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Giuliani Gives Pep Talk To Newer Lawmakers

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Friday, July 25, 2008


Giuliani Gives Pep Talk To Newer Lawmakers

Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani trekked to Capitol Hill on Thursday morning to talk about the future of the Republican Party in front of a group of younger GOP lawmakers who are likely to become the party's next generation of leaders.

Giuliani, who recently opened a new political committee and attended a New York Yankees game with John McCain, tried to rally House Republicans who have started the "Young Guns" fund -- a group of lawmakers committed to raising money for 20 candidates who will face Democratic incumbents this fall.

Led by Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), 45, Paul Ryan (Wis.), 38, and Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), 43, the lawmakers running the Young Guns fund hail largely from the ranks of relative newcomers to the Capitol who are trying to finance challengers from their generation. Giuliani spoke on a day when the Republican lawmakers were holding a breakfast fundraising event at the Republican National Committee's Capitol Hill Club to benefit Chris Hackett, a 45-year-old from northeastern Pennsylvania running against Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa.).

"It's a tough national environment, but we can win if we individualize races," Giuliani told the Republicans, according to participants at the meeting. The former mayor stressed the importance of staying "positive" and unified, while also urging the younger House Republicans to get on the campaign trail as surrogates for McCain's presidential campaign.

Giuliani, whose presidential campaign fizzled when he bet his race on the Florida primary, was speaking to a group of Republicans who have watched their party's status on Capitol Hill disintegrate over the past two years. Other than the current, largely unified calls for more domestic oil drilling, House Republicans have been split into factions for most of the spring and summer as Democrats scored a series of key victories on domestic legislation.

House Republicans lost three straight special elections in March and May in districts the GOP had held for several decades, and their campaign committee has only about 14 percent as much cash on hand as its Democratic counterpart.

In addition, participants in the meeting said, the GOP lawmakers told Giuliani that they will need him out on the trail stumping for Republican candidates for the House. "We won't be bashful about asking you to come campaign for us," Cantor said.

-- Paul Kane


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