Giuliani Makes a Granite State Stop
Hear Giuliani's predictions for a Red Sox/Yankees postseason matchup.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani insisted today that he can appeal to evangelical voters because they know where he stands on issues even if they disagree with him.
Giuliani started a one-day swing through the state at the Red Arrow Diner, where a quick walk through the tiny eatery ended at the center of a crush of reporters, most of whom asked about threats by some religious conservatives to run a third-party candidate if Giuliani is the party's nominee.
"I don't worry a lot" about that threat, Giuliani said. " You know when we will find out who will be influential in this election? When it's over."
Giuliani's position on abortion -- he is pro-choice -- and questions about his commitment to conservative social issues such as gun rights have dogged his campaign since it began. But Giuliani said today that he can still appeal to voters who care about such things.
"I'm not a threat at all," he insisted. "I have great respect for religion. ... With me you know me what you're going to get. I mean, I explain to you who I am. I tell you who I am. You can figure out the areas you agree, the areas you disagree. It's not like five different positions on every issue."
That last line was a thinly disguised swipe at his rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whose positions on abortion and other social issues have changed since he first started running for office in his state in the 1990s. Giuliani did not critique Romney by name, but it was clear who he was talking about.
Explaining what he said are polls that give him an edge with evangelical voters, Giuliani said: "Maybe it is respect for the idea that I'll be straight with you."
Giuliani also took the opportunity to bash Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, mocking the New York senator's idea for a $5,000 account for every U.S. child. He likened it to a 1972 proposal by then-Democratic candidate George McGovern to give $1,000 to every person. Giuliani has acknowledged voting for McGovern in 1972, but says he became a Republican when he joined the Justice Department during the Nixon administration.
"It's interesting that Hillary is taking something from a George McGovern playbook," Giuliani said.
Phil Singer, a spokesman for Clinton, responded that "It's unfortunate that the mayor's entire campaign is premised on attacking others instead of talking about what he would do if elected."
Giuliani's latest trip to New Hampshire has the feel of a campaign season that is picking up steam. There was a heckler waving a petition and urging Giuliani to see "Sicko," the Michael Moore movie. ("Sicko is not something I have to see," Giuliani said.) There was a fellow in a Giuliani mask wearing a sign that said "Hold On...My Wife's on the phone," a reference to Giuliani's decision to take a call from Judith during a speech to the National Rifle Association. (Later, Giuliani said he liked the mask because it had more hair than he really does.)
After the Red Arrow, Giuliani, accompanied by his wife Judith, headed to several other lunchtime eateries. At Mary Ann's diner in Derry, the New York couple sat for a half hour, each eating a vegetarian, egg white omelet. Giuliani put a dab of hot sauce and a couple of jalapenos on his and ordered three strips of extra crispy bacon. (He finished the omelet, but never ate the bacon.)
He also cooed over several babies, another indication that the long-drawn-out Campaign 2008 is heading into its final, baby-kissing stage. From there, Giuliani headed to Norton's, a diner in Nashua, and then to a chocolate store in Salem. He was scheduled to hold a town hall meeting in Windham before heading Thursday to Missouri.
Giuliani's NH appearance came as his campaign launched a new radio ad in the state. Entitled "Tested," the ad features Giuliani talking about having been tested in crisis on the two issues he says matter: terrorism and the economy.
"They're not going to find perfection, but they're gonna find somebody who's dealt with crisis almost on a regular basis and has had results, results people thought were impossible," the former mayor says in the ad.
The ad ends with the argument about electability that Giuliani has been making with abandon recently: "The Republican that Democrats just don't want to run against," a voiceover says.
--Michael D. Shear
Watch Giuliani at the Red Arrow Diner:
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