Brilliant, as a quick scroll through the comments to the Rudy/NYC post from a few days ago will attest. This crack was ostensibly aimed at Giuliani’s gun control policies but Fred’s tapping into something much bigger here and he knows it — namely, the mixture of disgust, resentment, and envy with which the rest of the country regards New York and its cultural influence. Smart regional politics, especially in the context of his new offensive against “phony conservatives.” Who could be phonier to the GOP’s southern base than a city boy from Manhattan calling himself a Republican?

Thompson, campaigning at a New Hampshire gun store with stuffed moose and deer overhead, told reporters that Giuliani too often turns to his time as New York mayor to explain his support for stronger gun restrictions.

“He relates everything to New York City. Well, New York City is not emblematic of the rest of the country, I don’t think. I think the sentiments of those people in the rest of the country are in support of the Second Amendment — which is where I’ve always been and I don’t think he’s ever been,” Thompson said…

“(Giuliani) simply supported just about every gun control legislation that came down the pike. I just disagree with him on that,” Thompson said. “I saw he was at bill signing ceremonies with (New York Sen.) Chuck Schumer and President Clinton and others for gun control legislation over the years. Of course, he’s not as outspoken about it any more.”

He also copped to having had his own skeet shoot, bought his infant son a camo t-shirt, and paused for a few bites of moose chili. Authentic.