Former New York Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign team doesn’t appear especially strong on economic or foreign policy issues, but it could have an advantage because of key endorsements the campaign has locked up for the primaries on “Super Duper Tuesday.”
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed legislation to move California’s primary from June to Feb. 5, 2008. This will make California the largest state in the “Super Duper Tuesday” February 5 primary. Giuliani has compiled a strong roster of supporters in California, winning endorsements from several California representatives and both chairmen of the California Republican Party. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah also have primaries scheduled for February 5. These primaries will follow the Iowa caucus on January 14 and the Nevada primary on January 19. Then, New Hampshire will have its primary January 22 and South Carolina will hold its caucus on January 29. After California changed its primary date, the Giuliani camp applauded the move.
Giuliani’s presidential campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, said, “Rudy Giuliani is the Republican candidate who can win California in both the primary and general elections. The mayor’s record as a proven problem solver continues to resonate with California voters.”
Right now, Giuliani’s advisory team is largely comprised of former Republican National Committee staffers and Bush campaign operatives. Because of this, his team should be strong in terms of communications and messaging.
But the Giuliani camp lacks substantial foreign policy expertise. A report from Newsday said that in late January Giuliani was meeting with retired Army Gen. John Keane, but Giuliani’s staff has been tight-lipped about these discussions.
In 2006, President Bush asked Giuliani to be a member of his Iraq Study Group. Giuliani agreed to serve on the blue-ribbon panel but later ducked out of the commitment because of scheduling conflicts. After the Iraq Study Group released its findings, Giuliani rejected the recommendation that the United States withdraw troops from Iraq by 2008.
He said, “I think it’s unrealistic and impossible to predict that we’ll be successful. That’s why I don’t like the idea of a timetable.” He also took issue with the study group’s recommendation that the United States directly engage Iran and Syria. He said that talks could be “good,” but only “if you don’t announce in advance that you’re doing it.”
At the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference early this month, Giuliani was a headline speaker, but he shied away from sharing specific thoughts on Iraq. He did, however, express strong support for the Patriot Act and the President’s surveillance program. He said, “In an earlier part of my life, I prosecuted a lot of crime—organized criminals in particular. A little bit of terrorism, but mostly organized criminals. . . . Nobody comes in and tells you about it. You know how we found out about it? We had to intrude into their activities. We had to breach their privacy. We had to have electronic surveillance. We had to have informants—spies, if you will.”
“We need an American President who understands the necessity of being on offense,” Giuliani said.
In this PAC speech, Giuliani also touted his record of cutting taxes. “I believe in lowering taxes,” he said. As the mayor of New York City, Giuliani got through a record number of tax cuts early in his administration. He recalled the first tax cut he passed, which was a reduction in the Hotel Occupancy Tax: “The day after we accomplished it—which was like, a big victory for my new, young administration—my first deputy mayor and oldest friend Peter Powers came into my room, and he said: ‘You just set a record for tax cuts.’”
“It was the only one ever done” Giuliani said. As “America’s Mayor,” Giuliani cut or eliminated 23 different taxes. Although his tax-cutting record is strong, especially in liberal New York City, it should be noted that Giuliani has signed on only one economic heavyweight to his presidential exploratory team.
Here are some of the members of the Giuliani campaign team:
Director of Policy
Co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC. Co-chairman of the Cynthia L. and William E. Simon, Jr. Foundation, which helps poor children in urban areas through faith-based efforts. Was the 2001 Republican gubernatorial nominee in California. His father, William E. Simon, is a former United States treasury secretary.
Dr. Michael J. Boskin
Senior Policy Adviser
Former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993 and chaired the Commission on the Consumer Price Index. T.M Friedman professor of economics. Currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Chairman of the Justice Advisory Committee
Former solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 and served under President Reagan as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1981 to 1984. Olson has argued 44 cases in the Supreme Court and numerous cases in federal and state appellate courts.
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter
Southern Regional Chair
First-term senator has a 94% lifetime American Conservative Union rating. Served as a U.S. representative from 1999-2004.
Senior Communications Adviser
Former chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
Former political director for the Republican National Committee. Was the Northeast regional political director for President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. Former executive director for the New Jersey State Republican Party. Also served as campaign manager of former Congressman Bob Franks’ 2000 Senate campaign and had his own political consulting firm, DuHaime Communications, Inc.
Dr. Mark P. Campbell
National Political Director
Political and communications consultant. Past clients include Bush-Quayle campaign, American Medical Association Political Action Committee, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, Bush-Cheney Florida recount.
Senior Advisor to the Political Department
Conducted Bill Simon’s gubernatorial primary campaign in California and was the political director of Solutions American Political Action Committee. Worked for the Alexandria-based National Media, a large Republican media firm located in Virginia.
General Chairman of the Exploratory Committee
Currently manages Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. On the executive committee of the Greater Houston Partnership and on the boards of M.D. Anderson Services Corp. and the Texas Medical Center Inc. Former chairman of the board of BioHouston, Inc, a global competitor in life sciences and biotechnology commercialization.
Head Political Adviser
Worked for strategist Karl Rove during President Bush’s 2000 campaign and in the White House.
Senior Communication Adviser
Former chief spokesman for New York Republican Gov. George Pataki.
National Communications Director
Left her job as communications director for California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to work on Giuliani’s presidential exploratory committee.
Senior Adviser in Florida
Was the campaign manager for former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.
Former columnist and deputy editor at the New York Sun. Worked as a speechwriter and deputy communications director for Giuliani during his time as New York City mayor. Also worked on President Clinton’s 1994 re-election campaign
Former New York Sun conservative editorial writer.
Other committed Giuliani supporters:
Rep. Mary Bono (R.-Calif.)
Rep. David Dreier (R.-Calif.)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R.-Calif.)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.)
Former Rep. Jim Nussle (R.-Iowa)
Ex-Gov. Paul Cellucci (R.-Mass.)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R.-N.J.)
Rep. Jim Walsh (R.-N.Y.)
California Republican Party Co-Chairmen Robert Naylor and Frank Visco
Political commentator Dennis Miller