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As Rudy Giuliani Stumps For Bloomberg, Criticism Arises

October 19, 2009

CBS News is following the recent increase in appearances and open support on behalf of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In case you didn’t see it, here’s the story:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani seized on familiar themes like fighting crime and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as he returned to the trail Sunday to campaign for his successor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

The failed Republican presidential candidate, who embraced more conservative views as he burnished his GOP credentials nationally, gets mixed reviews among New Yorkers, who are overwhelmingly Democratic. 

But Giuliani is popular in some parts of the city. And as Election Day nears, Bloomberg is seeking to energize those voters as part of a get-out-the-vote effort after months of coverage that portrayed him as the inevitable winner.

On Sunday, Giuliani returned to areas of Brooklyn and Queens where he is still well-liked to stump for the billionaire incumbent. Bloomberg, a former Republican, is not registered with any party but is running on the Republican and Independent Party lines. 

At a breakfast with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, Giuliani got a standing ovation as he entered the room filled with people who called him a “dear friend” and recalled his ties with Jewish New Yorkers. 

The former mayor, who is also considering a run for governor next year, gave a speech praising Bloomberg for doing “everything he possibly can to keep this city safe.” 

Giuliani launched his 2008 presidential bid after honing an image as a counterterror leader after the Sept. 11 attack, which came in his final months as mayor. He based much of his campaign on the idea that America remains in danger. 

Giuliani struck a familiar tone on the campaign trail Sunday, saying the city is still “at great risk.” 

And without mentioning Bloomberg’s Democratic opponent, William Thompson Jr., Giuliani warned that crime in New York City, which declined under him and has continued to fall under Bloomberg, is also a gamble.

“This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction,” Giuliani said. “It could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership.” 

The Thompson campaign said in a statement Sunday that Giuliani and Bloomberg were employing a “tired Republican campaign tactic: Scare people into voting by threatening their personal safety.” 

The Democrat’s campaign also released a viral video Friday that sought to highlight Bloomberg’s relationships with Republicans, including former President George W. Bush, who was extremely unpopular in New York City. 

The montage included clips of Bloomberg praising Giuliani and Bush, along with footage from Giuliani’s speech at the Republican National Convention last year where he mocked Barack Obama. 

In Brooklyn on Sunday, Bloomberg had even more warm words for his predecessor. 

“We all benefited from his leadership, and our city is a much better place because of it,” he said. 

Giuliani is prominently featured on mailings to Republican areas of the city. 
A mailer sent to Staten Island voters, headed “Leaders We Trust,” features a quote from Giuliani and emphasizes law enforcement issues. 

“If you want the progress to continue, vote and re-elect Mike Bloomberg,” Giuliani is quoted as saying. 

Campaigning with a Republican star like Giuliani could also help Bloomberg mend relationships with Republicans who were upset with him for abandoning the party as he tested the waters for a 2008 presidential run, and more recently, over his lack of interest in GOP candidates sharing the ticket with him this year. 

Bloomberg said recently that he didn’t even know there were Republicans running in some races, and a few days later he said “they have no chance whatsoever.”

At a debate this week, Bloomberg was booed when he said Giuliani would make a good governor. 

There are swaths of the city where Giuliani is still popular. As Election Day nears, Bloomberg is seeking to energize those voters. 

Bloomberg is running on the Republican and Independent Party lines against Democrat William Thompson Jr. 

The race took a surprising turn after a single question during Bloomberg and Thompson’s debate. The moderator asked: “Is Pedro Espada a better majority leader than Joe Bruno?” 

Thompson said yes, and Mayor Bloomberg said no, to applause. 

And so it was that a debate where Thompson was feisty in attacking Bloomberg on term limits and Bloomberg slammed Thompson for his performance as president of the Board of Education had people suddenly talking about a different aspect of their differences.

The Gothamist, of course, has a more critical piece, accusing the Giuliani-Bloomberg alliance of scare tactics and veiled racism:

In Borough Park yesterday, it was Giuliani Time! Former mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg and struck an ominous note at the Jewish Community Council breakfast, “I worry daily that the city might be turned back to the way it was, to the way it was before 1993. And you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Of course they did! Given that Giuliani also said, “This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction — it could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership,” the Post reports that Public Advocate candidate Bill de Blasio—a former David Dinkins staffer— said Rudy’s words were “‘veiled race baiting’ for suggesting a black mayor wouldn’t be tough on crime.” de Blasio said, “If Giuliani is using an openly divisive tactic, Bloomberg has to disavow it.”

Whether these tactics will work, remains to be seen. The pre-Giuliani New York is a very powerful image, but whether it is an accurate one is a different story.

Atlas will continue to update you on news stories regarding the Mayor’s race for a third term as they arise.

One Comment
  1. Marcus Tullius Cicero permalink
    October 22, 2009 10:58 pm

    Re: Prisoner # 210-717

    Wasn’t Bernie Kerik one of Giuliani’s guys? His appointee to NYPD Commissioner?

    And also a former employee or partner at Giuliani Partners LLC, after Rudy left City Hall?

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