Rudy Giuliani, fresh off a weekend visit to California, is set to nab the support of one of the Golden State’s most influential lawmakers as sources confirmed that Rep. David Dreier (R) is expected to endorse the former New York mayor’s 2008 GOP presidential bid.
Dreier, the ranking member on the Rules Committee, is chairman of the state’s GOP delegation and his extensive ties to California’s lucrative business community make him one of his party’s leading fundraisers. He also is extremely close to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
Meanwhile, one of Giuliani’s top advisers was in Washington, D.C., Monday for meetings with his inner circle of House supporters.
Roy Bailey, a founding partner at Giuliani’s New York firm and a former finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party, is heading up the former mayor’s 2008 fundraising effort.
Among those who met with Bailey were GOP Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Peter King (N.Y.), Vito Fossella (N.Y.) and Pete Sessions (Texas), who are heading up the former mayor’s outreach efforts in the House.
Although early polls have shown Giuliani well-positioned to win his party’s presidential nod next year, he has lagged behind his top GOP rivals in the sprint to gather Congressional support. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) each have more than 20 public supporters scattered between the two chambers, while Giuliani’s public list of backers remains in the single digits.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced his support for Giuliani last week, as did Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.).
Giuliani was in Sacramento over the weekend to address the state GOP convention.
Dreier has played a key role in the state’s internal Republican politics for years, from redistricting to choosing statewide nominees.
“It’s a great pickup for Giuliani, he had already made significant inroads into California, but Dreier gives him a much stronger base here,” said Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant based in California who was a top adviser to McCain’s 2000 presidential bid.
“It’s helpful for fundraising,” Schnur continued. “It’s hugely helpful for developing a campaign infrastructure. But the most important benefit is Dreier’s knowledge of California. He played a critical role for Arnold Schwarzenegger during the recall campaign, and his knowledge of the state is going to serve Giuliani very, very well.”
One of Giuliani’s biggest impediments to winning the nomination next year is his moderate views on social issues.
While Dreier is a leader of the California party’s moderate wing, he disagrees with Giuliani’s stance on abortion and other social issues. However, the Congressman is in line with Giuliani on issues of national security, taxes and free trade.
Dreier and Giuliani campaigned together during Schwarzenegger’s 2006 re-election campaign.