Giuliani stresses skills to state GOP

first_imgHe then alluded to making an announcement in multiple locations “so we get more attention” but provided no details. On a day when a leading Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, announced his presidential bid by invoking Abraham Lincoln, Giuliani said Lincoln’s legacy, holding the nation together through the Civil War, really belonged to Republicans. “As Republicans, we’re the party of freedom,” he said. “We’re the party of Abraham Lincoln.” Giuliani’s appearance comes as California is poised to move its 2008 presidential primary from June to February, along with a number of other states. An early California primary could benefit a celebrity such as Giuliani. His name recognition is a huge advantage in California, where candidates must either be famous or well-funded to reach the state’s millions of voters. A Feb. 5 California primary also would give Giuliani a chance to compete outside conservative early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where his liberal stands on gays, guns and abortion upset the social conservatives who dominate those contests. In recent weeks, Giuliani has aggressively reached out to California donors and elected officials, many of whom know him only as the New York City mayor who rushed to the scene of the twin towers’ collapse, caked in dust. He also met for about an hour Friday night with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger urged Giuliani to help bring about a national debate on the country’s dependence on fossil fuel and on health care reform. Giuliani elaborated on two potentially troublesome issues – gun control and immigration – during his news conference. He said his policies in New York to get handguns off the street helped reduce crime, particularly homicides. “I used gun control as mayor,” he said. But he added, “I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms.” He said what he did as mayor to get guns off the streets would have no effect on hunting. Giuliani also spoke in favor of a border fence, saying, “You have to have secure borders, you have to have a fence, and the fence I think has to be a highly technological one.” The nation needs to know, he said, who is coming into the country and why. But he provided scant details on how he would deal with illegal immigrants already in the country. Citizens, he added, should be able to read and write English. Giuliani’s California visit continues Monday with an address in the Silicon Valley and an appearance Tuesday at an agricultural fair in the Central Valley. Associated Press Writer Michael R. Blood contributed to this report. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received a warm welcome Saturday from California GOP activists, who responded to his strong leadership in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Being mayor, he said at the California Republican Party convention, “prepares you as best you can be prepared to be the president of the United States.” Giuliani spoke for nearly 45 minutes – touching on health care, crime, terrorism and Iraq – in a speech laden with references to a possible bid for president. He mocked inaction in Washington, saying he would be a decisive leader. “Presidents make decisions and move things forward,” he said. “That’s the kind of president I would like to be.” Giuliani took another step in that direction Monday, when he filed a “statement of candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission. During a news conference after his speech, Giuliani, who has faced questions about his commitment to the 2008 race, was asked, “Are you in this for good?” “Yes, I am committed,” he said. “This is something I believe I can bring something to, from the experiences that I’ve had.” When asked a follow-up question about when he would make a formal announcement, he responded, “Well, formally announce? I don’t know. If you go back to my speech, I think I may have. I’m not sure.” last_img read more