Former Massachusetts governor and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney made a stop in the city Tuesday to meet with mayors past and present.
The likely Republican nominee for president brought pizzas to a firehouse in SoHo with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.
Engine 24 Ladder 5 lost 11 members on September 11th. Giuliani also briefly made the firehouse a command post after walking uptown from the World Trade Center.
"I'm really glad that Governor Romney picked this firehouse as a place to pay tribute to our firefighters who after all were the first responders to this terrorist war against us, which is a war that still continues that we still have to be vigilant about. Governor Romney certainly understands that," Giuliani said.
Earlier in the day, Romney says he met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a private breakfast where they discussed some of the mayor's signature issues including immigration, education, budget reform, illegal guns and federal government's treatment of the city.
"Mayor and I had a very nice chat this morning, we talked about the progress this city is making, its really quite an extraordinary story when you look at the number of murders that are down in the city, the economic revitalization of the city, you have to look about what this city has done under this mayor and under Mayor Bloomberg," Romney said.
Romney said he did not ask for Bloomberg’s endorsement, but it surely wouldn’t be unwelcome.
Bloomberg also golfed with Vice President Joe Biden last weekend, and recently lunched with the president at the White House. But on Tuesday, he said he had not picked sides yet.
“We’re not going to do anything today. We’ll see down the road," said Bloomberg. "I think both are very smart, very formidable candidates. They’re very different, and they give the public a real choice.”
At the time of bin Laden's death, Giuliani hosted President Barack Obama at a firehouse. Now, both the former mayor and Romney said Obama should not make it a campaign issue.
"Had I been president of the United States, I would have made the same decision the president made, which was to remove him," Romney said. “I think politicizing it, and try to draw a distinction between himself and myself, was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together.”
“If he wants to take credit for it, I have no problem with that at all. I wish he wouldn’t use it as a source of negative campaigning,” said Giuliani.
Romney’s trip did not include much interaction with the general public, short of a heckler who interrupted his brief news conference by shouting, “Mitt Romney, you’re a racist!”
The heckler later identified herself as an Occupy Wall Street protester.