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Former Mayor of New York and presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani addresses the Hoover Institute in Washington, February 26, 2007.

Washington Post The Fix: Rudy Embraces Reagan Legacy

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered his vision for a redefined Republican party during a speech to the Hoover Institution in Washington earlier today.

That vision? In a word “freedom.”

In a sometimes meandering 30 minute speech, Giuliani wove the importance of freedom through a variety of topics from taxes to school choice to entitlement reform. He also used the idea of freedom to illustrate the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

“The Republican party is the party of the people,” said Giuliani. “The Democratic Party is the party of government.”

Other impressions of the same speech are at Hotline and the AP.

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So, what did the Mayor discuss?

Foreign Policy:

“Foreign policy has always been an area of great interest to me,” he said, adding that since leaving office in 2001 he has traveled abroad at least 90 times and visited nearly three dozen foreign countries. “I know the world,” asserted Giuliani.

Why Giuliani switched from being a Democrat to a Republican:

“I don’t think anything separates us more right now between Republicans and Democrats than how we look at taxes,” the former New York mayor said. “What we understand as Republicans is that, sure, the government is an important player in this, but we are essentially a private economy. What Democrats really believe … is that it is essentially a government economy.”

In the days of President Kennedy, Giuliani said, Democrats understood the concept of the private economy and cutting taxes. But, he said, Democrats have “kind of lost that.”

“It’s one of the reasons that I used to be a Democrat and I’m now a Republican,” Giuliani said before quoting Winston Churchill as saying: “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart, but if you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 40, you have no brain.”

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Global War on Terror:

When speaking about the war on terror — or rather, as he has renamed it, “the war of the terrorists against us” — Giuliani argued that we should be comparing the war not to America’s struggle in World War II, but to the Cold War. In the Q&A session, Giuliani also took the opportunity to condemn the congressional non-binding resolutions as “a way to be safe. It was a way to not make a tough choice.”

It appears Hizzoner received a warm reception from the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Overseers – a conservative institute based in California. Bill Simon, the Mayor’s friend and Director of Policy for the presidential campaign introduced the Mayor as “a friend, a mentor, a former boss, and a fellow Ronald Reagan Republican.” There were numerous interruptions for applause and the conservative crowd was receptive to Hizzoner’s message.

Stay tuned……

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