Joe Lhota is sorry, again, to have offended

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This morning, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota issued an apology for referring to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officers as "mall cops" at a forum yesterday.

Lhota, in his apology, said his remark was "inappropriate" and "insensitive" and "does not accurately reflect the hard work" of Port Authority officers.

Last September, Lhota apologized for effectively challenging a 77-year-old M.T.A. board member to a fight.

In November, Lhota apologized for saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg was an "idiot" for speculating publicly about the M.T.A. quickly returning train service after Hurricane Sandy.

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In February, Lhota apologized for saying State Senator Bill Perkins of Harlem "does nothing but talk and talk and talk."

Lhota has been altogether less confrontational, and less spontaneous in general, since becoming a mayoral candidate. 

And his Republican rivals have been, if anything, more prone to say things that big for retraction or further explanation.

During a televised interview on NY1, John Catsimatidis made a Hitler reference while arguing for lower taxes. Later, at a debate, he said police officers should use a "tricycle" instead of patrol cars.

Doe Fund founder George McDonald qualified an argument against the mass incarceration of African-American men by saying that it  "may have made us safer."