Election 2020

Giuliani v. Philadelphia: A recap of the former NYC mayor’s losing battle against Philly

From Four Seasons to “Eagles basketball,” five times the Trump campaign lawyer called out the city — and how that worked out for him.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks for the Trump campaign at Four Seasons Total Landscaping on Nov. 7, 2020

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks for the Trump campaign at Four Seasons Total Landscaping on Nov. 7, 2020

John Minchillo / AP Photo
michaelawinberg-2020-2

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Rudy Giuliani does not like Philadelphia. That’s become obvious this election season — but so has a simple truth: Philly is not a city to mess with.

The former New York City mayor-turned-Trump campaign lawyer was in Gettysburg Wednesday, testifying on “election issues” before the Pa. Senate Majority Policy Committee at a meeting where no actual legislation could be introduced.

The cameo looked similar to the rest of his visits to the commonwealth. Giuliani lambasted the state — especially Philadelphia, and to a lesser extent, Pittsburgh — for false, so-called “irregularities” in the vote-counting process. And like the rest of his visits, it wasn’t very effective.

Presidential election results have been certified in Pennsylvania. Which means Giuliani’s last-ditch effort to block certification — which on Wednesday was approved by a Commonwealth Court but then stayed on appeal — would only stop down-ballot races from becoming officials.

To date, the grand majority of the Trump campaign’s election lawsuits in the commonwealth have been tossed, and the single act of voter fraud discovered was by a Luzerne County Republican.

That hasn’t stopped Giuliani’s repeated attacks, with a special focus on the state’s biggest city.

From Four Seasons to “Eagles basketball,” here are five times the unwitting “Borat” star has called out Philly — and how those claims worked out.

The pre-Election Day Philly rally

What he said: “Enthusiasm doesn’t get measured in polls.”

Where he said it: The Trump campaign’s Northeast Philly office on Columbus Day, Oct. 12

What happened next: Most polls predicted Joe Biden would win the presidency. The former VP went on to do just that, with votes from Philadelphia pushing his lead over the edge.

The day-after-the-election Philly airport press conference

What he said: “Trump has definitely won Pennsylvania. Do you think we are stupid?”

Where he said it: Philadelphia International Airport on Nov. 4

What happened next: President Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania, and the only confirmed case of voter fraud in the state was by a registered Republican in Luzerne County.

The infamous Four Seasons Total Landscaping moment

What he said: “This city has a sad history of voter fraud. It’s illegal. It’s unconstitutional. And we will be bringing action.”

Where he said it: Four Seasons Total Landscaping on Nov. 8, at the very moment AP was calling the race for Biden

What happened next: Philadelphia and neighboring Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks counties all certified their election results this week showing Biden won, and most of the Trump campaign’s local lawsuits have since been tossed.

A Pennsylvania court hearing

What he said: “What did they steal really? Well, they stole an election. These results are way more than enough to overturn the results.”

Where he said it: A Pennsylvania Supreme Court hearing on Nov. 17

What happened next: Later that day, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected Giuliani’s claim that Philly election officials violated state election law.

The hair dye press conference 

What he said: “[Voter fraud] happens all the time. It’s about as common as people getting beaten up at a Philadelphia Eagles basketball, football game.”

Where he said it: A Republican National Committeepress conference in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 19

What happened next: The Philadelphia Eagles continue to be exclusively a football team, and rowdiness is much more common at their games than voter fraud is in Philadelphia. Also, this was the moment when hair dye, or whatever it was, dripped down the side of Giuliani’s face.

Want some more? Explore other Election 2020 stories.

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