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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Rudy Giuliani on the significance of the key elections today.

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HH: Who better to begin our review of the day’s events and their significance than with the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani? Mayor Giuliani, welcome back, always a pleasure to talk to you.

RG: Very nice to talk to you, Hugh.

HH: Now did the Yankees give you, did they show up last night, Mayor? Are you worried a little bit about this?

RG: Oh, they showed up. I mean, they almost won that game at the end. You know, it was a tough game, and the Phillies got a big lead. But then in the 9th inning, the Yankees could have won the game if there was the right hit at the right time.

HH: So are you worried at all about tomorrow and the next day?

RG: I’m always worried. I mean, I have great respect for a team that wins the National League pennant. They’re a very good team. They play to the very end. But I think the Yankees are going to win. I think they’re just a little bit better.

HH: Mayor, quick question, just for sports fans, what’s the best baseball game you’ve ever been in attendance at personally?

RG: Oh, my goodness, I don’t know. I mean, I was there when Reggie Jackson hit his three home runs to win the [1977] World Series for the Yankees. That was probably one of the great games that I was at because of the consequence of winning the World Series after a lot of years of not having it, David Cone’s perfect game, gosh, it’s hard to say, Aaron Boone’s home run against the Boston Red Sox, that was another one.

HH: All right, so will you be there tomorrow night?

RG: You’re darned right I’ll be there tomorrow night.

HH: Just checking. I want to make sure your priorities are right. Let’s talk elections…

RG: I get there early. I’ll get there early.

HH: Let’s talk elections. Your neighbors across the river are voting. Do you expect that they’re going to send Chris Christie to the statehouse in New Jersey?

RG: I do. I believe that at the very end, the momentum has swung toward Christie. The biggest emotion in that election is the anti-Corzine emotion, meaning that 60% or so view him unfavorably. So I think that that’s going to make the difference.

HH: Can that state be turned around? It’s in such abysmal shape.

RG: Any state can. Sure, with the right leadership, and Chris Christie’s a tough guy. He’s got a very determined set of ideas about lowering spending, lowering taxes, doing the kinds of things that prior Republican governors have done there, Tom Keane, Christy Whitman. I mean, they’ve all brought about prosperity in New Jersey by following a sensible approach of lowering expenses. New Jersey spends more money than Pennsylvania in its budget. And it’s a smaller state. It has higher taxes than New York. I mean, none of this stuff makes any sense.

HH: Yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster. What about New York’s 23rd? What do you hear going on up there?

RG: I think that Hoffman will win. I think that the district is essentially a Republican district, and that although it’s not going to be easy because he’s not specifically on the Republican line. I think it’s pretty clear that had there been a Republican primary, he would have won the primary. So I think he will pull it out.

HH: Now Mr. Mayor, there’s a lot of spin today from the left that this is the beginning of a Republican civil war. You’re a so-called moderate Republican, although you’re not very moderate when it comes to the national security of the United States and economics. My question is, is this being overplayed by the media?

RG: Yes.

HH: It seems to me a pretty normal…

RG: Sure it is. Here was the problem with this. The Republican candidate was not a moderate. She was a liberal, all right? (laughing)

HH: Yeah.

RG: I mean, I’m a moderate. I know a moderate. But when you can’t condemn ACORN, when you support the stimulus, and when you have supported high taxes, and you also are socially liberal, then you’re not longer a moderate. You’re a Democrat.

HH: So how are you feeling…

RG: But that was the discomfort here. I mean, the theory I’ve had, and I really believe this, I told Newt this. I think Newt Gingrich was making absolutely the right point. We need to have a broad base in our party. But we can’t make it so broad that then we have no basis of agreement with our candidates.

HH: And so is it the beginning of a civil war, or is it just too many talking heads?

RG: No, I don’t think it’s the beginning of a civil war. We have to be understanding enough to realize that we do have to run slightly different candidates in the Northeast than we do in the South if we want to win back the Northeast. We’re not going to win with the same kind of candidate for governor of New York or governor of New Jersey, or governor of California as we are governor of South Carolina.

HH: Now are you running for governor, Rudy?

RG: I don’t know yet. I’ll probably decide that toward the end of the year. I haven’t really thought about it a lot with all these races I’ve been working on.

HH: Well, we’re encouraging you here at the Hugh Hewitt show…

RG: Well, thank you.

HH: …because New York looks, it’s a pretty tough place to win an election if you’re not Rudy Giuliani, I think.

RG: It’s a tough place to win an election no matter who you are.

HH: So you will decide this calendar year, though?

RG: I will, absolutely.

HH: All right. Let’s take a look at Virginia. Obviously, it’s going to be a big night there for Republicans. Is there a message in that for Barack Obama?

