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Giuliani accuses Democrats of seeking to ignite 'ethnic' and 'class' conflicts

October 11, 2010 |  5:04 pm

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani campaigned in Little Saigon on Monday with Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Assemblyman Van Tran, who is vying to unseat Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez in the 47th Congressional District, and blasted their rivals as "two of the most liberal members of the House and Senate" who are partly to blame for the nation’s economic slump.

Giuliani said Sanchez's recent remarks during a Spanish-language interview with Univision -- that "the Vietnamese" and Republicans were attempting to take "this seat from us" -- were "highly offensive" and an attempt to "make this race into some kind of an ethnic conflict, a class conflict, which is really what the Democrats are trying to do."

"These candidates stand for positive things," Giuliani said of Fiorina and Tran, noting their focus on creating jobs and revitalizing the economy, "not how do we divide people based on their ethnicity, race or religion and put them into little groups and have them fighting against each other. I think that's what the congresswoman has been about."  

Caroline Hogan, a spokeswoman for Sanchez, dismissed the former mayor's remarks in a statement: "The congresswoman's strong record of community development, opportunity and empowerment for all families in her district speaks for itself."

Giuliani, a Republican, also directed his ire at the Obama administration and Democratic control of Congress, claiming that the Democrats are moving the country toward "European social democracy" and calling the stimulus legislation they backed a "political payoff to Democratic constituencies and unions."

"They've taken over financial institutions, they've taken over healthcare, they want to take over energy — they basically want to create a very large gigantic government that is going to sit like a weight on our economy," he said.  

Echoing Fiorina's talking points, Giuliani said her Democratic opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, had been in Washington too long. "She wears us all down," Giuliani said of Boxer. "I mean, it is time for a change. Gosh almighty, hasn't it been long enough that she's been doing ruinous things for the state of California and the United States of America?"

The former mayor, who campaigned for Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman on Sunday, left the door open on his own political future.

Asked whether he would run for president in 2012, as he unsuccessfully did in 2008, Giuliani replied, "I have no idea."

-- Maeve Reston