|Michael Bloomberg denied a White House run.|
Joseph D. Malone, the former Republican Massachusetts state treasurer who backed Rudy Giuliani for president, is following the lead of the former New York City mayor and endorsing Senator John McCain for the GOP nomination.
Malone said yesterday that he decided against supporting Mitt Romney because he believes McCain's experience in foreign affairs and his background in other national public policy issues far outweigh the former governor's credentials.
"Mitt is not at the presidential level yet," Malone said, two days after McCain won the Florida primary and emerged as the front-runner in the race. On Wednesday, Giuliani announced he was dropping out of the race and endorsed the Arizona senator.
Another Bay State Republican, Paul Cellucci, a former governor who had endorsed Giulani, said yesterday that he has not made a decision now that Giuliani halted his campaign. "I want to talk to Rudy," he said.
Cellucci is not expected to endorse Romney, according to those who have talked with him since the Florida primary this week. His and Malone's rejection of Romney's candidacy reflect the division within the Massachusetts Republican leadership that is hurting Romney as he works to carry the state in Tuesday's primary election. Jane Swift, another Republican and former acting governor, endorsed McCain early in the campaign.
The California Republican announced he is supporting McCain in the GOP primary next week, seeming to lower the expectation that he could be one of Bloomberg's biggest boosters if the mayor ran for the White House.
In a visit to Google's offices in New York City, Bloomberg said he is not a presidential candidate and that he'll "stay that way."
While Bloomberg typically says he is "not a candidate," he has given his aides and supporters freedom to promote the idea and study what it would take to mount a third-party campaign.
The mayor had also cultivated a key relationship with Schwarzenegger, holding a fund-raiser for his reelection campaign.
But yesterday in Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger endorsed McCain, praising him as an "extraordinary leader" who can reach across the political aisle to get things done.
The ratings, based on 99 votes, are detailed in today's issue. The scores come from the lawmakers' votes on foreign policy, and economic and social issues.
The magazine said Obama took the liberal position on 65 of the 66 votes in which he participated, while Clinton voted the liberal position on 77 of 82. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, did not participate in enough votes to receive a score.
City records show that Antoin Rezko, chairman of Rezmar Corp. of Chicago, contributed $1,000 to Villaraigosa's mayoral campaign in May 2001. Those records show Rezko also donated $500 to another Villaraigosa political committee in March 2003.
Villaraigosa's office did not respond to repeated calls and an e-mail for comment.
Obama's campaign has given to charity nearly $150,000 in contributions from Rezko, his employees, his associates, and his family.
Maine's GOP polling today, tomorrow, and Sunday might be the Texas congressman's best shot at winning a state, and such a feat would be big coming just days before next week's Super Tuesday presidential preference contests.