NYC mayoral race.
Odder still that we're talking about a 1962 Frank Sinatra movie in a 2013 NYC mayoral race.
But 2013 would not be the first time that a GOP mayoral candidate red-baited a Democratic opponent who was leading in the polls.
Bloomberg did it in 2001 - only he went back beyond the 1980's and the Contra Wars:
In 2001, Bloomberg campaign, down in polls, accused Mark Green of defending Stalin. h/t @MichaelHwrdSaul http://t.co/7NOXWWi6Zs
— Kate Taylor (@katetaylornyt) September 24, 2013
And indeed, here is that story from the Daily News back in 2001:
Mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg is shifting tactics, going on the attack by branding Mark Green as anti-cop, anti-business and - in an unexpected throwback to the 1950s - a defender of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Bloomberg's offensive began when the Democratic Party united behind Green, and it reached new heights yesterday, when a top Bloomberg aide shadowed the public advocate at a forum and repeatedly trashed him afterward. "He once tried to denigrate Ronald Reagan by praising Joseph Stalin," aide Bill Cunningham told reporters. Green aide Joe DePlasco called the attacks a sign of desperation, adding, "This is complete crap and they know it.
" Bloomberg's shift comes as the campaign's dynamics are working against him. The election is in two weeks, and voters' preoccupation with anthrax, Afghanistan and the Yankees makes it hard for him to grab their attention and overcome Green's double-digit lead in the polls. Trading barbs And any lift Mayor Giuliani could provide does not seem imminent. Asked when he will endorse the media mogul, Giuliani said yesterday, "Obviously, not right now. . . . That is not at the center of what I am doing every day.
" The focus of Bloomberg's offensive is to question Green's move to the political center and paint him as a pol who will say anything to win. "Mark is a very liberal, leftist kind of guy," the GOP candidate said yesterday. "He has never been pro-business, and he has never been pro-law enforcement, and the record shows that and he may be trying to reinvent himself to something he isn't.
" Cunningham trashed Green after the public advocate spoke to 300 business and civic leaders at a Crain's New York breakfast. Cunningham cited a passage from Green's 1982 book, "Winning Back America," that he said "applauded Joseph Stalin.
" Green wrote that then-President Reagan had a tendency to "rewrite history" for political purposes. "Reagan said he knew of 'no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution' whose aim was not world revolution, a view which ignores a Soviet leader named Joseph Stalin, who pushed for 'socialism in one country' instead of Leon Trotsky's approach of 'world revolution.
' " Green responded yesterday, "I have no memory of writing that, and it is irrelevant.