NEW YORK – Calling himself a "liberal with sanity," former mayor Ed Koch (search) — a lifelong Democrat — said he decided to support President Bush in the 2004 election because of Bush's stance on Iraq.
"While I don't agree with Bush on any domestic matters, there's only one matter that's important in this race, and that relates to standing up to international terrorism, taking it on — and George Bush (search) has established that he is willing to do that," Koch said in an interview broadcast Sunday on WNBC-TV's "News Forum."
Koch crossed party lines earlier this year to endorse Bush. He said Bush's unwavering opinions contrasted favorably with what he called the "hypocrisy" of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who Koch said wavered on Iraq and gay marriage.
Koch was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (search) to recruit volunteers for the national Republican convention later this month, a role Koch conceded seemed "strange" to his friends.
"Whenever I go to a party, I will ask everybody 'who are you voting for?' And generally I'm the only one saying I'm voting for Bush," he said.
The former mayor, who has long fielded questions about his sexuality, called the uproar over New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey's (search) resignation "a Greek tragedy."
"I don't think people are distressed in largest numbers ... about his lover who is male. I think they're distressed that he put his lover on the payroll," he said.
Koch said he had never specified his own sexual orientation out of a desire for privacy.
"If there's one area of privacy, it's still sexual activity," he said. "Although I will tell you, at the age of 80, I consider any question concerning my sexual exploits to be complimentary."