(CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani strayed from the facts in discussing the discord within the Republican Party caused by the insurgent candidacy of Doug Hoffman, a Republican who chose to run on the Conservative Party ticket in the recent special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district.
Talking about the Bill Owens, the Democrat who won the special election, Giuliani erroneously said Owens had voted against the Democratically sponsored health care reform bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives.
Prior to Owens' win, Doug Hoffman’s candidacy, which was supported by prominent conservatives including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, exposed a growing rift in the Republican party between conservatives represented by Hoffman and moderates represented by New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava. After lagging in polls and fund raising and being the target of attacks from both conservatives and Democrats, Scozzafava abruptly decided to drop out of the race just days before Election Day. After receiving Scozzafava’s last minute endorsement, Bill Owens, a Democrat, won a seat occupied by Republicans for more than a century.
Giuliani told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the nascent GOP civil war sparked by the NY-23 race was “not a good precedent for the party.”
“That’s the way you can allow Democrats to win even if the public has turned against them on certain things. I think in that particular case, I know that district. That’s a district that is very concerned about Obama’s health care [plan].”
“You see the Democrat has voted against the Obama health care program. That’s a district where we could elect a Republican if we get our act together and let’s hope don’t repeat that too often because then we surely won’t be a majority party.”
Giuliani’s comment about Bill Owens’ vote on the House health care reform bill was in error. Owens voted in favor of the bill.