02:49 - Source: CNN
Giuliani: My advice to Trump would be to debate

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is voting for Donald Trump

But he doesn't want that construed as an endorsement

New York CNN —  

Rudy Giuliani confirmed in a pair of interviews Thursday that he will vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming New York primary – but doesn’t want it called it an endorsement.

The former New York mayor insisted in an interview with The New York Times that his support should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Reached by CNN for comment, Giuliani spokeswoman Jo Ann Zafonte said Giuliani’s “statement speaks for itself” and said Giuliani “has not made any endorsement.”

“He’s my friend, and I think of the candidates, of the choices that I have, he’s the best choice for president,” Giuliani told the Times. “He’s a better choice than (Texas Sen. Ted) Cruz and a more realistic choice than (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich.”

Giuliani, who will serve as a Republican delegate from New York at the party’s convention, said he hopes to have more clout at the convention by not characterizing his vote for Trump as an endorsement.

Earlier on Thursday, Giuliani told the New York Post, “I support Trump. I’m gonna vote for Trump.”

The New York billionaire and Republican front-runner welcomed Giuliani’s vote in a statement Thursday, calling it “a great honor.”

“Everyone has tremendous respect for Rudy Giuliani and this is such a great honor. Rudy knows me well and therefore it is an even greater honor than it would normally be,” Trump said in a statement.

Giuliani told the Times that he agreed with most – but not all – of Trump’s positions, and said in the interview that he bristled at Trump’s tweet that included an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

“I didn’t like that,” Giuliani said.

He added that “the man that I know is not the man you see on television. He’s a gentleman, he’s a good father.”

In a rare admission, Trump has since acknowledged that tweeting the picture of Cruz’s wife was a “mistake.”