Rudy Giuliani: Mitt might have won if he'd run harder on Benghazi

Try not to get scalded by this sizzling take

Published January 15, 2015 7:30PM (EST)

Rudy Giuliani            (AP/Damian Dovarganes)
Rudy Giuliani (AP/Damian Dovarganes)

In the two years since Mitt Romney failed to oust President Barack Obama, politicos have floated a number of theories to explain why Romney lost. The candidate himself has variously suggested that Obama won because he handed black, Latino, and young voters "gifts," and that the odds were stacked against him amid an improving economy. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, has his own suggestion. While Giuliani isn't certain it would've pushed Romney over the top, he's convinced the 2012 nominee should have run harder on Benghazi.

So Giuliani argued in a Thursday appearance on "Fox & Friends." Weighing in on the GOP's 2016 presidential field, the failed 2008 candidate offered his ideas about what Romney, who is making preparations to run again, should do differently this time.

"He’s going to have to convince his big supporters — many of whom have already gone to [former Florida Gov. Jeb] Bush or [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie — he’s going to have to convince them that he’s going to run a different kind of campaign this time," Giuliani said. "That it’s going to be a much more aggressive campaign, that it’s going to be a much more engaged campaign, that he’s not going to back away from topics like Benghazi, which I think he should have hit even for historical purposes."

"Even if he didn’t win, if he had made Benghazi a bigger issue, I think we would’ve had a better chance," Giuliani added.

Of course, Romney did hit Obama hard on Benghazi, assailing the president within a few hours after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate, in which four Americans died. Romney's remarks politicizing the tragedy came under fierce criticism, but few could have imagined at the time just what a rallying cry the attack would be for conspiracy-minded conservatives, whose assertions of administration misconduct and coverups haven't been treated kindly after numerous investigations.

Fox has played a key role in perpetuating the right's Benghazi hysteria, but the network's Steve Doocy gently pushed back against Giuliani's implication that Romney didn't do enough to demagogue the issue. Doocy blamed the evil Candy Crowley for singlehandedly destroying Mitt's valiant effort to turn the election into a referendum on Benghazi.

Romney "tried" to run on Benghazi, Doocy said, "but Candy Crowley wouldn't let him," an apparent reference to when the CNN anchorwoman called Romney out in a debate for falsely claiming that Obama did not call the assault a terror attack.

Watch the doozy of a segment below, via Media Matters:

By Luke Brinker

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