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Giuliani endorses Rubio over Crist; McCain tries to shed 'maverick' label

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FLORIDA

Giuliani endorses Rubio over Crist

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani endorsed former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate on Monday, emphasizing the candidate's trustworthiness.

Rubio, said Giuliani, is "the one candidate that we can trust to represent Republican principles in Washington and remain a Republican if he goes to Washington." He cited Rubio's stance on economic and national security issues.

The endorsement served as a bit of political payback directed at Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio's opponent in this spring's Florida Republican primary.

Giuliani courted Crist for months as the former mayor pursued the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, betting that Crist's influence in Florida would reinvigorate Giuliani's flagging hopes.

But just days before the state's primary in January 2008, Crist instead endorsed Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). That was seen as the symbolic death knell for Giuliani's campaign as he finished a distant third in Florida and dropped from the contest soon after.

"He did break his word to me," Giuliani said of Crist on Monday as he stood beside Rubio at a Miami banquet hall. "He shook my hand and told me he'd support me, and he didn't." But Giuliani called Crist's snub "ancient history" and said it colored his view of the governor but did not determine his endorsement.

-- Staff and news service reports

ARIZONA

McCain rejects a familiar label

Facing a difficult Republican primary back home in Arizona, Sen. John McCain is now trying to shake loose the mantle of the maverick brand he shared with running mate Sarah Palin in the 2008 presidential race.


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