Giuliani "Feels" for Paterson

Or maybe it's just a political stunt

By Jennifer Millman
|  Friday, Sep 25, 2009  |  Updated 7:29 AM PDT
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Giuliani "Feels" for Paterson

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Rudy Giuliani -- a great friend as long as he needs something.

We should've known this was coming.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani apparently couldn't resist the urge to inject himself into the controversy surrounding Gov. David Paterson's run for re-election.

Giuliani, the subject of much speculation about whether he'll toss his hat into the ring, was asked yesterday what he thought about President Barack Obama's attempts to dissuade Paterson from running again next year.

"Oh Gosh," Giuliani said coyly, according to The New York Times. "I don't interfere in Democratic politics when I shouldn't."

Of course, that's exactly what he ended up doing.

Obama sticking his head into New York politics put Paterson in a bad situation, Giuliani said.

"That's an awful lot of pressure to put on a governor, the president of the United States telling you not to run for office," he told reporters after delivering remarks at a Jewish Community Relations Council near the United Nations.

As for his own potential gubernatorial campaign, Giuliani was quick to say Obama hasn't approached him about it one way or another.

"The president hasn't advised me on what I should do, nor has he told me I shouldn't run," Giuliani said. "So I'm free and clear to make my own decision."

While Giuliani said Obama put Paterson in a tough position, he also took a stab at the governor, saying he mismanaged the state's finances and brought his political problems on himself, reports the Times.

"I think some of the governor's actions have caused this, too," Giuliani suggested. "Increasing spending by 9 percent. I mean, you just don't do that in the middle of a recession. You shouldn't increase spending at 9 percnet ever, probably."  

Can you smell the campaign a-brewing?

Republicans have been thrilled by the prospect of a Rudy run for governor, seeing him as the ideal candidate and this as the opportune time to usurp the governorship.

But the excitement he's breeding among the GOP has the Obama administration concerned about losing Democratic governors and seats on Capitol Hill, which is one reason why Obama reps approached Paterson this week encouraging him to bow out of the 2010 race.

Democrats from Washington and New York, fearful of Paterson's flagging poll numbers, want Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to run for governor. Cuomo has taken double-digit leads over Paterson in recent polls. Some have speculated that Giuliani will only run if Cuomo doesn't, perceiving Paterson as an easy target.

Giuliani has said he will decide whether to run for governor in November.  

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