Associated Press
May 13, 2000

Giuliani Cancels Campaign Speech


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Questioning whether he can salvage a Senate bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton and weighing his health and marital problems, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani scrapped a speech he was to deliver tonight to a Republican dinner.

''He needed to take some time to consider all his medical treatment,'' campaign spokeswoman Kim Serafin said.

Giuliani, diagnosed two weeks ago with prostate cancer and who this week announced plans to separate from his wife, was to have been the keynote speaker at tonight's Delaware County GOP dinner in Oneonta.

The mayor's campaign manager, Bruce Teitelbaum, said that as of this morning Giuliani had made no decision about the future of his campaign and wouldn't do so until he had had more time to consider his medical options.

''I don't know what he's going to do,'' Teitelbaum said.

The state party must nominate a candidate for the Senate race at its convention May 30.

Giuliani spent part of Friday with his political advisers. A source familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Giuliani sounded increasingly discouraged about the campaign's prospects.

His pessimism was reflected in ''the type of questions that he's asking and the kinds of comments he's making after we give him answers,'' the source said.

Giuliani, 55, announced two weeks ago he had treatable prostate cancer. This week, he disclosed he was seeking a legal separation from his wife of 16 years, Donna Hanover. Hanover alleged that their marital woes began several years ago over his relationship with a former press aide.

New polls indicate that voter dissatisfaction over the mayor's marital problems and concern about his health could become factors in his race with Clinton.

A New York Daily News/New York 1 poll released Friday found that 81 percent of New York voters said Giuliani's marital problems are a private matter. Nonetheless, 11 percent said the issue was relevant and made them see him more negatively as a candidate.

When asked if the combination of factors -- his treatable prostate cancer, the separation and his wife's claim that he had a previous relationship with a former staff member -- meant he should get out of the race, 63 percent said he should continue to run. Seventeen percent said he should pack up his campaign.

Asked Friday if he found the results heartening, Giuliani said: ''No, this is a very highly personal matter. My focus and concern are for all the people involved in it. I've never paid an awful lot of attention to polls.''

A New York Post/Fox TV poll from the end of April, conducted by Zogby International just after Giuliani announced he had cancer, found 12 percent of voters said the disease meant he was no longer a strong candidate. Eighty-two percent said he remained a strong candidate.

Several Republicans have indicated they might be willing to step into the race if Giuliani bows out. They include Reps. Rick Lazio and Peter King, Wall Street financier Theodore Forstmann, and state Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.

Giuliani made it clear that his health was his top priority when he talked about possibly canceling a few political events next week, including several fund-raisers.

''If some things are canceled, that's the reason they're being canceled,'' he said. ''There are things I couldn't do this week that I'm going to have to do next week.''

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