RG: I think the bigger one, actually, for Barack Obama, because I think Virginia tends to be more sensitive to national issues as Maryland does, much more so than even New York or New Jersey or California. We’re local issues. We’re a little further away. So I think if I were Barack Obama, I’d be very concerned that a state that he won, what did he win it by, nine, ten points, right?

HH: Right.

RG: Something like that, he’s now going to lose, his candidate’s going to lose by nine or ten points at least. That’s a big shift of twenty points in a very short period of time. It means that the border states that he was able to capture – Virginia, North Carolina, those states may not be available to him in a reelection. It will make it very, very difficult.

HH: What do you put that swing down to? If you have to summarize what’s wrong with what he’s done…

RG: To make it real simple, he went too far to the left. Those people voted for him there because they thought he was a moderate. And it turns out that he has had the most left-wing agenda of any president we’ve ever elected. I mean, he’s created more debt than any president in memory, he has taken over automobile companies, banks, financial institutions, wants to take over health care and energy, which would basically be taking over our entire economy, he wants it to be government controlled. These are things that maybe are popular among liberals in the Northeast and the West, but these are very unpopular ideas among moderates and conservatives.

HH: Now do you see this trend continuing?

RG: I do unless he gets a real awakening the way Bill Clinton did. I mean, Bill Clinton went through this. He had too left wing an agenda in his first year, year and a half, and then he made a mid-course correction. But of course, you know, Bill Clinton had a different background than Barack Obama. Bill Clinton was governor of a conservative state, where he had to govern that way, and Bill Clinton was part of the Democratic Leadership Council.

HH: Yeah.

RG: Remember the Democrats that got together because the party had gone too far to the left? And Barack Obama does not have that background. Barack Obama’s background has been a much more social/activist/left wing agenda background. So I don’t know if he thinks the same things that Bill Clinton thought.

HH: Do you think a so-called Democratic moderate like Senator Gillibrand, or Senator Bayh, or Senator Blanche Lincoln are watching these election results with great interest today, factoring out a year from now?

RG: Yup. I think they are. I think they are taking a very close look at both of these election, Virginia and New Jersey. They both have different things to offer. New Jersey is a little bit different, because New Jersey is much more of a Democratic state, and the local issues in New Jersey are much more predominant, the corruption issue, and the spending issue. So it’s harder to pull a national message out of that, although there is some. I think Virginia, you’ve got to take a close look at as to what has happened to Barack Obama in the swing states. New Jersey is not a swing state. It’s a Democratic state.

HH: Is there less concern on your part about fraud and voter abuse after the ACORN scandals and all the Breitbart television, Mayor? You’ve seen all that. What do you think?

RG: Oh, no. I don’t think so. I was asking that question when I was in New Jersey. New Jersey is notorious for it. I suggested to the Christie campaign that they put a lot of time and money into voter integrity. New Jersey has had some pretty famous voter integrity problems…

HH: Yeah.

RG: …as has Philadelphia, which is right nearby.

HH: Okay, we’ll watch that. Now let’s go back to the governor’s race, Mayor Giuliani. What’s going to go into your decision process?

RG: You know, I don’t know yet, Hugh. I haven’t really thought about what’s…I’m going to sit down and think about it, and think if it’s the right thing to do.

HH: But when you factor that in, it can’t be money. I mean, you’ll raise a fortune from people if they want to. I don’t know how much it costs to…

RG: Oh, I guess is has to do with how you feel about it personally, what you think you can accomplish, how strongly you feel about it, how deep it is. I mean, when I ran for president, it was a very deep, strong feeling that I had that I could make a real, big difference, and it was something that I should do, and the issues really caught me, particularly because of the grave concern about terrorism at the time. So I mean, those are things that you probably think about, but I haven’t really given it a lot of thought yet.

HH: Do you miss the public life, the being in the center of it, and making the decisions that matter to people every single day?

RG: Sometimes. Usually when I see what I think a wrong decision being made is. I didn’t realize how important the 2008 elections were until they were over, until this year. I felt worse about it this year than I did last year…

HH: Yeah.

RG: …because I started to see that Obama, I mean, there were two Obamas during the campaign last year. There was the Obama that looked like he was going to be very left wing, given his background, and then there was the Obama who talked rather moderate. But I mean, the last straw for me was Afghanistan. I mean, for the longest time, I’ve been saying when people say well, can you find anything good about the Obama administration? And I say what he’s doing in Afghanistan. He said that that was the war he was going to fight, that was the one that was the more important, that’s where all those terrorists were that attacked us, and that was the real war, and he was going to increase the troops, and he’s going to win that war. And now, he’s been sitting around for two, two and a half months trying to figure out what his strategy is, and I don’t buy that. I don’t buy that you don’t have a strategy for Afghanistan when this is the war that you were running on.

HH: Well put. Mayor Giuliani, we encourage you again. We hope it’s soon Governor Giuliani about this time next year. Thank you, Mayor, always a pleasure to talk to you.

End of interview.


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