For Republican voters in New York, it’s Election Day today and you have the choice of voting for Mitt Romney for president, or for one of the three other names on the ballot, two of whom are still technically vying for the nomination.
And it’s sentences like the above that has fueled former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s latest beef.
“You guys in the press have been beating down any opposition to Romney for months. You started four or five months ago telling us, ‘Romney’s going to win. Romney’s going to win,’ and trying to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he declared on Inside City Hall last night. “That’s wrong!”
The Mitt Romney campaign today announced that they have received the endorsement of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I’m very proud to earn the support of such a distinguished leader and public servant to our country,” said Governor Romney. “Rudy’s successes in turning around New York City are well-known and his name is synonymous with leadership, uniting a city in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. I look forward to his help in the months ahead as I work to restore America’s promise and reverse President Obama’s failed policies.”
In his appearance at the New York State Republican Party dinner last night, Newt Gingrich took a jab at Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Gingrich told the audience he’s staying in the presidential race “to articulate big themes and big issues.” One of those “big themes” is his belief politicians aren’t being tough enough on terrorism due to political correctness and, as an example, he cited Mayor Bloomberg’s response to the attempted Times Square car bombing in 2010.
“You had a Pakistani come to the U.S., get his citizenship, go back home, take a course in how to build a bomb, come back to the U.S.–luckily, he wasn’t very good at it–builds a car bomb, it doesn’t go off, it smokes,” Mr. Gingrich said. “After all of our investment in national security, all of our investment in intelligence, how do we discover that there’s a car bomb in Times Square? A street vendor walks up to a policeman and says, ‘That car is smoking.’ That was our early warning system. And the mayor promptly goes on tv and says on CBS, ‘We shouldn’t rush to judgement, it could have been somebody who’s opposed to Obamacare.”
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich gave a speech at the New York State Republican Party dinner tonight in Midtown Manhattan. Mr. Gingrich ended by answering the question that was on everyone’s mind–why he’s still campaigning even though it’s clear his rival, Mitt Romney, has secured the nomination.
“I’m going to say, in closing, that I don’t want any of you to be confused about this and I dont want the media to be confused, I’ve stayed in the race to articulate big themes and big issues,” Mr. Gingrich said.
State GOP Convention
The Politicker was a little startled this morning to find no one other than Carl Paladino hanging out in the lobby of the Rochester Convention Center as he made his way in to the New York State Republican Convention.
Mr. Paladino, after all, ran for governor in 2010 bashing the party establishment, including State Chairman Ed Cox.
Still, Mr. Paladino said he was there to cast his vote for Wendy Long, the conservative lawyer vying for a spot on the ballot today. He told us why he’s backing Ms. Long and shared his thoughts on the state of Newt Gingrich, his pick in the Republican presidential primary. Mr. Paladino also let us know he’d like to give Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos a piece of his mind.
The Magnolia State
Rick Santorum continued to poke holes in Mitt Romney’s aura of inevitability by following up his victory in the Alabama primary with a win in the Mississippi primary tonight. Though Mr. Romney still has a large lead in the overall delegate count, a win tonight would have gone a long way toward cementing his status as the clear frontrunner. Mr. Santorum’s wins in more conservative states are prolonging the race for the Republican nomination and fueling the perception Mr. Romney has issues connecting with important elements of the Republican base. Despite his losses in the South, Mr. Romney is expected to win tonight’s caucuses in American Samoa and Hawaii, though those results won’t be official until much later due to the time difference.
The Yellowhammer State
Rick Santorum won the Alabama primary tonight. NBC News declared Mr. Santorum the winner a little less than one hour after polls closed. Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the nomination, still holds a strong delegate lead, but he has had trouble winning primaries in the Southern states.
Newt Gingrich has made his mark on this presidential race with his “big ideas” and his desire to have three hour marathon debate with anyone who will take him on. With his victory in this week’s Georgia primary and polls showing him leading in Alabama and Mississippi, Mr. Gingrich is preparing to make a “last stand” in the race for the Republican nomination although he’s well behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the delegate count. Since it’s probably Mr. Gingrich’s last hurrah and, well, since it’s Friday afternoon, we decided it would be a good time to release a treasure trove of odd Gingrich family photos we found deep in the recesses of Facebook that give a very special, behind-the-scenes look at the candidate and his third wife, Callista. Check out our slideshow to see Newt as you’ve never seen him before; having his makeup done, hanging out at Auschwitz, going on safari, hobnobbing with classic rock stars, eating egg-on-a-stick and communing with our founding fathers.
Former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani was a guest speaker at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Irish Heritage Luncheon today and The Politicker asked him whether he’ll be making an endorsement in this year’s Republican race. While Mr. Giuliani’s endorsement is considered influential to GOP voters, last month, he told CBS News he was reluctant to back Mitt Romney because the current frontrunner “has changed his position on virtually everything.” But today, Mr. Giuliani said he could imagine himself endorsing any of the three main Republican candidates.
“I can see myself supporting any one of the Republican candidates, whether it’s Governor Romney, Rick Santorum, or it’s my friend, Newt Gingrich,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I think all three of them would be much better for this country than President Obama, who, I think, is a disaster for our economy.”
A Siena College Research Institute poll of registered voters released today showed Rick Santorum will have his work cut out for him when he and Mitt Romney go head to head in New York State’s Republican presidential primary on April 24th.
“Given their favorability ratings among Republicans, it’s not surprising that Romney has opened a wide lead in New York’s Republican presidential primary,” Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said in a statement. “He is supported by 38 percent of Republicans, with Santorum being supported by 23 percent, Gingrich 13 percent and Paul 11 percent.”