Carl Paladino still has to convince New York’s most prominent Republican that he’s ready for the state’s top job. On a conference call with reporters yesterday, I asked Rudy Giuliani if he planned to cast his ballot this fall for Paladino, the increasingly crazy-sounding nominee to replace the increasingly witty Gov. David Paterson (D). Guiliani said, essentially, that he’s just not ready to commit to Paladino just yet.
The call came before Paladino’s latest strategic moves, which include accusing his Democratic opponent of having an extramarital affair with no evidence and threatening on camera to “take out” a reporter he doesn’t like.
Before anyone had seen any of that, Giuliani was not willing to say he’ll personally vote for Paladino.
“You know, you can generally assume I’ll vote Republican,” he told me. “I’ve voted for Democrats but I mainly vote Republican most of the time. That’d be my inclination and my thinking, but frankly I haven’t made a decision about that race yet.”This is not the sort of commitment you expect from a New York Republican just over a month before his party’s gubernatorial nominee squares off against Andrew Cuomo. But in a year that’s seen so-called moderate Republicans like Mike Castle and Lisa Murkowski refuse to back the tea party nominees the Republican voters in their states chose on primary day, it’s probably no surprise that Giuliani is steering clear of Paladino for now. Giuliani was supposed to represent some kind of hybrid socially liberal-ultra hawkish-fiscally austere wing of the GOP back when he ran for president in 2008, and Paladino’s brand of Islamophobia/racist porn-fueled campaign strategy may not be a cogent ideology, but it’s definitely not Giuliani’s brand (well, maybe the Islamophobia part, but still.)
As if to emphasize the difference between the two men, Giuliani was quick to say that Palandino has not asked for his endorsement and that “I don’t know him.” He then reiterated his ambivalence about who to vote for this fall.
“I have no information about Mr. Paladino other than what you have to make that decision so we’ll see what happens,” Giuliani told me. “But my inclination is to vote Republican and that’s probably what I’ll do.”