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Republican presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (center) laughs with diners at a restaurant in Burlingame on Wednesday, May 30, 2007.

San Francisco Chronicle: Giuliani pushes appeal to California moderates

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in Burlingame today on a campaign swing, chastised Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama as tax-raising liberals who would cripple the state’s economy while he painted himself as the only Republican candidate who is moderate enough to win state like California in November 2008.

The comments to reporters outside Burlingame’s Broadway Grill highlighted the political schizophrenia Giuliani faces as he tries to appeal to the conservative Republicans he needs to win the GOP nomination and the moderate independent, Democratic and GOP voters he must attract to have a chance to take the presidency in the general election.

The pro-choice Giuliani, who aggressively backed tougher firearm regulations in New York City, argued that he is “the one Republican candidate who has a legitimate chance to win California” — a state dominated by Democrats — in the presidential election.

Giuliani said the Republican Party must nominate a candidate who has a legitimate chance of winning in such Democratic strongholds as Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Oregon and Washington if it intends to keep the White House in 2008 and he’s the only one who fills that bill.

But the former mayor also gave the party’s conservative wing a bow when he slammed Clinton, a New York senator, and Obama, a senator from Illinois, as free-spending backers of big government “who don’t seem to really understand how the private economy works.”

Rudy has it RIGHT.

And his February 5 strategy will win him the GOP nomination. Then, the Democrat blue states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Oregon, Washington and California will ALL be in play. With any other GOP nominee, this will NOT be the case.

Rudy plays the ELECTABILITY CARD.

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