January 30th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani officially ends run, backs McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.giulianimccain.ap.jpg caption="Giuliani will be stumping for the Arizona senator in Super Tuesday states."]SIMI VALLEY, California (CNN) - Rudy Giuliani – who led Republican national presidential polls for months – announced his endorsement of new GOP frontrunner John McCain Wednesday, calling the Arizona senator “an American hero."

Giuliani officially ended his run at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California – with John McCain and his wife Cindy by his side - after coming in third in Florida’s presidential primary Tuesday, behind McCain and former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney.

The former New York City mayor had staked his political future on a solid showing in the state after skipping the critical early-voting contests of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Giuliani and McCain have been friends for years, and had mostly restrained from attacking each other during the campaign. Both have faced mistrust from their party’s conservative base. And both share a common antipathy for McCain’s chief remaining rival, Mitt Romney.

During his announcement, he managed to work in a dig at Romney, who has been criticized by his opponents for shifting positions on some issues. Given his longtime admiration for McCain, said Giuliani, "If I'd endorsed anyone else, you would say I was flip-flopping."

Giuliani – whose run, like McCain's, had been based on strong foreign policy and national security themes - said he was completely invested in the senator’s run now, and would actively campaign for him wherever he was needed, in states like New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

Speaking after Giuliani, McCain called the former mayor “a national hero.”

“I'm honored by his friendship," he said.

The remaining Republicans meet tonight at the Reagan Library for a presidential debate co-hosted by CNN, the Politico and the Los Angeles Times.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: John McCain • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Ron Paul's supporters have reason to celebrate

    January 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. DR

    Could we be looking at a McCain-Giuliani ticket?

    January 30, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Dave-o, Honolulu HI

    If I was McCain, I wouldn't turn my back on Rudy 911. Backing McCain might mean a shank in the back.

    January 30, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Robert Bell

    You did the right thing, Rudy.

    Time for a MODERATE Republican in the Whitehouse!

    Just say "no" to Hillary!

    January 30, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. G, Margate, FL

    Rudy Who?
    Was he running?
    In fact I have never heard of him.

    January 30, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. mike towers

    how big is this guys ego to think anyone would vote for him! to continue torturing the american public with his terrible no-stop garbage on how no other candidate is acceptable but himself! get over yourself the country has moved so why don't you!

    January 30, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Ron

    Clinton Scams Millions $$$$$$$$$

    Open your PC front page.

    In the web search bar type in, " Clinton Donors Overlap " Press Search.

    Read the 10 Minute “New York Times” article.

    Bill Clinton”
    How to scam, Con and Steal and get away with it legally.

    Thanks, Roingneck11

    January 30, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. Dave in NC

    It's good to see that the arrogant New Yorker approach (other than New York, only Florida and California are important; who cares about those backwards people in all the other states) doesn't work for winning a national election. Bloomberg might want to take note of that if he decides to run as an independent.

    January 30, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. AllConservatives, USA

    For one last time McCain:

    I am NOT your friend!!!

    January 30, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Mary Pat DeGroodt RN

    McCain smirks of dismissal at Ron Paul when he, Ron Paul is verbalizing his perception and plan for America, is going to be the McCain demise. His ego mania and name dropping gets to the point of absolute irritation and very unprofessional for a candidate. Presidential Candidates do not look down on their fellow citizen's, let alone their fellow Republican. Shame on McCain. Sets a poor example by a man seeking to be a nations representative. Shame!
    I personally do not see Ron Paul as electable sadly, but in this GOP Debate I sure see him as more responsible in giving relative material. Ron Paul won this debate.

    January 30, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. walter

    McCain is so liberal he should run as Hillary's running mate, he has Bill's endorsement already

    January 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |