NEW YORK - The New York Times editorial board has endorsed Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain in the presidential primary race.
In editorials posted Thursday on the newspaper's Web site, the board argued forcefully on Clinton's behalf, while saying that McCain, R-Ariz., was the best of a flawed GOP field with which the board had "strong disagreements."
The board said its case for Clinton, D-N.Y., was based on more than her accomplishments, adding that the senator "sometimes overstates the importance of resume."
"Hearing her talk about the presidency, her policies and answers for America's big problems, we are hugely impressed by the depth of her knowledge, by the force of her intellect and by the breadth of, yes, her experience," it said.
The board also spoke favorably of Clinton's main rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, calling him "incandescent." But it concluded that "we need more specifics to go with his amorphous promise of a new governing majority, a clearer sense of how he would govern."
"Voters have to judge candidates not just on the promise they hold, but also on the here and now."
The board wrote that it disagreed forcefully with the leading Republican candidates on Iraq, the economy and their support of President Bush.
But McCain, the editorial said "is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe."
The editorial also excoriated former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, saying that he "first shamelessly turned the horror of 9/11 into a lucrative business, with a secret client list, then exploited his city's and the country's nightmare to promote his presidential campaign."
"The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square," the board said.
New York is among more than 20 states that will hold primary contests on Feb. 5.
Asked about the editorial Thursday night at a Republican debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Giuliani said the Times attack was "because I probably never did anything The New York Times suggested I do in eight years as mayor of New York City. And if I did, I wouldn't be considered a conservative Republican.
"I changed welfare. I changed quality of life. I took on homelessness. I did all the things that they thought make you mean, and I believe show true compassion and true love for people," Giuliani said.
"So the reality is that I think there is serious ideological differences. That probably was some of the nicest language they've written about me in the last six months," he added.
On the Net:
New York Times editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/opinion/25fri1.html?-r1&refopinion&orefslogin