With all eyes on the New York primaries today, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani finally said this morning he’ll “endorse” GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. You’ll recall the former mayor had disclosed earlier this month that he supported Trump and would vote for him, but at that point would not say he was “endorsing.”
As recently as last night, speaking with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Giuliani maintained he wouldn’t endorse Trump, partially because he said he didn’t want to have to defend “every single thing they do” — referring to Trump’s attacks on Kelly herself and comments about Mexican criminals and rapists.
Just this morning, however, Giuliani relented and said he “endorses” Trump. He clarified, though, that he wanted people to understand he is not part of the Trump organization — and that there are some things he’d want to see changed within Trump’s campaign before he would join in.
Via The Hill:
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday explained his less-than-full-throated support of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Giuliani announced earlier this month that he supported Trump and would vote for him in the New York primary, but stopped short of endorsing.
“It doesn’t make sense to me that you are going to vote for Trump but you won’t endorse him,” CNN’s host Chris Cuomo told Giuliani on Tuesday morning.
“OK, so I’ll endorse him,” Giuliani responded. “But I’m not part of the campaign.”
Pressed again to leave no doubt about his support, the former mayor responded, “I’m Rudy Giuliani, I mean a lot in New York politics, I endorse Donald Trump — but I’m not part of the campaign.”
The line of questioning came a day after Giuliani was pressed by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on why he was not endorsing Monday night.
“Only because I’m not part of the campaign,” Giuliani told Fox News. “I don’t want anybody to think I am an official in the campaign, I’m part of the campaign, I take orders from the campaign.”
The former mayor said there were some things that he wanted to see change within the Trump campaign before he would fully endorse, and noted he did not want to be on the campaign trail.
Framing his endorsement in practical terms, Giuliani said, “If I thought Cruz had a better chance at beating Hillary Clinton, I’d support Cruz,” he said.
Giuliani has argued that Trump represents the GOP’s best change at defeating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election, saying he would support whichever Republican can win.
With polls showing Donald Trump with a 30-point lead in the state, Giuliani’s “endorsement” at this point is more symbolic than anything else and perhaps most interesting for his comments about what he thinks needs to change in the campaign before he would align himself more “officially” with the Trump organization.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]