On Tuesday, Republican Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, launched his bid for governor of New York in 2022with a torrent of assaults on current Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as a perplexing reason for why he has not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
At a press conference in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, Giuliani slammed Cuomo for his treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Giuliani, who contracted the disease late last year, said he had not been vaccinated and would not consider having the shot until “I don’t have the antibodies anymore.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination regardless of previous infection, citing “tthe severe health risks associated with Covid-19 and the fact that reinfection with Covid-19 is possible.” Giuliani, 35, said he is screened for antibodies on a daily basis.
Giuliani, a first-time presidential candidate, most recently served in former President Donald Trump’s White House following a short career as a professional golfer. In the deep blue state, he faces long odds in both the Republican primary and any general election campaign.
Before facing Cuomo, who has not yet declared his candidacy for a fourth term, Giuliani will have to win a Republican primary that already features two candidates with more experience and ties to the current state GOP. In addition, Giuliani’s closeness to Trump could help Democrats rally after a potentially fractious primary.
Since 2002, when former Governor George Pataki was re-elected to a third term, no Republican has held statewide office in New York.
Cuomo will be a strong favourite if he seeks and wins the Democratic nomination again next year, despite controversies surrounding sexual assault charges and information-sharing related to nursing home Covid-19 deaths. He has yet to say if he will seek re-election to a fourth term.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, as well as state assembly members, are now investigating him. The US attorney’s office in Brooklyn, along with the FBI, is investigating the processing of data concerning Covid-19 deaths in long-term care facilities earlier this year, according to CNN.
‘The Giuliani playbook‘ is a book written by Rudy Giuliani.
The younger Giuliani stated that his father, whom he described as America’s “greatest” mayor, would be involved in the campaign. He went on to say that the two had discussed it extensively and that it would be “foolish” not to “use him as an asset.”
He told reporters that “there is no more powerful playbook than the Giuliani playbook,” and that “we will be implementing the Giuliani playbook to ensure that we can turn around New York state.”
Giuliani’s early rhetoric has been less inflammatory and more in line with familiar Republican criticism of Cuomo’s treatment of the pandemic and the economy, despite the fact that he has talked up his friendship with Trump.
“One of the things New Yorkers will learn about me if they don’t know that already is that I’m a genuine guy. I’m not going to run away from my past,” Giuliani said at his kick-off event. “I worked four years in the White House with President Trump — I’ll say that right now. I’m not running from it, I’m not hiding from it.”
The attraction of a possible clash of political dynasties, according to Giuliani, who told CNN earlier in the day that he had addressed his campaign with Trump.
“The President said to me, ‘Holy smokes, Giuliani-Cuomo,’ he said. That reminds me of Ali-Frazier,'” According to Giuliani. “If it’s just the two of us, I think it’ll be the biggest race in the world.”
In 1994, Rudy Giuliani, then-mayor of New York City, famously endorsed Cuomo’s father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, over Republican challenger George Pataki. Pataki won the election, depriving Cuomo of a fourth term.
A Crowded field
Before facing off against more experienced New York Republicans including New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, another Trump supporter, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who ran a losing campaign for the same job in 2014, Andrew Giuliani would have to beat more seasoned New York Republicans.
On Tuesday afternoon, as he had done in the weeks leading up to his announcement, Giuliani concentrated on the state’s population decline, which would cost New York a congressional seat after the 2020 census. He has also expressed admiration for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican with strong ties to Trump who, if re-elected next year, could become a favourite in the GOP presidential primary in 2024.
“One of the first calls that I’m going to make on January 1st, 2023, is to Gov. DeSantis and tell him that his ride, his easy ride — it’s done with, Ron,” Giuliani said. “I’m sorry to say that. Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, they’re the ‘realtors of the year’ down in Florida. Not gonna be with a Gov. Giuliani.”
Giuliani said his time in Florida helping Trump settle in after he left the White House inspired him to run, telling CNN that the “intangible optimism” he felt there reminded him of “the feeling I used to get” in New York.
Jake Menges, a former lobbyist and attorney who partnered with Rudy Giuliani as mayor and helped launch Keep Florida Great, a Trump-aligned super PAC, will run the campaign of the younger Giuliani.
Problems with the law
In addition to the obvious obstacles ahead, the younger Giuliani’s campaign may be hampered by his father’s legal problems, whose popularity in New York has plummeted in the last decade. The decision of the former mayor to join Trump’s inner circle and become one of the national mouthpieces for the former President’s election conspiracy theories and lies has also harmed the family name.
“I love and I trust my father and I think he’s the subject of a political investigation,” Andrew Giuliani said on Tuesday, predicting that he would “be completely vindicated.”
The elder Giuliani has been cleared of any wrongdoing and has denied any wrongdoing. Authorities from the federal government recently investigated assets linked to him.