Rudy Giuliani today has endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for the seat being relinquished by GOP Sen. Jim Bunning. Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City when terrorists hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, said Grayson "will make the right decisions necessary to keep America safe and prevent more attacks on our homeland," that he "understands the threat posed by our enemies abroad" and called Grayson someone "that Republicans can trust to best represent their values - both on national security and fiscal responsibility - in Washington." And he also added this:
He is not part of the 'blame America first' crowd that wants to bestow the rights of U.S. citizens on terrorists and point fingers at America for somehow causing 9/11.
The Lexington Herald Leader's Jack Brammer writes that Grayson, who is trailing ophthalmologist Rand Paul in the May 18 GOP primary, "has tried to make 9/11 an issue in the campaign by highlighting statements made by" Paul "that suggest America's foreign policy may have needlessly motivated the attackers."
It was also an issue that sharply divided Giuliani and Paul's father, Texas congressman Ron Paul, when both sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. In fact, Ron Paul today sent out a fundraising note on behalf of his son, noting, "I am sure you remember my famous dust-up with old Rudy during the second presidential debate in 2007." Here's a video clip of that debate:
David Adams, Rand Paul's campaign manager, dismissed Giuliani's endorsement altogether, as quoted in the Herald Leader:
Another pro-abortion, liberal, northeastern Republican endorsing Trey Grayson is just more bad news for him. We'll stick with Rand Paul's conservative endorsements from Sarah Palin, Senator Jim Bunning, Steve Forbes, Northern Kentucky Right to Life and Gun Owners of America.
Giuliani's support for the Kentucky party establishment over the candidate backed by the Tea Party is completely the opposite of what he did in Florida, when he endorsed Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio over establishment choice Charlie Crist. But that may have to do more with a perceived slight than ideology (see earlier post today on Florida Senate race; also, see last week's post on Kentucky Senate race).
By the way, yes, there are Democrats in this race too: Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo is facing state Attorney General Jack Conway.
Check out Brian Naylor's piece on Paul vs. Grayson battle today on NPR's All Things Considered.