Is Rudy Giuliani about to endorse Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for president?
As reported by Politico New York, the former New York City mayor suggested such at a Monday night event hosted by the Columbia University College Republicans.
“The way I look at it, there really are only three people who will be the next president of the United States. One’s Hillary Clinton, the other’s Donald Trump, and the third is Ted Cruz. So I’ll choose between those three.
But Giuliani then added, “I’ll give you a hint: it won’t be Hillary Clinton. I seriously doubt it will be Ted Cruz. But I just want to think about it a little bit more before I do anything formally.”
New York State holds its primary on April 19, and it is Trump and Giuliani’s home state. The only recent poll taken there, by Emerson College, showed Trump leading Ted Cruz by 52 points, 64 percent to 12 percent.
New York has 95 total delegates at stake, and it is not a winner-take-all primary. But since Giuliani remains popular there, his endorsement could push Trump to a huge win that night.
Rudy Giuliani Endorsement in the works?
The Washington Post reported that Giuliani “has conferred at length with Trump at least three times in the past month, both in person and by phone, and has counseled the real estate mogul ‘as a close personal friend’ about campaign issues.”
“We’ve been talking. Donald and me, Donald and a few other friends who know politics. He calls to check things out or I’ll call him to say, ‘Donald, you’re going too far’ or ‘What you said was great’ or maybe ‘Change it a bit.’ It’s nothing formal. It’s kind of a running conversation. There is candor and there is trust.”
While Giuliani would not say who specifically was in touch with Trump, the Post stated that “a growing group of high-profile New York and Washington-based figures with deep GOP ties who are now in regular touch with Trump.”
Pundits have responded quickly to the potential news.
John Podhoretz, New York Post columnist and editor of Commentary, tweeted a response.
Rudy Giuliani is a peerless judge of leadership character. For example, Bernie Kerik.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 22, 2016
The reference is to Giuliani’s recommendation in 2004 to President George W. Bush to nominate Bernard Kerik, then head of the New York City Police Department, to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Kerik was withdrawn from consideration when it was revealed that he had once employed an undocumented immigrant as a nanny.
He was later convicted on unrelated charges and sentenced to four years in prison.
Sean Hannity of Fox News, who has been among Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, tweeted his support.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 18, 2016
The two Donald Trumps again: Rudy Giuliani on the one we don't see: “The real Trump is thoughtful, intelligent and very well-educated."
— John Fund (@johnfund) March 16, 2016
A Growing Delegate Lead
The news comes on the heels of last night’s Arizona primary and Utah caucuses. Trump won the former in the winner-take-all contest (68 delegates), while Cruz handily won the latter in dramatic fashion, taking all 40 delegates — he needed at least 50 percent of the vote to do so, which he easily accomplished.
This strengthened Trump’s delegate lead over Cruz, which now stands at 748-463 out of the 1,237 needed to capture the Republican nomination.
Next up on the primary schedule is Wisconsin on April 5. The most recent poll conducted there, on February 25 by Marquette Law School, had Trump with a 10-point lead.
Giuliani, Loved and Loathed
Giuliani was elected mayor of New York City in 1993. Following his election, he brought about reforms that significantly reduced crime there.
When the World Trade Center Towers were struck down on September 11, 2001, Giuliani gained nationwide recognition for his handling of a city in crisis that day. Even though he exited his office a few months later (due to term limits), he remained popular.
In 2006, a poll by CBS News rated Giuliani America’s most popular politician.
He ran for president himself in 2008, but he lost to the eventual nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.
Giuliani continues to be an outspoken commentator, typically on Fox News. Last year, Giuliani astonished many when he declared he “does not believe that [Obama] loves America.”