Friday, January 25, 2008

Who Would Want a New York Times Endorsement?

From last night's MSNBC Presidential Debate in Florida:

MR. WILLIAMS: ...Mayor Giuliani, we're going to begin with you. In tomorrow's -- tomorrow morning's editions of The New York Times, they are out with their endorsements in the New York primary: Senator Clinton on the Democratic side, Senator McCain on the Republican side. In tonight's lead editorial, they say, quote, "The real Mr. Giuliani, who many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man."

MR. GIULIANI: (Laughs.)

MR. WILLIAMS: "His arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking."

How can you defend against that in your hometown paper? How have you changed as a man since this portrait?

MR. GIULIANI: Because I probably never did anything The New York Times suggested I do in eight years as mayor of New York City. (Laughter.) And if I did, I wouldn't be considered a conservative Republican. (Applause.) I changed welfare, I changed quality of life, I took on homelessness, I did all the things that they thought make you mean, and I believe show rue compassion and true love for people. I moved people from welfare to work. When I did that, when I set up workfare, the New York Times wrote nasty editorials about how mean I was, how cruel I was.

I think there's a serious ideological difference. And I worked for Ronald Reagan. And I remember once, when I was in the Justice Department, The New York Times wrote a very laudatory editorial about my boss, Bill Smith, the attorney general. And Bill was very nervous that Ronald Reagan would get upset that we were off agenda, because of the good New York Times editorial. (Chuckles.)

So the reality is that I think there is serious ideological differences. That probably was some of the nicest language they've written about me in the last six months.

A New York Times endorsement should be taken as a liability, at least on the Republican side. Giuliani's anecdote about Bill Smith shows why.

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