Andrew Giuliani, the son of former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, has announced he will run for New York governor next year.
In an interview with the NY Post, Giuliani said, "I’m a politician out of the womb. It’s in my DNA." He added, "Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes. It's Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. We can sell tickets at Madison Square Garden."
The 35-year-old grew up before New Yorkers' eyes when he became instantly famous after stealing the show during his father's 1994 inauguration by hamming it up during the elder Giuliani's speech. The incident was later spoofed by Chris Farley and Kevin Nealon on Saturday Night Live.
Giuliani and his younger sister Caroline also weathered a particularly nasty divorce between his parents that played out during the waning years of Rudy Giuliani's mayoralty; he announced they were separating during a press conference in Bryant Park. The children were estranged from their father for years, and the younger Giuliani was "too busy" to help with his father's 2007 presidential campaign.
Father and son (though not Caroline) eventually patched things up: After a stint as a professional golfer, Andrew Giuliani worked for President Donald Trump, who also employed Giuliani's father as an attorney, in the Office of Public Liaison. According to a 2019 story from The Atlantic's Elaina Plott, "The public-liaison office deals with outreach to outside coalitions, and several of the current and former administration officials I spoke to for this story said Giuliani helps arrange sports teams’ visits to the White House."
Steve Munisteri, who was principal director of the public-liaison office and Giuliani’s supervisor from February 2017 to February 2019, told me that Giuliani fills out his time by serving as the office’s representative at White House meetings about the opioid crisis.
Others who have worked with Giuliani offered a different take on his White House tenure. “He doesn’t really try to be involved in anything,” one former senior White House official told me, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to be candid. “He’s just having a nice time.”
While Giuliani has never run for an election before, he told the Post, "I know we can defeat Andrew Cuomo in 2022. I am going to be the 57th governor of New York," and cited Cuomo's handling of nursing homes and longterm care centers during the pandemic.
“Cuomo didn’t use the USS Comfort ship or the Javits Center to house seniors with COVID. He didn’t want to give President Trump a political victory," Giuliani claimed.
"I always believed that New York will come back. I always believed that it will come back. But I don't want to wait till I'm a grandfather till it comes back. I want to do it now," he said on Joe Piscopo's radio show on Tuesday.
Cuomo was first elected to office in 2010, but 2022 could be his biggest challenge, as he faces multiple investigations over how he handled nursing homes as well as sexual harassment allegations from staffers. So far, Rep. Lee Zeldin and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino have also thrown their hat into the ring for the Republican nomination as well.
Another Republican, Joel Giambra, is also looking to run in 2022 (after a brief unsuccessful run in 2018)—he believes the New York State Democratic Party will use any candidate's ties to Trump as ammunition. "This is not Alabama. Joe Biden won by about two million votes," he said to the Wall Street Journal. "I don’t know how any Republican who was a Trump supporter can overcome that kind of voter enrollment disadvantage."
Andrew Giuliani, who has lately been defending his father, also flirted with running for mayor this year. When asked about the young Giuliani's political aspirations, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his press briefing, "I don't know Andrew Giuliani. I don't want the hold the sins of the father against the son, although the son just got done working for a president who supported an insurrection of the United States."
De Blasio added, "This state is not going to smile upon someone who was a Donald Trump supporter or aide."
Additional reporting by Andy Mai