Some hail it as entertainment. Some call it … drama.
Either way, the Manhattan debate between mayoral contenders Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota became more absorbing Friday than they will be on Monday, with candidates in the New York City mayoral primary trading personal insults and pounding their opponents.
As far as the outbursts go, this could be a record: Even William Peter Blatty, the Catholic priest and literary giant who penned the novel “The Exorcist,” got into the act.
The 20-minute battle was mostly waged as a free-for-all between candidates who disagree on many, if not most, issues, with banter ranging from the personal to the substantive. One question elicited cheers as candidates talked over each other’s answers.
In the end, the most laugh-out-loud moment came when de Blasio, the public advocate, expressed admiration for Lhota’s rose-colored glasses when speaking about bipartisanship.
“As a Red Sox fan, I understand the difference between being constructive and being partisan,” de Blasio said.
Lhota interrupted: “I have a problem with a Red Sox fan.”
Lhota went on: “Are you a Red Sox fan?” he asked.
De Blasio: “I am a Republican and your credentials are impeccable.”
Lhota: “I’m a registered Republican and you are an independent and you are not a Republican.”
View more of the debate and the reactions on Facebook and Twitter by clicking here.