Giuliani defends Gingrich during campaign stop in Nevada

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Newt Gingrich's admission of having an
extramarital affair as he pursued President Clinton's impeachment
in the Monica Lewinsky affair has been defended by Republican
presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani, speaking to reporters during a campaign stop late
Saturday afternoon in Reno, said the episode shows no one is
perfect and the former House speaker can improve by learning from
"I think the American people realize, and I'm speaking for
myself now, we've made a lot of mistakes, and hopefully we've done
some good things in our lives and it's probably always been that
way," he said.
"The American people have to judge who is the most effective
leader. They will not find a perfect person, and that's probably
good because we all have imperfections. Sometimes when you go
through things like that in your life, you can become a better
person," he said.
Giuliani, who has been married three times and has chilly
relations with his children, visited Reno for a private,
$1,000-per-person fund-raiser.
While he called Gingrich "one of the smartest people in
American politics," the former New York City mayor said it was
premature to say whether he would consider him as a running mate.
Many polls identify Giuliani as the front-runner in the
Republican presidential primary. Gingrich is considered a possible
GOP presidential contender, although he has not announced any
intention to run.
About a dozen anti-war protesters waved placards near the house
where the evening fund-raiser was held. They criticized Giuliani's
support of both the war in Iraq, and the expansion of police powers
under the USA Patriot Act and other legislation.
"As a presidential candidate and a firm supporter of
(President) Bush's policies, we want to let the public know that
his views are not those of the majority of Americans," said Lisa
Stiller of the Reno Anti-War Coalition.
Giuliani said he respected the opinion of protesters, but
disagreed with their views.
"We'll be more at risk to terrorists" if the job isn't
finished in Iraq, he said. "We have to have perseverance and we
have to stay on the offensive. If we don't, we'll go back to the
pre-9-11 days."
Republican strategists said the fund-raiser at the Reno home of
developer and casino owner Roger Norman was expected to net more
than $200,000 for Giuliani.
His visit comes three days after Nevada Republicans approved a
presidential caucus for next Feb. 7, six weeks earlier than
previously scheduled.
The move is an attempt to keep pace with Nevada Democrats, whose
caucus was moved up to Jan. 19, the second in the nation behind
"I think it'll make Nevada very relevant" in the presidental
selection process, Giuliani said.
At Costco, Giuliani signed autographs and posed for photographs
with customers and employees. He also bought the book "Nixon and
Mao," and several movie DVDS, including "My Fair Lady," and
"Yankee Doodle Dandy."
"I love old movies," he said. "They have much better prices
here than back home."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)