03/23/2011 08:59 am ET Updated 4 days ago

Bloomberg Tries to Repair Reputation With Campaign-Style Ad

MANHATTAN -- No, he's not running for a fourth term. But with his poll numbers sagging to eight-year lows, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken to the airwaves with a new self-financed ad touting his efforts.

The 30-second campaign-style spot shows the mayor chatting at a work site, reading over construction plans, and casually strolling down the street with school kids.

"Everyone knows these are tough times. Mike Bloomberg's solution is built on our core values: a balanced budget that holds the line on taxes while protecting our social safety net, fights crime and keeps vital job creation projects on track," a voice says in the ad.

In addition to touting Bloomberg's independence, the ad defends the city's plan to cut 4,000 teaching positions, blaming Albany's "last in, first out" seniority policy and cuts to education funds for forcing the city's hand.

"Albany's budget cuts threaten teacher layoffs," the voice says, as the screen displays black-and-white photos of frustrated-looking teachers.

"Bloomberg is working for reforms that help keep the best teachers in the classroom educating our kids," the ad continues, referring to the mayor's efforts to convince state lawmakers to overturn the "last in, first out" policy in favor of merit-based firings.

Union leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have argued that the city has enough money to prevent teacher layoffs altogether. Some have also accused the mayor of using threats of layoffs to get the "last in, first out" law changed.

Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson told NY1 that the ad rollout was meant to counter-balance a string of attack ads by the teachers' union and other critics.

The new ad was produced by the same media firm that worked on Bloomberg's mayoral campaigns, NY1 said.