Monday, August 15, 2011

PIX11 Interview with Rudy Giuliani

Part 1

Part 2

Marvin Scott of PIX11 reports:
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who made an unsuccessful run for President in 2008, is still considering giving it another shot next year. In an exclusive local television interview on "PIX 11 Newscloseup," Giuliani declared, "I'm not ready to make a decision." He said he would decide one way or another within two months and vowed not to make any announcements that would coincide with the tenth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11. 
Asked what factors are going into his consideration, Giuliani said, "I have to factor what kind of chance I would have in states like New Hampshire, where I think I would have a pretty good chance because there are a lot of independent voters who don't find my being a more moderate Republican so difficult." He noted, "The party has a sense that if you're moderate about anything, you're not the right candidate, and I have different views than the majority of the party on a few things, mostly the social issues." With polls showing a dramatic GOP shift to the right, many moderate Republicans feel disenfranchised, and Giuliani recognizes that could be an opportunity for him, particularly in New Hampshire, which he pointed out is "very fiscally conservative and somewhat more moderate on social issues than other states." He acknowledged that even though he's undecided, he already has part of a team in place in the Granite State, a team he said he built last time and a team he's built over the past couple of elections, campaigning for other candidates." 
The man dubbed "America's Mayor" after 9/11, said it was important to get beyond thinking just about New Hampshire, and "thinking about whether I can win in other primaries and that depends on how other candidates do, whether I think there's another candidate who has a better chance of both, getting the nomination and beating President Obama." Without naming anyone, he said he likes several of the Republican candidates already in the race, but isn't ready to endorse any of them yet. He applauded the entry over the weekend of Texas Governor Rick Perry, a friend who endorsed Giuliani four years ago. He called Perry "a formidable candidate. He's got a record where he can show that he's done things for Texas that need to be done for the nation." He dismissed the buzz among some bloggers that Giuliani and Perry could be the magical ticket for the Republicans next year. 
During the half-hour broadcast, Giuliani castigated President Obama for what he called "his significant lack of leadership on the debt crisis, and a significant lack of leadership on the economy." He called Obama's speech on the financial crisis in the markets last week "almost mind-boggling. He was saying all the wrong things," Giuliani insisted, and added, "It would have been better if they had locked him in the Oval Office and not let him go out." 
Giuliani said he has learned lessons from his failed candidacy four years ago and noted that if he does decide to run this time, the centerpiece of his campaign would be the restoration of fiscal stability. "We need a President who is willing to lay out a plan how we're going to fix the economy with tough choices." He said he recognized that tough choices are not particularly popular and added, "The American people don't seem to want to hear that we are spending too much money on health care. We cannot survive with these escalating rates for Medicare and Medicaid for the next ten years." He insisted, "We have to cut Medicare, Medicaid. We cannot afford all of the benefits we are giving. We don't have to take them to zero, but we have to take down 10%-15%, maybe 20% over a period of 10 years. There's only so much we can afford." As for Social Security, other than considering a possible extension of the retirement age, he would keep it intact. 
Giuliani, who turned a $2 1/2 billion deficit into an almost $3 billion surplus during his years as mayor, said a 10% cut in government agencies would also help to bring spending down. As for taxes, he said he favors lowering them, particularly the corporate tax, which he'd like to see eliminated. He called for "Giving every corporation benefits for bringing money back to the U.S. We cannot survive with the second highest corporate tax in the world." 
When I asked Giuliani if he thought the GOP had lost its way, he conceded,"The party has to define itself around fiscal integrity, fiscal common sense and strong national security. It's got to leave personal issues to people's consciences. I think that would be more consistent with a libertarian philosophy for the Republican Party, and I think it would make us the majority party if we did that."

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