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Giuliani to endorse McCain

Following a devastating loss in the Florida primary, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani will give up his pursuit of the GOP nomination Wednesday and back Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Giuliani’s concession speech left little doubt that he was ready to quit the race as he repeatedly referred to his campaign in the past tense.

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“The responsibility of leadership doesn't end with a single campaign,” the former mayor said, adding, that he was proud to have chosen to “stay positive and to run a campaign of ideas…”

“We ran a campaign that was uplifting,” Giuliani stated.

The Associated Press later confirmed that the former mayor, who rose to national prominence following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, would not only leave the race but also support McCain.

Giuliani will undoubtedly face many questions about his strategy to not seriously compete in the early states and instead focus on Florida.

While the former mayor spent most of last year with a double-digit lead as the national frontrunner, many reporters and pundits were reluctant to dismiss that strategy, particularly in light of the fluidity of the GOP race and the unprecedented frontloading of the primary schedule.

But after Christmas, when the national news media took their luggage and attention to Iowa and New Hampshire and beyond, Giuliani nearly vanished from the conversation.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary, the wheels seemed to come off that strategy as the back-and-forth between new frontrunners Romney and McCain dominated the news coverage and sparse crowds reportedly greeted Giuliani’s “maiden campaign flight.”

After former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee split the early contests with McCain and Romney, there appeared to be a sliver of hope for Giuliani but he was never fully able to reinsert himself into the collective minds of the electorate.

Giuliani’s big state strategy and his demise is undoubtedly welcome news in Iowa and New Hampshire, as it proves in some measure that future candidates can skip their contests only at their own peril.

Republican strategist Scott Reed said Giuliani’s game plan will likely be remembered as “historically stupid.”