By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN — Andrew Cuomo came out swinging during his first attack ad against rival Carl Paladino, accusing the Tea Party favorite of being an unscrupulous developer and landlord.
"Carl Paladino isn’t part of the solution in Albany, he’s part of the problem," the ad says, adding that the candidate who seeks to portray himself as a "mad as hell" populist is actually a "landlord and developer who has given politicians almost a half-million dollars and gets insider deals from Albany," the Daily News reported.
Cuomo’s campaign had been holding back until now against Paladino’s brutal personal attack ads, which took aim at everything from Cuomo’s "cojones" to his former Governor dad, Mario Cuomo.
Paladino most recently released an ad portraying Cuomo as the truth-challenged Disney cartoon character Pinocchio, with the words, "Andrew Cuomo, Lying Again."
Cuomo has come under fire for telling reporters at this week's endorsement announcement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that he voted for Bloomberg. His campaign later revealed that was not the case, and said Cuomo "misspoke."
Cuomo’s entry into attack mode comes as he plans a trip to Paladino’s hometown of Buffalo as early as today, the News reported.
A recent Quinnipiac poll portrayed the two opponents in a tight race with Cuomo slightly in the lead, but a subsequent Siena College poll showed Cuomo far ahead of his competition.
The ad comes as former Gov. Eliot Spitzer told CNN that Cuomo might be holding his tongue to prevent renewing his political reputation as the "dirtiest, nastiest political player out there."
"He has brass knuckles and he played hardball, " the so-called love Gov. told CNN Thursday, "He has a lot of enemies."