Giuliani Embraced By Republicans Throughout The State
Capping a two-day series of events endorsing him as the New York state Republican Party candidate for president, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani ended a statewide triumphant tour at the Albany airport where he had still more endorsements heaped on him by GOP lawmakers.
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, the most powerful Republican public officeholder in the state, led the combined Assembly and senate GOP delegations and gave the grinning candidate a rousing welcome. Among the lawmakers were Queens' two state senators, Frank Padavan and Serphin Maltese. In interviews on Monday, both said that the hero of 9/11 was the best candidate the Republicans could put forward because of his tough anti-terror positions.
"The number one priority in this election is protecting our nation against terrorism, and Rudy will be the best choice to lead us in the future," Maltese (Middle Village) stated. "Our number one priority will be terror, not abortion or any other issue."
Padavan said Giuliani's main strength was that "he's committed to national security- he knows what the stakes are all about to achieve national security."
Padavan added, "He was good for New York City and he can make a good case nationally for being president."
Giuliani, a two-term mayor of New York City, would also give the Republicans their best chance to retain control of the senate, Maltese said.
"Governor Eliot Spitzer has made it clear he wants to take away our statewide power base," said Maltese, "but with Rudy's support we'll be able to hold on to it."
Giuliani was endorsed on Monday night by the Republican State Committee, led by Joseph Mondello. Expected support for Arizona Senator John McCain never developed, aside from several occasions when he received polite applause.
Mondello said Giuliani had 53 of the state's 62 county committees, with the prospect that all GOP leaders will come over to his side shortly.
Following receipt of the endorsement, Giuliani stated that it was best for the New York GOP to go into the presidential election with a realistic chance of winning. He said the party candidate's chances should not be written off, as in previous presidential and U.S. Senate elections.
The one discordant note to the Giuliani endorsement was that the party faction loyal to former Governor George Pataki was not part of the unity move organized by Mondello.
Also, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was remaining neutral in the Republican competition for the party's nomination.