Gov. Rick Perry began his vice presidential audition in a tiny conference room on the second floor of a classy hotel in DC this morning with a comparison to the person Perry assumes will be the Democratic nominee.

"Rudy Giuliani is a leader who has a proven record, a leader who gets things done. A results oriented leader. He offers a much better vision than another Clinton presidency," he said.

"Experience matters for the next President of the United States and the mayor of America's largest city is amply prepared to be the next President of the United States," Perry said. Then, perhaps recognizing that he might as well have endorsed David Dinkins, he continued: "I'm not talking about just any mayor. I'm talking about America's mayor."

Perry also took a jab at Mitt Romney, saying that a "President should be able to respond to threats without dialing up their lawyer first." (Giuliani and his entourage laughed heartily).

Asked the inevitable question about Giuliani's moral liberalism, Perry compared Giuliani to an automobile. "When I go to buy a pick-up truck, if it's got one option that I'm not particularly fond of, I don't disregard that pick-up truck."

He said that Giuliani's promise to appoint "strict constructionist" judges in the mold of Scalia, Thompson and Alito was more than sufficient to convince him that Giuliani won't govern as a liberal.

Besides, he said, "Know that, versus the kind of judges that will Hillary Rodham Clinton [will appoint] to the court."

Giuliani offered a preview of sorts of his speech to the Family Research Council Values Voters convo on Saturday. He said he would say: "Let me explain to you that we're in this together and we look at the world in much the same way, probably more than you think... I very much come from the 80/20 school, where my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy." He recognized that for single issue voters, "I'm not going to get every vote."

Giuliani aides did not say why Perry chose to endorse today. Organizers at the Club for Growth conference, where Giuliani spoke immediately after the endorsement, were chagrined that the mayor had shoehorned a major endorsement before his early morning address, guaranteeing that the media would focus on that, rather than the Club speech.

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