Thursday, November 08, 2012

AC360: Interview with Rudy Giuliani

COOPER: Joining me now is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, thanks very much for being with us. Looking at last night's exit poll results, it is clear or I guess, I should ask you.

Do you think it is clear that your party has a big problem on its hands reaching out to Hispanic-Americans, for instance? It shows the Hispanic votes decreasing and if so, what do you do about that?
RUDY GIULIANI (R), 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I certainly agree that we have a big problem reaching out for the Hispanic vote, what was it -- twenty-five percent? 
I ran for mayor of New York, and each time I ran, I got a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote. That probably elected me with 43 percent, then I got 48 percent. I think President Bush had us up to about 44 percent to 48 percent nationally. And since then we've been declining. I think there's one big issue. I think Lindsey Graham would agree with this. I just talked to Lindsey about this a couple of days ago. We have to get over this immigration reform hurdle.
I mean, President Bush was on the right track with comprehensive immigration reform. If we had passed that, we would be a party that probably had a 40 percent, 45 percent Hispanic base.
COOPER: How do you sell that message to the fringe of your party? Because that is not a message they want to hear?

GIULIANI: Big opportunity lost really in Mitt Romney losing because I think that is one of the things Mitt Romney could have accomplished with a Democratic Senate, Republican House and new president. He probably could have gotten 100-150 Republican votes for comprehensive immigration reforms, which means to the Hispanic community being sensible about the 12, 14, 15 million people that are here.

You can't deport them all. You can't chase them all out. Sure, you can focus on the ones that are criminals or the ones that are doing bad things. But I know that community really well.
And 90 percent of them are hard-working people who are actually making a contribution. So why the heck do we want to hound them? And I think that's the major thing that hurts us, and --

COOPER: What's also interesting about your record, I mean, you're someone who's held positions on social issues that certainly are not in step with the rest of your party as it is right now according to exit polls. Unmarried women went for the president by nearly 40 points.

Do you think the Democrats, what they said was a 'War on Women' message, resonated? Should your party adjust to this approach on women's issues, especially reproductive issues, or same-sex issues, same-sex marriage? Do you think there needs to be an evolution there?

GIULIANI: Well, I ran that way in 2008. I didn't get the nomination. And nobody with my views ran in 2012. Frankly, Anderson, I didn't run in 2012 because I didn't think I could be nominated being pro-choice and being pro-gay rights. I signed, as mayor of New York, I signed the first -- I think the first in the nation civil union bill, and that was--

COOPER: Didn't you officiate at a gay wedding? I remember reading once, or you had some friends who got married, or something like that.

GIULIANI: No, didn't do that. I still believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but I'm very open to civil unions, and I'm also open to allowing states to decide this on a state by state basis.

So if New York wants gay marriage, fine. If some other state doesn't want to have gay marriage.
Here we are, a party that believes in state's rights -- until we get to an issue like gay marriage. And then we don't believe in state's rights.

COOPER: And also this is a party that doesn't believe in heavy federal government involvement in people's private lives, unless on certain issues. And, again, it's something Alex Castellanos brought up earlier. So again, how do things evolve in that? Do they need to evolve for the GOP?

GIULIANI: My ideal Republican Party would be a Republican Party that was fiscally conservative, conservative on foreign policy and military policy. And on social issues we would be libertarian. We would say, you know, we're going to stay out of your pocketbook and we're going to stay out of your bedroom.
And I think that party could be a majority party. I think if we were running that way this time, I think we win by 4 or 5 percent.

COOPER: What about the Tea Party? There are people who say the Tea Party decided it wanted "pure" candidates. So your party lost some 'unlosable' races, that they may have caused Republicans control of the Senate. Some say Republicans can't win with the Tea Party, but they can't win without them, and a lot of leaders don't feel comfortable publicly, you know, even bringing this issue up.

GIULIANI: Well, I think what we really should try to do with the Tea Party is to get them to figure out: What are your priority issues? Their priority issue, the whole reason it got established was: Big government, heavy taxes, ObamaCare, government trying to direct your life.

And then allow a certain amount of flexibility on social issues. If we could organize around fiscal conservatism, conservatism on foreign policy and on military policy, and then allow people to disagree with each other, sort of in the Ronald Reagan mold of, if you agree with me on eight out of ten issues, you are my friend.

Somehow we're going to have to get around to that kind of party. Otherwise, and I've been saying this for, you know, 10 years. Otherwise, we give away -- look at the map. We give away the entire northeast.

When you give away the entire west coast, by the time we get to the electoral vote, we've got to win by one state or two states. And when you get a good campaign against you. Barack Obama had a great ground game, and a great campaign -- then you lose.
Source: CNN

No comments: