10/07/2013 01:04 pm ET

Lhota Supports Obamacare Delay, But Distances Himself From Tea Party Republicans


Joe Lhota agrees with Republicans in Congress that there should be a delay for the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

“I think there’s so much confusion about the individual mandate right now, both within the administration and outside of the administration,” the Republican New York City mayoral candidate told WNYC's Brian Lehrer Monday, after calling for a one-year delay on the mandate. “You should not be implementing policy unless you know exactly how it is going to be implemented.”

Lhota, however, also lashed out at lawmakers in Washington who caused the government shutdown.

"The shutdown is a disgrace,” he said, according to Politico. “It should never have happened. People who go to Washington are elected to govern. What they’re doing is a complete and total absence of governance. They don’t realize how damaging it is going to be to them personally as well as to the party. People need to come to the table and they need to negotiate. This country is about compromise.”

“I cannot tell you how upsetting it is for me to see 30 extremists in Washington control the entire government," he added. "There’s something very, very wrong doing on."

Lhota's comments come just days after his campaign released a statement distancing himself from the shutdown crisis in Washington and denouncing Tea Party politicians in their fight to defund Obamacare.

"I think what they're doing is flat out wrong,” Lhota said of House Republicans last Tuesday. "Anybody who wants to tag me with what's going on in Washington I think is going to be making a very big mistake. Not all Republicans believe what’s going on is the right thing to do."

Lhota, however, has also said he would not be enrolling in the new health care program, citing certain "issues" he had with it.

Lhota and his opponent, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, have engaged in efforts to paint their opponents as party extremists--de Blasio as a left-wing radical and Lhota as a Goldwater supporter.

De Blasio leads the mayoral race by a huge margin.

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out against the shutdown on Sunday, blaming the impasse in Congress for stalling critical aid for Hurricane Sandy victims.


NYC Primary Day 2013