“I’m voting for Donald Trump, and I’m urging other people to vote for Donald Trump,” former New York mayor and one-time presidential hopeful Rudolph Giulani told CNN, in what seems like a pretty clear-cut. But that was just before he insisted to Chris Cuomo that he wasn’t actually endorsing Trump.
Before we get to Giuliani’s explanation, here’s the definition of “endorse” from Merriam-Webster:
to publicly or officially say that you support or approve of (someone or something)
Okay, cool! Giuliani endorsed Trump by any reasonable definition. But, uh…he insists he didn’t? Let’s get Giuliani’s take:
Okay, so here’s Giuliani’s logic about why this isn’t an endorsement:
1. For him to endorse means that he joins the candidate’s campaign.
2. He’s not joining the campaign.
3. Why? Because he doesn’t “know” the campaign.
No. 1 is his personal, inaccurate definition of the word “endorse.” No. 2 makes it sound like he really doesn’t want to campaign for Trump. And no. 3 is the most evasive logic possible, because—and this is going wayyyyy out on a limb—I bet he could get to know the campaign pretty easily. I bet, call me crazy, that Trump would even reach out!
Here are the conclusions I draw from this: Giuliani either agrees with Trump’s policies or is close enough with him to say that he’ll vote for him on national television. On the other hand, he’s probably kind of embarrassed by some of the uglier parts of Trump’s campaign, and doesn’t want to be associated with it in a highly visible way, a la Chris Christie. Which, I suppose, is fair enough, but in this wild campaign cycle, there are no half-measures, and Giuliani needs to bite the bullet: You just endorsed Trump, Mr. Mayor. Congrats?