Rangel: I Support Giuliani-Kerik Ticket

The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; 1:06 AM

NEW YORK -- Never say New Yorkers don't have sense of humor _ especially when they can stick it to the other side.

A powerful New York Democrat, a mischievous gleam in his eye, is offering an early endorsement in the 2008 presidential race, where the field includes many hometown hopefuls like former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"I'm supporting Giuliani for the Republican," Rep. Charles Rangel said Monday, pausing briefly before delivering the punchline.

"Kerik, as well," he added, referring to Giuliani's disgraced former police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Kerik pleaded guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor charges of taking money from contractors with alleged mob ties, when he was the city's corrections chief. He was also President Bush's choice to head the Department of Homeland Security, but the nomination was scrapped after questions arose about his background.

Political observers say Giuliani's relationship with Kerik could be a problem if the former mayor goes ahead with a run for president.

Rangel was speaking at event in the East Village with Giuliani's successor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg _ another name sometimes mentioned as a 2008 contender, despite his repeated protestations that he is not interested.

But Bloomberg declined to say which New Yorker he would like to win.

"I think that this country is better off with lots of choices, and I think it's fascinating that we have, you know, between Pataki and Clinton and Giuliani, three candidates," he said, ignoring a reporter's interruption that he should include himself on the list.

"Three potential candidates for president, and I wish them all well," Bloomberg said.


LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln on Monday described her Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as "kinder and gentler" than her GOP colleague, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

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