Posted: October 17, 2007 6:57 PM
Giuliani Asks: Will the Real Republican Please Stand up?
With the first primaries drawing closer - only 78 days to go before Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucus - the four leading Republicans are locked in a battle over who is the most Republican. And on the campaign trail, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani remains confident he’ll translate his lead in most national polls into winning the Republican nomination.
“This is what we are having a primary for right?” Giuliani said at a stop in Portsmouth, N.H., where the primary date could sneak into December. “We are letting the Republican party decide. Republican members decide who should represent the Republican Party. I think I have a pretty good claim on it.”
On Tuesday, Giuliani addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition as part of their candidate forum. After talking about being a real Republican, saying “I gave my blood for the Republican Party in New York,” Giuliani started in on Iran. “We’ve seen what Iran will do with ordinary weapons. If I’m president of the United States, I guarantee you we will never find out what they will do if they get nuclear weapons, because they’re not going to get nuclear weapons.”
He continued, “If we learned anything from the 20th century from dealing with Nazis, Communists, and Islamic terrorists, if you haven’t learned this lesson, I don’t think you lived through the 20th century, you have to stand up to dictators, to tyrants, to terrorists. Weakness invites attack. Strength keeps [us] safe.”
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd answered Wednesday in an op-ed titled Rudy on Arabs about Giuliani’s focus on Islamic terrorism and his support for Israel. “Rudy would probably only take the hand of an Arab leader to throw him down a ravine, or a wadi,” Dowd wrote.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback also spoke at the Jewish forum, with Thompson, Romney and Giuliani re-appearing at another economic forum in front of the Club for Growth on Wednesday.
But Giuliani doesn’t seem overly concerned about his rivals catching up, and is taking his time talking baseball with potential voters, maybe a little too much, points out Michael Scherer in a Salon.com article. At a stop in New Hampshire, Scherer notes that, “At his own speed, he shakes hands, talks baseball and bashes Democrats for being weak on terror and big on new taxes.”
Giuliani goes to great lengths to reinforce his strength on terrorism, but one New Hampshire voter went a little further at a town hall, asking the former mayor about an intergalactic attack.
“Of all the things that can happen in this world, we’ll be prepared for that, yes we will. We’ll be prepared for anything that happens.”
After the Club for Growth forum on Wednesday, Giuliani will shuttle off to Iowa for town hall meetings in Des Moines and Muscatine and to meet with University of Iowa students. On Thursday, he will be in Minneapolis, Minn. to meet with residents at Peter’s Grill in the morning and at a roundtable discussion in Chicago, Ill., in the afternoon. On Friday, he will be in Florida.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his endorsement for Giuliani in an interview with Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends.