Giuliani Withdraws From Presidential Race, Endorses McCain

This story was written by Jessica Ponn, Independent Florida Alligator
After failing to win a single caucus or primary election, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has officially bowed out of the race to get the Republican nomination for the White House.

In a televised press conference Wednesday evening, Giuliani announced his withdrawal from the race and endorsed "someone with the will and perseverance to get great goals accomplished" - Sen. John McCain from Arizona.

"He is an American hero, and America could use heroes in the White House," Giuliani said, as McCain stood by his side.

Giuliani called the endorsement "an easy choice" considering his long-standing admiration for McCain. Giuliani's announcement came less than a week before 22 states are scheduled to hold primaries on Tuesday and a day after finishing third in Florida

Daniel Smith, associate professor of political science at UF, said he believes Giuliani chose Wednesday to step down because his campaign had run out of money and because it was a strategic time to endorse McCain.

Smith said Giuliani's "free fall" in the polls was the result of a "terrible" strategy in which he essentially banked on winning Florida and ignored all of the earlier elections.

Other candidates in prior years have tried a similar strategy of avoiding early primary states, Smith said, but with little success.

"You become a has-been very quickly," he said.

Without the media attention his opponents McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were able to attract, Giuliani was quickly forgotten, Smith added.

"You're not going to meet the 10 million registered voters in a state by hanging out here for a month," he said.

Giuliani's choice to endorse McCain came as a surprise to few. The two have been friends for years and have been respectful to one another throughout their campaigns.

Giuliani said having the opportunity to back McCain was a consolation after his own losses.

He described McCain as a man with tenacity, courage and the ability to lead America "at a time of great peril."

Smith said he thinks Giuliani's endorsement will definitely help McCain's chances, as the former mayor still has national appeal due to his role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Tommy Jardon, president of Gators for Rudy Giuliani, said that while he and his friends are disappointed by Giuliani's loss, they are looking forward to supporting McCain because he is the consensus candidate.

"We all do this because we believe in a cause greater than ourselves," Jardon said.

"We're all Republicans in the end."
© 2008 Independent Florida Alligator via U-WIRE
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