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Rudy On Hillary, and Illegal Immigration

Thursday, September 13, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From my interview with Rudy Giuliani earlier today (the transcript is here and the audio will be posted here later this evening):

HH: What did you make of the ad? 

RG: I thought the ad was disgraceful. I think that it is just another indication of what the Democratic Party has become. I mean, is one of the biggest contributors to the Democratic Party. They’ve contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in ads that have almost all been scurrilous character attacks on Republican candidates. They are an organization that specializes in libel and slander and character assassination. But all of a sudden, now, they’ve focused their attention on an American general in time of war, and accused him of being a traitor. I mean, this is absurdly over the line. And to have Hillary Clinton, with her comments that very day, the very day that ad appeared, that General Petraeus is asking us to have a willful suspension of disbelief, is pure Clintonianism. The willful suspension of disbelief. To ordinary people like you and me, what does that mean, people who talk straight to each other? It means she’s accusing him of not telling the truth. Well, Hillary Clinton has no right to be attacking the integrity of an American general who has put his life at risk for this country, is putting his life at risk for this country. If you want to disagree with his policies and our policies or our programs, fine. But this character assassination has to stop, it has to stop somewhere, and it certainly should stop when we’re going after generals like this.

HH: Now Mayor, if you are her opponent in the general election, will her silence about this ad be an issue? 

RG: Her silence is going to be an issue until she apologizes.


HH: Now Mayor, let’s talk some politics in the remaining time we have. Washington Times this morning has a story, illegals talk alienates Giuliani supporters, and it talks about a separation between you and Peter King, and your declaration that illegal immigration isn’t a crime. What were you trying to say, and is this story overstating the differences between you… 

RG: Oh, sure. Pete King and I are good friends, and he’s a big supporter of my campaign. The simple reality is Pete would agree with me that it’s not a crime. He tried to make it a crime. It’s not. I mean, I’m a lawyer. I know politicians do all kind of pandering, and they make all kinds of statements. I’m not particularly good at that kind of thing. I just tell people the truth. I mean, the truth is crossing the border is a misdemeanor, being an illegal immigrant is not a crime, and Congress tried to make it a crime, I think it was a year ago, two years ago, and it didn’t pass both houses. 

HH: Should it be a crime, Mayor? 

RG: It shouldn’t be, because you wouldn’t be able to prosecute it. It would be 12 million people. Do you know how many people we have in jail, every jail, if you used up every jail in this country? About two million. So you would have a crime that didn’t get prosecuted, which would lead to disrespect for the law.

HH: Does that logic follow over into the war on drugs, Mayor, to say simple marijuana possession? 

RG: No, we actually have the resources to deal with it. If you look at the number of people we prosecuted for drugs, it’s hundreds of thousands. It’s not 12 million people. So when you think about it, the reality is that if you made it illegal in the sense of the status illegal, you would have a situation that would totally overwhelm law enforcement in this country. You wouldn’t be able to prosecute murderers. So you know, honestly, we’ve got to stop all the knee-jerk political rhetoric and just be honest with people. And I’m not good at knee-jerk political rhetoric. I am good at being honest with people. When I faced illegal immigration in New York City, I did more about it than anybody in the country. But I took a city that had crime out of control, I handled illegal immigration that was part of it. The federal government wouldn’t deport anybody, so I had to deal with it, and I did, and I created the safest large city in this country. And of my opponents, I am the only one that really has had safety and security as a responsibility on my shoulders, and I’m the only one with results. 

Read, or listen to,  the whole thing.

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