Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani today responded to persistent criticism from rival Ron Paul's campaign. In the process, Giuliani just might have unleashed a firestorm from Paul supporters known for fervent devotion to their candidate.
Giuliani was visibly annoyed by the fact that while he was campaigning inside a local eatery, a noisy crowd of several dozen Ron Paul supporters demonstrated outside, pressing large campaign signs against the windows including one which said "Hey Rudy, is that lady another cousin?"
"Ron Paul is dangerous. I think he's nuts and so is anyone who thinks he'd make a good president; and my cousin here agrees with me too" Guiliani said while eating and shaking hands with customers at the Poughkeepsie Bagel Stop in New York.
"This Ron Paul guy keeps saying we can't bomb Iran, we have to come home from Iraq and we shouldn't be in Pakistan, North Korea, or practically anywhere else. He doesn't have what it takes to be president because when you are president, bombing other nations is something you do, and he wouldn't. If Ron Paul somehow got elected I'm sure he wouldn't bomb anyone."
Giuliani, who frequently has been criticized for mentioning his role in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks also said: "I was at 9/11, Ron Paul wasn't even there, so he shouldn't talk about it anymore. I'll bomb anyone I have to and I'll bomb them quick."
Other campaigns were quick to support Giuliani's statement, which some analysts think may point to the emergence of a new ABP Movement---Anyone But Paul.
According to Morton Finkerman, a political analyst with the Wisconsin based independent think tank Strategies for the New World there is a growing concern by many Republican Party activists that Ron Paul has brought into their party an unwelcome and unstable element. Finkerman concludes "Ron Paul's campaign has energized a whole new class of voters and frankly, it scares the beejeezus out of traditional Republican activists. They'd love to get rid of Ron Paul but what are you going to do? He has so many people out in the streets, everywhere you go there he is again. A lot of people have been burning the midnight oil trying to figure out a way to bury his candidacy."
Fred Thompson was asked what he thought about Giuliani's remarks and quipped "I think the whole Ron Paul campaign would make an excellent comedy show, and I know something about what makes a good show. It should be on the Comedy Channel and probably would get very high ratings. I mean that stuff when his supporters chased Sean Hannity down the sidewalk and threw snowballs at him, that was a whole episode right there."
US Senator John McCain's campaign said their candidate only wanted to discuss serious campaigns and issued a one sentence statement: "We're going to miss the congressman from Texas."
The crowd of Ron Paul supporters grew louder as Giuliani exited to a chorus of boos and a loudspeaker blaring Aimee Allens song Ron Paul Revolution.