Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Guliani Accuses Crist Staffer of Leaking Campaign Plans

Former NY mayor, and 2008 presidential hopeful, Rudolph Giuliani is accusing a campaign aide of just sworn-in Charlie Crist of stealing and leaking documents which outlined the former mayor's campaign plans.

A White House strategy playbook belonging to Rudolph Giuliani vanished during a campaign swing and was leaked to the press – and Giuliani staffers suspect the leak was the work of an aide to new Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, according to the New York Post.


Both Giuliani and his 2008 rival John McCain made trips to Florida to stump for the Crist campaign. Gov. Crist has been described as a "strong ally" of McCain, and this has certainly factored in to Giuliani's suspicions concerning his campaign play book. Florida is believed to be one of the most important battleground states for 2008. Both candidates - as well as other GOP hopefuls - have begun staking-out their fundraising contacts in Florida. Giuliani's camp views the leak of documents has potentially damaging when it comes to campaign donors.
(NY Post) But the book was potentially damaging for Giuliani among political insiders and uncommitted donors, whom McCain has been moving to lock up on his side.
For his part, McCain is claiming to know nothing about the source of the leak.

The Buzz has obtained a comment from Gov. Crist.
Gov. Crist said today he knew nothing about the matter (Giuliani's folks won't say whether or not the campaign plan disappeared while stumping for Crist), but of Giuiliani's leaked campaign plan he said, "I hope it's a good one." Per the Daily News, the plan called for recruiting Jeb Bush's fundraiser Ann Herberger to put her on retainer for $216,000. Herberger wound up jumping on board with Mitt Romney.
One thing is for sure about the 2008 presidential race and the State of Florida: Both Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist are very popular among Florida Republicans, and whoever each chooses to support will come to the state with an advantage over the rest of the field. Right now Giulani doesn't have the support of either Bush or Crist (Bush has lined-up behind Mitt Romney).

My prediction is that - leak or no leak - Giuliani's hopes in Florida, and among Florida donors, are minimal at best.

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