If you have been missing Rudy Giuliani’s presence on the campaign trail, then you probably enjoyed seeing him jump back into the political arena yesterday with remarks critical of Barack Obama’s views on terrorism. When I read Giuliani’s comments, I was immediately reminded of an interview he did on Meet the Press, shortly before the 2004 election, in which he absolutely eviscerated John Kerry on the same issue. Here is an excerpt from that October 31, 2004 interview:
John Kerry is still in a pre-9/11 mentality. He said that 9/11 didn't change him very much. He said he wants to go back to when terrorism was just a nuance, meaning pre-9/11. I don't know when the heck terrorism was just a nuisance. Was it just a nuisance when they attacked the World Trade Center in 1993 and killed people in my city in 1993? And John Kerry then proposed gutting our intelligence budget, and Teddy Kennedy had to oppose it? I mean, he has a pre-9/11 view, which is the reason why this country would be a lot safer in dealing with bin Laden and the other terrorists with George Bush sitting there. He understands the lessons of September 11. John Kerry has consistently indicated he does not understand what happened to this country.
If you have time to read the entire interview transcript (Giuliani follows Bob Kerrey), I encourage you to do so. Giuliani provides a virtual clinic on how to take down an opposing candidate by systematically questioning his judgment, patriotism, and trustworthiness. Based on Giuliani’s similar comments yesterday, my guess is that Obama is in for pretty much the same treatment. The question of how to best implement the lessons of 9/11 continues to be a fundamental fault line separating the two parties, one which the McCain campaign believes it can use to its political advantage. We will no doubt hear a lot more from Giuliani on the issue of terrorism, in his capacity as a campaign surrogate for McCain. If yesterday’s exchanges between the two camps are any indication, it’s going to feel a lot like 2004 this summer.
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