Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani traveled to Total Tool in Schodack, Rensselaer County, today to endorse Republican Chris Gibson in the race for the 20th Congressional District, whose southern counties include Dutchess, Greene, Columbia, Otsego and Delaware. It includes 137 towns and stretches up to Lake Placid.
Gibson, a retired Army colonel from Kinderhook, Columbia County, is challenging one-term U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy of Glens Falls, Warren County, who was elected to the seat last year after Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the state’s vacant U.S. Senate seat.
Giuliani, a Republican, took shots at President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, and the health-care reform legislation they were successful in getting through Congress and the overall direction they are taking the country in. Twice during his remarks he referred to the Obama administration as “anti-business.”
“Chris winning here will go a long way in changing the leadership of the Congress. It will give you a much better member of Congress. It will give you somebody that understands what you need. It will also give us a chance to have a stop to this movement that has been so far in one direction that it’s really frightening,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani said it’s critical that voters elect members of the House of Representatives who will vote against Pelosi as speaker. The election is about representing the people of the 20th District, “but it’s also, I make it really simple, it’s about about making sure that when I wake up on a Sunday morning, I don’t have to listen to Nancy Pelosi,” he said, which evoked an enthusiastic response from the crowd of local political officials, Gibson supporters and Total Tool employees.
As for New York state’s political future, Giuliani said he hadn’t thought about who he would endorse for governor. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, picked up support today from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino won the GOP line in a primary this month, and his opponent, Rick Lazio, still holds the Conservative Party line for the November election.
“Nobody’s contacted me, nobody’s talked to me. I know Andrew from the time he was a young boy, actually. I know Andrew a very long time, and Mr. Paladino’s never called me. I have no idea whether he even wants my endorsement,” Giuliani said, adding that Paladino “is new to me” and he knows nothing about the candidate.
The former mayor joked that his endorsement has “sometimes the effect of helping people, sometimes hurting people, sometimes irrelevant. You never know until after the election.”
Giuliani declined to comment on whether Lazio should stay in the race, saying that’s for Lazio and the Conservative Party to work out. Giuliani, who ran on the Liberal Party line several times, said candidates commit when they run that they’ll stay on the ballot for the good of the party.
Giuliani said he “empathizes” with Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long’s situation. “He’s got to think about the good of the state, he’s got to think about keeping his party together, which has made a real contribution over the years, so that’s a tough choice.”
Asked about Murphy, Giuliani said he wasn’t really campaigning against the current congressman, but Murphy doesn’t have Giuliani’s views on government and where the economy should be going. But, he said, “a vote against Chris is a vote for Nancy Pelosi.”
Giuliani and Gibson left after the event to attend a fundraiser in Albany.