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Giuliani Offers a
Boost to Olson,
Blast to Clinton

Early in his presidential campaign, Rudy Giuliani got a boost from his former Reagan Justice Department colleague Theodore B. Olson. The former solicitor general, well-liked in conservative legal circles, suggested that the former New York mayor would appoint the kind of conservative judges that Republicans would like, a boon for Giuliani, whose support for abortion rights makes him suspect to many on the right.

This week, with Olson's name circulating as a possible nominee to take Alberto Gonzales's spot as attorney general, Giuliani is returning the favor. Senate Democrats have suggested they would not confirm Olson, who not only provided advice to Paula Jones' legal team in her sexual harassment suit against Clinton, but also successfully argued the disputed 2000 election before the Supreme Court.

"Ted Olson just happens to be one of the very best lawyers in the United States of America," Giuliani said yesterday. "He's a good man, a really good man. And a man who is not a partisan, in the sense that when he has to do his job as a lawyer, or he has to do his job as a government official, he knows how to separate those things."

The mayor wasn't as friendly to everyone this week. On Friday, his campaign placed an ad in the New York Times blasting Hillary Clinton for her criticism of General David Petraeus at hearings on Capitol Hill this week. Later in the day, Giuliani released a web ad that also attacked Clinton's remarks on Petraeus and berated her for criticism of the war following her earlier support for it.

"General Petraeus and the brave men serving under him deserve an apology and our nation deserves better," the narrator of the ad states, imploring Clinton to apologize to Petraeus.

Though Giuliani's target is both Clinton and the anti-Petraeus ads by MoveOn.org, another GOP candidate took aim directly at the liberal organization. In New Hampshire this week, John McCain said MoveOn "should be thrown out of the country."

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  September 14, 2007; 6:23 PM ET
 
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