Liberal New York Republican to vote for liberal New York Republican

No no, that headline’s unfair. There are lots of differences between them politically. For one thing, Giuliani’s pro-choice whereas Trump is … pro-life-ish? Sort of?

Trump, Giuliani, and Chris Christie are birds of a feather in that they’re all centrists by disposition but authoritarian by temperament. That authoritarianism has given them credibility among two types of righties, those who are “culturally conservative” and don’t care much about small-government dogma and those who do care about dogma but are willing to trade some ideological cred for effective law-and-order governance. On top of that, Trump and Giuliani have been chums for decades as city power-brokers. How could Rudy support anyone else?

“I support Trump. I’m gonna vote for Trump,” Giuliani told The Post Thursday…

He said Cruz’s dumping on New York “values” to score political points rankled him.

“It’s New York City. We’re family. I can make fun of New York. But you can’t!” he said…

“Trump is a negotiator. He negotiates from a high bar to get people’s attention. Threatening to withdraw from NATO will get a better deal with NATO,” Giuliani said.

He also said he supports Trump’s focus on immigration, among other issues, which is interesting given that Giuliani maintained a sanctuary city policy as mayor and defended illegals’ right to various city benefits, both of which became issues in the primary when he ran for president in 2007. Those were examples of Rudy’s centrism trumping (no pun intended) his law-and-order inclinations. Nine years later, maybe his priorities have changed. This new poll from Gallup may help explain why:

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Not only is 53 percent the highest mark since 2001, the 10-point leap since last year is easily the highest single-year gain on the board. Amid all the hot takes about Trumpmania being driven by economic anxiety, don’t underestimate how perceptions that crime is rising might be boosting him too. If there’s any politician in America who can appreciate how crime rates translate into political popularity, it’s Rudy.

If I were Trump, I’d put him to work as a media surrogate and not just for the next two weeks before New York votes either. He has a reservoir of goodwill from his days as “America’s Mayor” after 9/11 and he has less at stake than Chris Christie, who seems AWOL from the trail lately. A theory among Trump critics is that Trump’s highest profile endorsers tend to be people with no future in the party, who have plenty of time on their hands because they’re no longer angling for higher office. Giuliani, a much older man, fits that description more than Christie does. (Although, let’s face it — unless Trump wins this fall, Christie has no real future in the party either.) Besides, Trump desperately needs an upgrade in the quality of his surrogates. For example, here’s Ben Carson defending Corey Lewandowski this morning on CNN by noting that people get charged with minor crimes like misdemeanor battery all the time without anything being proved. Haven’t you ever been charged with something, he asks the anchor. Er … no, comes the reply. Good talk, doc.