Giuliani Plans Full-Page Ad Defending Petraeus

Rudy Giuliani hands an autographed baseball to a waitress at the OK Cafe in Atlanta.
Rudy Giuliani hands an autographed baseball to a waitress at the OK Cafe in Atlanta. (By Gregory Smith -- Associated Press)

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Friday, September 14, 2007

NEWSPAPER DUEL

Giuliani Plans Full-Page Ad Defending Petraeus

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday submitted a full-page ad to the New York Times attacking his rival, Hillary Clinton, and defending Gen. David Petraeus.

In the ad, Giuliani accuses Democrats of "orchestrated attacks on General Petraeus" and says that Clinton's comment about needing to suspend disbelief to accept the general's arguments was a "character attack" on Petraeus.

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Giuliani, declined to confirm that the Times was running the ad or to say how much the campaign paid for it. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis declined to comment about the ad or its cost.

At a campaign stop in Atlanta, Giuliani defended Petraeus against a MoveOn.Org ad that ran in the Times on Monday and that lambasted him as "General Betray Us." He criticized the Times for giving the liberal group a heavily discounted rate for what he called an "abominable" ad.

MoveOn.org said it paid $65,000 for the ad, far less than the standard $181,000 rate for a full-page ad. Mathis said the content of the ad was not considered and that there are many different rates for a full-page ad.

"The advertising folks don't see the content of the ad when the rate is quoted," she said. She said the Times has a "standby" rate of $65,000 that does not guarantee a particular placement on a particular day. A source familiar with the Giuliani ad said the Times charged the campaign $65,000.

In addition to criticizing the Times, Giuliani took aim at Clinton, accusing her of calling Petraeus a liar at a Senate hearing. Giuliani said her questioning of Petraeus was "typical" of her.

"Hillary Clinton, the New York Times, MoveOn.org should apologize for what they did," Giuliani said. "Their excessive political view led them to character assassination."

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer responded: "Mayor Giuliani supports George Bush's Iraq policy and believes it is working. Senator Clinton knows it isn't and will keep up her efforts to end the war. She believes the best way to honor our heroes in Iraq is to bring them home."

-- Michael D. Shear


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