$9.11 for Rudy Giuliani

By: Lilian Kim, ABC News
By: Lilian Kim, ABC News

A fundraiser scheduled for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Sept. 27 is facing heavy criticism in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.

Supporters came up with a 9-11 theme, an idea many say exploits the tragic events of that day.

Rudy Giuliani became known as "America's Mayor" after 9/11. To many, the former mayor of New York displayed exemplary leadership in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and as a result, Giuliani saw his popularity soar.

Now, supporters of the Republican presidential candidate will be holding House parties throughout the U.S. in an effort to raise money for his campaign.

One of them will be held at a Palo Alto home where attendees are being asked to donate nine-dollars and eleven cents. It's called "$9.11 for Rudy."

"Whoever would propagate using Sept. 11, 2001 as a political platform is wrong," said Jack Grandcolas, a husband of a Flight 93 victim.

Jack Grandcolas lost his wife Lauren and unborn child on Flight 93.

He said to use the terrorist attacks in such a way is disrespectful to him and to all the victims of Sept. 11.

"You're treading on sacred ground and you're trying to use a tragedy to your benefit and that's wrong, it's just wrong," Grandcolas added.

Democratic presidential candidates chimed in--Christopher Dodd called the theme "unconscionable, shameless and sickening."

Bill Richardson said the event was "overdoing it".

But the Giuliani campaign says it had nothing to do with the "9.11 for Rudy" idea.

A spokesperson says volunteers who came up with the theme acted independently. We tried asking the homeowner who's hosting the event ourselves.

Patty O'Day is a Giuliani supporter who has nothing to do with the "9.11 for Rudy" theme, but to her, the idea is not at all offensive.

"Because he is the sort of the face of 9/11, they see him and they think of 9/11, so somebody thought they were doing a good marketing thing and I don't think it caused any harm at all," O'Day said.

Giuliani gained international attention during and after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

In 2001, Time Magazine named him person of the year and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.


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