ABC Newsâ€™ Jan Simmonds reports: Speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition this morning, Rudy Giuliani, R-NY, wasted no time in fighting back criticism from his GOP rivals.
â€œAm I real Republican?â€? Giuliani asked the crowd while not naming his critics by name. â€œI gave my blood for the Republican Party in New York. I often say I was the first Republican mayor in New York in 25 years. And I was the first to remain one in 50 years.â€?
On Friday, Mitt Romney, R-MA, called himself a "real Republican through and through." Romney's comments have been interpreted by some as saying some of his opponents within the party, such as Giuliani, are not.
And yesterday during a myriad of stops in the Big Apple, Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., attacked Giulianiâ€™s credentials as both a Republican and a conservative.
â€œI don't thinkâ€¦ that the mayor has ever claimed to be a conservative,â€? said Thompson in an interview with Fox News Channel. â€œHe has sought and received the liberal party nomination. The liberal party put out a press release at the time saying he thinks the way we do.â€?
Giuliani, who touts his conservative credentials in almost every speech -- especially his fiscal conservative merits -- has made a concerted effort to convince naysayers that he is a conservative Republican.
To that point, Giuliani often quotes conservative columnist George Will who has credited Giuliani with running the most conservative government in the last 50 years.