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Echo Chamber – Hizzoner Heads South February 4, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries.

Rudy Heads South


FITSNews – February 4, 2007 – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who according to a January Gallup poll is the most popular politician in America, brought his all but announced presidential bid to South Carolina yesterday, addressing the South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee on a range of issues including Iraq, the broader war on terrorism, America’s economy, education, the environment and illegal immigration.

Giuliani also set down with FITSNews’ own Sic Willie for an exclusive SC Hotline interview following his keynote address.

“America’s Mayor,” who became an international hero and symbol of American resolve during the September 11 terrorist attacks, reaffirmed his support for the United States’ global struggle against what he called “the insane way (Islamic terrorists) have perverted their own religion.”

“They’re at war with us,” Giuliani told the assembled Republican leadership. “They’ve been at war with us for years and the political leaders who are going to make us safe understand that.”

Giuliani also highlighted his record on tax cuts, spending limitations and more choices for parents in the education marketplace, exactly the kind of red meat South Carolina Republicans feast on.

“Our tax cuts in New York grew the private economy by putting money back into households and businesses,” Giuliani said. “President Bush’s tax cuts are also resulting in more money coming into our economy.”

And on spending:

“If we’re going to have discipline in government it’s going to have to come from the executive. That’s how we straighten out the deficit and straighten out Social Security.”

And on education:

“The problem can’t be solved with massive government monopolies and bureaucracies. We have to remember to keep the focus on one question – who comes first? In some of these very large, very bureaucratic systems the children do not come first. The jobs of the people in the system come first. I think more choices should be put in the hands of parents.

But a significant chunk of red meat – social conservative red meat – isn’t at Giuliani’s disposal the way it is for U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his two most formidable competitors.

For example, Giuliani is pro-choice and supports same-sex unions.

“He’s got some hurdles here to get over,” veteran South Carolina political consultant Walter Whetsell told FITSNews. “His star is extremely bright on the national stage and if the election is framed around a question of viability or who can beat Hillary, then he wins.”

Whetsell, who is presently uncommitted in the presidential sweepstakes, said that Giuliani does have some catching up to do on the ground in South Carolina, however.

“McCain has such a head start here,” Whetsell said. “He has a real grassroots effort in place.”

Others openly voiced their distaste for Giuliani.

“If Giuliani is the nominee, I’m out of the party,” one Romney supporter told us.

Asked about his strategy with social conservatives, Giuliani told FITSNews he hopes to be evaluated “as a whole person and as a person who’ll be honest with you rather than someone who’ll shade my positions or change my positions.”

“I think there are a great many things we agree on,” he said. “I think the core philosophy of the Republican Party we agree on. And the fact that I governed as a conservative as Mayor of New York – I don’t just talk about it, I did it. I cut taxes. I cut government. I reduced crime, dramatically reduced welfare, moved people to work and gave people hope.”

Giuliani also said his opponents are exaggerating his positions on hot button social conservative issues like gay marriage.

“People are running around saying I’m in favor of gay marriage,” Giuliani told FITSNews. “I’m not in favor of gay marriage. I did support – and do support – domestic partnerships, but I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman and should remain that way.”

A recent USA Today article questioned Giuliani’s chances of winning the GOP nomination given his stance on social conservative issues.

The article posed the rhetorical question: “Can the thrice-married New Yorker – a supporter of abortion rights, gay rights and gun control – win the nomination of a Republican Party that has become increasingly dependent on and influenced by conservative Christians?”

Giuliani’s Exploratory Committee responded by putting out a strategy memo the following day showing their candidate ahead in ten early primary states, including double-digit leads in potential Feb. 5 bellwethers California, Florida and New Jersey.

“Recent polling continues to suggest Mayor Giuliani is very well positioned within the party – particularly when compared to other potential Republican candidates – to win the nomination,” Giuliani Strategy Director Brent Seaborn wrote in the memo.

Giuliani also made it clear that whatever happens he is running as a Republican, telling FITSNews, “I will not run as an independent.”

South Carolina, where McCain currently leads in the polls and enjoys a huge organizational head start, was listed in the USA Today article as a state Giuliani must “survive” in order to have a shot at the nomination.

Given the brutal nature of political campaigning in the Palmetto State, that could be a difficult task, but it’s one Giuliani is clearing gearing up for.

“We hope to bring on a lot more people and have a very, very big team here,” Giuliani told FITSNews. “We’re going to make a big effort in South Carolina.”

“It’s going to be an important test for everybody.”



1. Henry - February 4, 2007

Whetsell: “McCain has such a head start here.” Yeah, like half the Republican party hates his guts. Does it count as a “head start” if an unpopular and vaguely effeminate senator endorses you?

2. schotline - February 5, 2007

Bravo! This Mayor is razor sharp.

3. tammy - February 6, 2007

Giuliani doesn’t have a chance in hell in SC, but, hey…then again Brownbeck doesn’t have a chance in hell anywhere else but SC.

So, who knows? It’ll all come out in the wash.

But, your interview is still way cool. Congrats!!!

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