Fox says Rudy is "ready." Oh, really?

Giuliani says the press can make you "look like a fool."



Tim Grieve
February 7, 2007 12:51AM (UTC)

All-but-official Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani sat down for an interview with Sean Hannity Monday, and Fox has the transcript up now under a headline that reads, "He's Ready!"

Is that right? We report, you decide:

Hannity: Are you in it to win it?

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Giuliani: Gosh, yes. I mean, that's the only reason to do it. I mean, first thing you have to do is say to yourself, "You know, what can I bring to it, what can I do that's, you know, different or -- and how can I make the country better? How can I improve it?" And I think that the experiences that I've had as mayor of New York City, United States attorney, all of them very, very, strongly, kind of in the executive area, where you have to have leadership, and organization, and focus, and having dealt with a city that was in really bad shape when I took over and that I had to kind of turn around, I think it gives you the background to approach it and to feel pretty comfortable that you can make a difference ...

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Hannity: Where does Rudy Giuliani stand on abortion? And do you think Roe v. Wade is a good law, a bad law?

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Giuliani: Where I stand on abortion is, I oppose it. I don't like it. I hate it. I think abortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that, and I think ultimately you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience and you have to respect the choice that somebody makes.

So what I do say to conservatives, because then, you know, you want to look at, well, OK, what can we look to that is similar to the way we think? I think the appointment of judges that I would make would be very similar to, if not exactly the same as, the last two judges that were appointed. Chief Justice Roberts is somebody I work with, somebody I admire, Justice Alito someone I knew when he was U.S. attorney, also admire. If I had been president over the last four years, I can't think of any, you know, that I'd do anything different with that ...

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Hannity: Let me ask about Iraq. You've generally been very supportive of the president and the Iraq war. Is there anything you would have done differently? Do you think there's been any mistakes made?

Giuliani: Well, sure, the president has explained the mistakes that were made. I mean ...

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Hannity: If you were in this situation, if you were the president?

Giuliani: I think he could go back and, as we develop positions and we explain things, I think it's quite appropriate to go back and explain, "Well, I might have done it this way, or I might have done it with more troops, or I might have done it some other way." But here's the reality of it: We're at war. And we're at war because they're at war with us. I mean, sometimes, when you listen to these debates in Congress, and you listen to the politicians debating, you sort of get the impression that they think we're in control of whether we're at war or not. It doesn't matter what we think. They're at war with us. They want to come here and kill us. And they did on September 11, and they did a long time before September 11. Way back in 1993, they came to this city and killed people.

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Hannity: Senator McCain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich?

Giuliani: Very good men, all very, very good men, very worthy men, very good men. Some are very good friends, others -- I respect all of them ...

Hannity: Name three people who you would think of for vice president.

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Giuliani: Oh, I can't name vice presidents right now. I just told you three really worthy people ... [Y]ou cannot be thinking about vice president at this point. It's enough to think about how to put this together, how to get it organized, how to get it announced, how to put together your fundraising, what the major issues are, and how to best articulate them to the American people, to show leadership and strength. And my campaign is going to be about the future. I mean, the past is what we have to learn about how to direct America to the future. And the whole purpose of doing this is because you can make this country better. You believe you can.

Hannity: As mayor -- and we've got to run here -- but as mayor of New York, I can't wait. If you were president, it would be interesting. I don't think anyone's seen a press conference until they've seen a Mayor Giuliani press conference.

Giuliani: You know, I told Tony Blair once it reminds me of the same thing that he would go through every week, when they did the question-and-answer period in the Parliament. It's very, very similar.

Hannity: Very combative, too.

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Giuliani: I mean, combative, but it keeps you on your toes. It means every single day you have to know what the heck is going on. And if you don't, there are at least two or three members of the press who can make you look like a fool.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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