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GOPers eye McCain after Rudy’s fall

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn Republicans — yes, they exist! — are determined to not go down with Rudy Giuliani’s sinking ship.

Most of the borough’s few elected Republicans and many of its elephant-adorned activists had sworn allegiance to “America’s Mayor” months ago, but when he suddenly dropped out of the race on Wednesday, most scrambled aboard the bandwagon of Arizona Sen. John McCain.

“If it’s not Rudy on the top of the ticket, McCain would have the strongest pull at the polls,” said Craig Eaton, chairman of the county Republican Committee.

Only a few days ago, party stalwarts were standing behind Giuliani as they had for more than a year. But his departure caused flip-flopping.

Flip: “More than any other candidate, [Rudy] believes he needs to stay on the offensive in the war on terror,” Young Republicans Club President Robert Capano said last week.

Flop: “There’s not much of a difference between Rudy Giuliani and John McCain,” Capano said on Wednesday. “McCain would indeed be the strongest candidate to take on a Democratic.”

Indeed, in these mournful post-Giuliani days, every Brooklyn GOPer seemed to be backing McCain.

“He’s an electable Republican and he’ll be infinitely better than whoever is the Democratic candidate,” said Eric Miller, of the 75-person-strong Brownstone Republican Club.

Sure, he says that now, but last week, he too, planned to cast a ballot for Giuliani, because “McCain has some positions on global warming, interrogation of terrorists and business issues that are more than to the left than a lot of us are.”

That’s a sentiment Miller doesn’t often share in Brooklyn, where Democrats outnumber Republicans seven to one.

“You have to really believe to be a Republican in New York City,” said Miller, “and you don’t bring it up at cocktail parties.”

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