McCain pitches for 'soul mate' Giuliani

By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press, 4/5/2000

ORTHPORT, N.Y. - His ''Straight Talk Express'' a fond memory, John McCain began a new campaign for Republican candidates yesterday with Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Senate candidate and his ''soul mate'' on campaign finance reform.

''We need more mild-mannered, even-tempered individuals like Rudy and myself who will never rock the boat or say anything that's controversial in nature,'' the Arizona senator said during a town hall meeting at American Legion Post 694. ''I look forward to having a soul mate in the United States Senate.''

In shirtsleeves, Giuliani took a page from McCain's book when he was told by an audience member that his Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, alleges that the mayor lacks the proper temperament to do his job in the scholarly Senate.

''Did she say that? Shut up! Sit down!'' Giuliani roared at his questioner, a twinkle in his eye. When the laughter died down, he acknowledged being ''very forceful in my advocacy.''

''Maybe Washington needs a little of that,'' he added, calling McCain his hero.

In turn, McCain said Giuliani would be an ''instant star in many respects'' if elected.

Basking in McCain's glow, Giuliani criticized Clinton for spending soft, or unregulated, contributions on her campaign against him - even though the mayor is raising soft money as well.

Asked how he can support campaign finance reform and at the same time raise unregulated campaign funds, Giuliani replied: ''I have to be competitive.''

So far, Giuliani has raised $19 million while Clinton has collected about $12 million.