Giuliani to Quit Republican Presidential Race

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 10:02am.

Rudy Giuliani , his presidential campaign in tatters, is going to abandon his presidential race and endorse John McCain after a distant third-place loss in Florida, Republican sources told FOX News late Tuesday.


Neither campaign will confirm or deny plans for an endorsement of the Republican front-runner by his friend, the former New York City mayor, but other GOP sources say it is being arranged for Wednesday.

Giuliani has publicly said he is going to California, but conspicuously refused to answer questions about participating in Wednesday night's Republican debate at the Reagan Library.

Giuliani will arrive in California two or three hours ahead of McCain, who will stop to refuel in Texas. McCain had planned a news conference upon arrival in the Golden State, but that is now being reviewed in order to coordinate a joint appearance, sources said.

Giuliani suffered a disappointing evening in Florida, placing well behind McCain and Mitt Romney after repeatedly vowing he would win the Sunshine State. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, McCain won 36 percent to 31 percent for Romney. Giuliani received 15 percent of the vote.

Giuliani's campaign team was said to have immediately huddled after the voting was tallied to decide how to exit gracefully from the presidential stage and whether to endorse McCain.

The confirmation that Giuliani — once the national front-runner in GOP nomination fight — would endorse McCain, was an acknowledgement of what many had been saying all day: that his all-or-nothing strategy to take Florida had backfired and he no longer had the money or support to wage a multi-state campaign ahead of Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

Giuliani's concession speech in Florida was telling.

"It's not over until it's over," he started off, invoking baseball great Yogi Berra. However, the rest of his remarks suggested his future fight might be for a broader Republican win in November — rather than his own.

"Teddy Roosevelt said aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords," he said. "I love competition. I never back down from a fight, but there must be a bigger purpose. Elections are for fighting for a cause."

He went on to thank his supporters for running an "uplifting" campaign and stressed the importance of leadership, clear focus and achieving "peace through overwhelming strength."

"The responsibility of leadership doesn't end with a single campaign, it goes on and you continue to fight for it," Giuliani added.

Most of Tuesday was a study in how to dodge what many perceived to be a foregone conclusion. Giuliani and his campaign continued to suggest he would march on to the Super Tuesday contests. But the double-digit loss called for recalibration — particularly after widespread news reports that his fundraising has been sapped in recent weeks.

"He'll get out tomorrow," FOX News analyst Bill Kristol boldly predicted of Giuliani before the Florida polls even came to a close Tuesday night.

Giuliani was having none of the speculation, even as early exit polling results painted a grim picture for his prospects, which had been riding high a year ago and seemed to sink lower with every primary contest he had strategically decided to ignore.

"We're not dealing with hypothetical questions," he told reporters when asked earlier in the day whether he was mulling over a retreat. "Our objective is to win. And we're headed to California tomorrow to continue the campaign."

Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager, echoed his boss' determination, telling FOX News ahead of poll closings that "Rudy's never listened to conventional wisdom. He's going to so things his own way and generally he's right."

Despite months of targeting Florida Republicans, who are heavily populated by retirees hailing from Giuliani's home state of New York, "America's mayor" failed to get a toehold in any demographic Tuesday, FOX News exit polling revealed.

Instead, he saw his support divided up by two men who were considered long-shots in Florida a mere few months ago and a key expected endorsement — from Gov. Charlie Crist, who he had been courting for months — slip out of his fingers and go to McCain.

Exit polling indicated that more than 40 percent of Republican voters saw that endorsement as important to their vote.

Giuliani's poor showing in Florida even led some to speculate that if he does not get out of the race, he may face utter humiliation in New York next Tuesday, as polls indicate that McCain is leading in Giuliani's home state, as well in the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut.

Though the actual picture of his finances won't be known until the Federal Election Commission releases its year-end reports, Giuliani has reportedly lost his ability to raise the big money necessary to wage an effective multiple state campaign. He opted out of spending the big bucks on the nation's first caucus in Iowa. He spent minimally in the early states of New Hampshire and Michigan and was virtually absent from Nevada and South Carolina.

With the latest campaign finance reports not due until Thursday, FEC figures ending Sept. 30 show Giuliani raised $47 million and spent $30 million. But more recent reports said his senior staff had agreed to a pay-cut in order to keep the campaign rolling, and big donors were no longer interested in lining the coffers of a candidate unlikely to win.

Looking at the 21 states that make up the Republican roster for Super Tuesday, several are located in the northeast, where moderate and independent candidates that may have been drawn to Giuliani could easily turn toward McCain.

"Many of these moderate voters in the northeastern states on Super Tuesday will likely go to McCain," said Nina Easton, Washington correspondent for Fortune magazine and a FOX News contributor.

Analysts have been pouring over Giuliani's flaws and missteps to map where things went wrong. Aside from his all-or-nothing strategy in Florida, he may have suffered from reports about the use of his security detail on weekend trips to the Hamptons with his then-mistress, now wife, Judith Nathan, the estrangement of his two children from his previous marriage and scandals involving close friends and associates.

FOX News' Carl Cameron contributed to this report. 

by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos - January 29, 2008  posted at

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 10:02am.