Rudy Giuliani touts McCollum as fiscal hawk in West Palm Beachby George Bennett | March 12th, 2010
WEST PALM BEACH — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a packed crowd at Howley’s restaurant this morning that Republican Bill McCollum is Florida’s best defense against a California-style fiscal meltdown.
“This is a very difficult time to govern, whether it’s Florida or Texas or California,” Giuliani told about 70 McCollum supporters who crowded the diner for a $40-a-head meet-and-greet event.
McCollum, who is Florida’s attorney general, was state chairman for Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. In addition to this morning’s breakfast, Giuliani will appear with McCollum at a fund-raiser at a private home in Stuart later today and at a restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana late this afternoon.
“You don’t want to become like California,” Giuliani said of the state that faces a $20 billion deficit. Giuliani said McCollum, who’s currently the Florida attorney general, would keep Florida’s spending under control.
“If you don’t get control of it and you have these unrealistic, childish, immature liberal policies where you can spend anything and give away to the trial lawyers or give away to the unions or give away to this pressure group, you’ll be in the same shape as California,” Giuliani said.
“You need a governor who can say no to overspending and say yes to the things you need and can afford. I can’t think of anyone better than Bill McCollum.”
This morning’s crowd included House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams and Palm Beach Town Councilman Bill Diamond. Diamond served in Giuliani’s administration in New York and had his 1996 wedding officiated by Giuliani.
Giuliani was mentioned as a potential candidate for governor or U.S. Senator in New York this year, but opted not to run.
“The way I can help is helping other candidates,” Giuliani said. He was involved in Republican Chris Christie’s surprise win in last year’s New Jersey governor’s race and is helping Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s reelection bid this year.
Asked about any future candidacies of his own, Giuliani said, “We’ll see after the end of this year.”