The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2008

October 24, 2008

Giuliani touts Coleman in Mankato

MANKATO — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani drew scores of supporters early Friday to the Mankato Happy Chef restaurant, and the unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate urged the crowd to work hard to get Sen. Norm Coleman re-elected to a second term.

“Now is not the time to be electing inexperienced people and giving them on-the-job training,” Giuliani said in reference both to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Coleman challenger Al Franken.

“And he brought hockey back,” a man in the crowd shouted, throwing Giuliani a bit off stride.

While Giuliani probably didn’t know about the Coleman campaign ad where Minnesotans repeatedly remind viewers that the former St. Paul mayor worked to return the National Hockey League to Minnesota, the former New York mayor talked of Coleman’s executive experience in St. Paul. And he contrasted it with Franken’s career, much of it focused on attempting to make people laugh.

“Comedians have their place,” Giuliani said. “And mayors have their place. ... We need Norm Coleman. Get him elected, OK?”

Several polls have shown Coleman, a first-term senator, locked in a tight race against the Democratic Franken with Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley running third.

Coleman said his spirits were lifted by Giuliani’s support, which included a Twin Cities fundraiser Thursday and later stops Friday morning in Owatonna and Rochester, and by the crowd that packed the meeting room of Happy Chef.

“The future of Minnesota and America really is on the line,” Coleman said of the upcoming election.

He promised, if supporters work hard in the next 10 days to get him elected, to work hard for another six years on their behalf. Coleman specifically said he would strive to block too much federal involvement in health care, oppose higher taxes, support efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil and put decisions regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the hands of commanding generals.

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Election 2008