As expected, in a press conference at the Reagan Library just now, Rudy Giuliani officially left the presidential race and threw his support to Sen. John McCain. In sometimes halting speech, with an awkward-looking McCain standing beside him (McCain also kept reading Giuliani’s speech over his shoulder), Giuliani said, “I made it clear at different times during this campaign that if I had not decided to run the one person in this country that I clearly would have supported for president of the United States would be John McCain … My country will have a candidate for president of the United States where I can rest very assured for myself, for my children and for all of the people that we care about so much that this is a man who is prepared to be president of the United States at a time of great peril. We share a similar vision for the future of our party, a similar vision of the major challenges facing our nation.”
Giuliani promised to give his all in campaigning for McCain (“as much as he wants — or not,” Giuliani said, prompting one of the few smiles by McCain during Giuliani’s speech).
Speaking after his newest supporter, McCain seemed to pick up right where Giuliani left off. During his campaign, Giuliani had referred to the events of Sept. 11 so often that the Onion joked, “Giuliani to Run for President of 9/11.” Apparently, that verbal tic is contagious, as it now seems to be affecting McCain, who spoke almost exclusively about 9/11 when discussing Giuliani. “I, like all Americans, will never forget the defining moment of recent American history, the tragedy of 9/11,” McCain said. “And I saw Rudy Giuliani unite this nation in a way that made us all proud … I want to say I not only thank him for his friendship, I want to thank him for his leadership of America.”