Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: On Winning the Presidency and the War on Terrorism

Revised at 12:25 pm on Tuesday to add Video and other links.
Mayor Giuliani, frontrunner in the Republican Presidential primary, spoke at a funder in Chicago [See here] for about forty minutes on Monday at a lunch event at the Union League Club of Chicago. The event attracted about 50 supporters, including Illinois House minority leader Tom Cross-- Giuliani’s Chairman of his campaign in Illinois and Ron Gidwitz, Giuliani’s Finance Committee Chairman in Illinois and Co-Chairman of his campaign in Illinois. Gidwitz, viewed as a Republican social moderate, ran in the Primary for Governor in November, 2006, coming in 4th out of four major candidates [winning about 10% of the vote in his first run for elective office].
Go here to watch Mayor Giuliani speaking at a June, 2006 funder for then 8th CD candidate David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills). This is a fairly good introduction to "The Essential Rudy Giuliani."
The Giuliani Campaign sought to obtain $2300 from each attendee at yesterday's funder. If they succeeded, that would have brought in about $115,000. Not bad for an hour’s work; quite a Living Wage.

After the event, Giuliani stopped briefly to answer a few questions from the media members who were waiting outside the funder. **************************************************************
Jeff Berkowitz: Mayor, as you know, the President and the War are very, very unpopular now. If that stays the same in ’08-- you’re a big supporter of Bush, you’re a big supporter of the War-- how do you win in the general election in ’08?

Mayor Rudy Giuliani: My views are determined by what I think is right for America. I have been in public service more of my life than anything else, including in the federal government. The essence of leadership—and I have written a book about it—is knowing your conscience, knowing what you believe is right and then—sure you have to consult public opinion and popular opinion—but I think too many people in public office are affected too much by polls. The long-term view is the important thing here. I will try to make my decisions based on what is best for the long-term interests for the United States and then the Public has a right to judge that. It shouldn’t work the other way around. You shouldn’t be constantly changing your opinions as polls move one way or the other. If you do that, then you can never achieve long-term goals.
When asked by CBS-2 News’ Mike Flannery about criticism from Obama and others that Rudy was engaging in low blows by linking another terrorist attack on the U. S. to what Democrats are doing and saying, Rudy responded as reported, below.

Rudy Giuliani: …I was just pointing out that the Democrats want to put us on defense in the war on terrorism: Retreating in Iraq and then doing the extraordinary thing, which I still can’t figure out when this has been done before of giving your enemy a timetable of your retreat… which I think is unprecedented. Certainly that puts you on defense. The terrorists, including Al Qaeda, are trying to drive us out of Iraq. If we are going to wave the white flag and give them a schedule of our retreat and we are going to force the United States into that position, well then it seems to me that you are going on defense and I believe that the very, very best defense for America is a strong offense.

Rudy Giuliani: I believe that we need to use our military in a Way that preempts, so we don’t get attacked here. We need to have the Patriot Act; we need to have electronic surveillance, legal. We need to have interrogation techniques, aggressive but not torture. In many, many of the cases, many of the Democrats, not all, oppose most of those things. So, I think it is very, very fair to say that there is a big difference here between the Democratic candidates and the Republican candidates. It just comes out of their positions.
For a response to Giuliani by Cong. [and 2006 DCCC Chairman] Rahm Emanuel [D-Chicago, 5th CD] that argues, among other things, that all is OK because the Democratic Leadership, or at least some subset thereof, plans to leave 50,000 troops in Iraq "to hunt terrorists and ...", Go here to a report by Flannery .
For a video of Mayor Giuliani answering some questions before the Funder and a pessimistic assessment [with a creative video montage] by local Fox's political editor, Jack Conaty, of Giuliani's or any other Republican Presidential candidate's chances of carrying Illinois in 2008, go here.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at JBCG@aol.com