Thursday, 4:30 PM
Weld bonds with Romney
By Brian C. Mooney, GLOBE STAFF
Former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld has emerged as a major backer of Mitt Romney, despite a long friendship with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is a potential Romney rival in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
On social issues, Weld is also closer philosophically to the moderate Giuliani than he is to Romney, who has tacked to the right and strongly opposes abortion rights and gay marriage.
Weld, now a partner in the New York office of the McDermott Will & Emery law firm, was among a small army of fund-raisers in Boston Monday making phone calls to potential donors to Romney’s presidential exploratory committee. Weld estimated he raised about $50,000 from the campaign’s headquarters on the North End waterfront.
Weld is cochairman of Romney’s campaign in New York state. Last month, he was host of an event at the New York Athletic Club that introduced Romney to a large group of prominent New York Republicans.
Weld said Giuliani never formally asked him to back him if he ran for the White House.
"I don’t think he’d gotten to that point until the last month or so, and by then, I was with Romney." Weld said. Giuliani established his presidential exploratory committee in late November.
"It’s not that I don’t think Rudy Giuliani and [Arizona Senator] John McCain are both great Americans; I do," said Weld, referring to other top-tier figures mentioned in the GOP race. "It’s just that I think Mitt Romney is going to be and should be the next president of the United States."
Political allegiances aside, Weld and Giuliani remain "very friendly," Weld said Monday. "I think if you asked him, he’d say the same."
Attempts to reach Sunny Mindel, a spokeswoman for Giuliani, were unsuccessful.