Ed Koch Backing Bush Now, Hillary Later

By Robert B. Bluey | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

New York (CNSNews.com) - Former New York City Ed Koch said Wednesday he will tout his Democrat credentials and New York legacy in battleground states this fall on behalf of President Bush.

"They've asked me to go campaign in Florida and Ohio, so I think I'm reasonably known throughout the country as a New Yorker and a Democrat," Koch told CNSNews.com as he strolled the streets of Manhattan.

The three-term mayor who hails from the Bronx played an instrumental role in bringing the Republican National Convention to the Democrat-dominated city. But Koch said he is prepared to stand up to his liberal critics for aiding the GOP.

"I'm still a Democrat and I will be supporting Hillary in 2008," Koch said, perhaps referring to Sen. Hillary Clinton's rumored presidential campaign in four years. "But between Kerry and Bush, the country would be better off with Bush."

When asked if a former New York mayor would have much of an impact outside the Big Apple, Koch didn't mince words.

"I hope so," he said. "We'll know on Election Day."

Koch's picture appears on ads near Madison Square Garden welcoming Republicans. He promised the convention would be a boon for business, but he pleaded ignorant when asked about complaints that business wasn't as good as expected.

"That's the mayor's problem," Koch said of Michael Bloomberg. "But in terms of notoriety and fame and hype and excitement for the city, it couldn't be better."

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