Rudy Giuliani Comments On The Outrage Of NYC Firefighters: "Radio Malfunctions"

Rudy will be dogged by the firefighters until the race is over and he should be. Check out his response to some of their major problems with Rudy

Rudy will be dogged by the firefighters until the race is over and he should be. Check out his response to some of their major problems with Rudy on ABC's THIS WEEK which include his handling of their radios as well as stopping the search at Ground Zero for their fallen brethren. He led by the usual Republican method---giving no bid contracts and ending up with a bad product.

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GIULIANI: Well, the radios that you're talking about weren't put online for three, four, five years after. So, it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready. It took the city two or three more years...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they had malfunctioned in 1993.

GIULIANI: But even with the new equipment, it took another two or three years for those radios to be put online. So it would have been impossible for us to have gotten them online before that, given the fact that it took so long afterwards. As far as ending it too soon, I kept it going, you know, as long as we could. I mean, I was just as involved, just as hurt, just as interested, and I had friends that I lost that I wanted to see recovered just as much as everyone else.

Amanda did a little digging:

But it wasn’t “impossible” to get new radios to these firefighters, as Giuliani tried to claim. After the 1993 incident, Giuliani gave Motorola a $14-million no-bid contract. Despite this exorbitant sum, the radios were faulty and had to be taken out of service in March 2001, after a “distress call from a firefighter trapped in a burning house” went unheard.

(Here's CNN's piece back on 3/11/07 video_wmv Download (3512) | Play (2274) video_mov DownloadPlay (1449) on the protests over stopping the search) (1920) | I've posted a ton of articles and videos on this issue alone. (full transcript via THIS WEEK below the fold)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've also talked a lot about your record after 9/11. There's a group of pretty determined firefighters, who want to defeat you on this issue. They're led by the deputy fire chief, James Riches, whose son died -- also a firefighter -- on 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES RICHES, DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF, FDNY: He's the guy on the top. He's the guy to yell at. He takes the hit. And my son is dead because of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He blames you.

GIULIANI: I feel very bad about that. And I feel very bad at the whole situation. I feel these people -- all these people, myself and all the people that were involved in this -- have been very hurt by this. And it creates a lot of pain. It creates a lot of suffering. And if they're angry at me, so be it.

I did everything I -- I did everything I could think of doing in that situation to help. I think I made mostly the right decisions. Probably didn't make all the right decisions, but I tried very hard to alleviate the problem as much as I could, and to lift the spirits of the city.

And in most cases, I think I made the right decisions. In some cases I may not. And then maybe just some people that are angry at me for it, and I'm not going to argue with them. My gosh. They've gone through too much for anybody to be arguing with them.


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Stephanopoulos: They make two main charges. Number one, that those firefighters in the north tower, many of them lost their lives because their radios didn't work. They also say you ended the recovery efforts too soon.

Giuliani: Well, the radios that you're talking about weren't put online for three, four, five years after. So, it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready. It took the city two or three more years...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they had malfunctioned in 1993.

GIULIANI: But even with the new equipment, it took another two or three years for those radios to be put online. So it would have been impossible for us to have gotten them online before that, given the fact that it took so long afterwards. As far as ending it too soon, I kept it going, you know, as long as we could. I mean, I was just as involved, just as hurt, just as interested, and I had friends that I lost that I wanted to see recovered just as much as everyone else.

So, I did it -- I did it -- it was going on, actually, all during the time I was there, until the time I left. I never took -- I never took any action to have some kind of a precipitous halt to what happened there. And if they think that, that just isn't correct, and I would never have done anything like that. I had too much at stake, even personally, for an action like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: These firefighters say they're going to be dogging you in South Carolina and Florida. And Senator McCain's campaign says this is going to be a tough general election issue. It's one more reason, they say, not to vote for you.

A New York City Council report on the fire department’s radio procurement process concluded:

Thus, despite its acknowledgment two years earlier that several manufacturers were developing technology that might meet FDNY’s CAI specifications, and in apparent disregard of its pledge to evaluate new technologies and products, the FDNY appears to have elected to accept a radio representing an entirely new communications technology from Motorola rather than conduct a competitive review of products and prices.

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