Rachel Maddow takes apart Rudy Giuliani's hackery on Good Morning America and thinks his political career is now officially over. I agree but I doub
January 9, 2010

Rachel Maddow takes apart Rudy Giuliani's hackery on Good Morning America and thinks his political career is now officially over. I agree but I doubt that will stop the media from continuing to put this liar on the air.


SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Rudy Giuliani. Let me think about it. Rudy Giuliani, there`s three -- there`s only three things he mentioned in his sentence, a noun and a verb and 9/11. I mean, there`s nothing else. There`s nothing else.



MADDOW: What is the world coming to when even the mayor of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, forgets 9/11?


RUDY GIULIANI, FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: What he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did. One of the right things he did was treat it as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks on the Bush.


MADDOW: No -- no attacks under.

One of the most surprising things about this week in politicizing terrorism is that this week may have spelled the end of a political career for Rudy Giuliani, of all people. Mr. Giuliani not only forgetting about 9/11, later having to issue a statement clarifying that he meant after 9/11, but also having a strange colloquy with Larry King this week, in which he seemed to insist that the Richard Reid shoe-bombing which happened in December 2001 somehow magically was a pre-9/11 event.


GIULIANI: This is something you react to immediately, not 10 days later after your vacation.

LARRY KING, TV HOST: President Bush, though, took six days once.

GIULIANI: Well, first of all, six.

KING: Similar incident.

GIULIANI: Well, you know, six days is less than 10. I believe that six days was before the September 11th attack.


MADDOW: No. No, that`s not, no.

The whole reason anybody ever thought of Rudy Giuliani as a potential national figure for the Republican Party is because of his supposed expertise, the supposed expertise he had about terrorism and national security because he had been the mayor of New York City when it was attacked on September 11th.


GIULIANI: I`m not talking about September 11th -- just because of September 11th -- September 11 is part of our debate -- what I did on September 11th -- not just September 11th -- not September 11 -- nothing to do with September 11th -- nothing to do with September 11th.


MADDOW: Rudy Giuliani`s whole brand as a politician has been based on 9/11 -- something which he appears to have politically exploited so much that he`s lost the capacity to deal with it as a factual matter.

Let`s give Mayor Giuliani the benefit of the doubt here. I mean, he is, after all, the head of Giuliani Partners which sells its expertise on this issue. What could Mayor Giuliani have possibly meant by this statement?


GIULIANI: We had no domestic attacks under Bush.


MADDOW: What could he had meant by that charitably? I mean, really, what could he had meant? Did he mean that there were no attempted attacks like the underpants bomber that just happened under the Obama administration? No, he couldn`t have meant that because of the Richard Reid shoe bomber attack, which even if Mayor Giuliani thinks happened before 9/11 did still happen during the Bush administration.

Could he have meant that there were no other attacks that were considered by the Bush administration to have been terrorist attacks? He couldn`t have meant that either because the 2001 anthrax attacks were later described by Bush attorney general, John Ashcroft, as a quote, "terrorist act."

Maybe he thought the victims of the anthrax attack were dispersed over too large an area to count as a terrorist attack or something, but then, you know, there was the D.C. sniper case. Ten people gunned down in the Washington, D.C. area on October 2002 by a pair of snipers, one of whom was later convicted on terrorism charges.

Maybe Mayor Giuliani meant that there were no attacks that were linked to al Qaeda or inspired by 9/11? Well, he couldn`t have meant that either because there was the Iranian graduate student who claimed to be following in the footsteps of his idol, 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta, when he plowed his car through a crowd of North Carolina college students in 2006.

So, what is Rudy Giuliani talking about? There`s no possible way in which he is making since unless he was just seeing if he could get away with a mix of political fantasy and political spin.


GIULIANI: We had not domestic attacks under Bush.

DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush`s term.

MARY MATALIN, FMR. BUSH ASSISTANT: I was there. We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation`s history.


MADDOW: Who you did you inherit that from?

I hesitate to fall into the old trap of saying that when things happen in threes, it`s a trend, but I wonder if the next ambition in political spin is to try to convince us all that 9/11 didn`t happen while George W. Bush was president and Dick Cheney was vice president. Is that the plan?

Some of this history may be recent but that doesn`t mean that it was factually fungible. The clamoring by Rudy Giuliani to try to get some more political traction out of 9/11, to try to get some more political traction out of terrorism depends on us forgetting his own history on this issue. The only way Mr. Giuliani makes political hay here is if we give up on the facts and decide to believe his wacky version of history instead.


GIULIANI: We are going to have military courts. We are going to have civilian courts. And it seems to me, we`re going to -- we`re going to be trying the most dangerous terrorist in the wrong place, the ones who attacked us here in the United States.


MADDOW: OK. Again, let`s give Rudy Giuliani the benefit of the doubt here. He wants us to believe that it`s his position that anybody who attacks us here in the United States shouldn`t be tried in a civilian court -- so says the guy who after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 applauded the federal court convictions of four of the planners.

Straight from "The New York Times" that day, quote, "`It should show that our legal system is the most mature legal system in the history of the world,` Giuliani said, `that it works well, that that is the place to seek vindication if you feel your rights have been violated."

Nearly four years later, the mastermind of that attack, Ramzi Yousef, was sentenced.

Again, straight from "The New York Times" that day, "Response to the sentence came quickly came from city and federal officials. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said the sentencing sends a clear message to the world, the United States will vigorously prosecute and punish those who murder and maim the innocent."

OK. If you want to give him even further benefit of the doubt, those trials were both pre-9/11. Maybe post-9/11, he had "come to Jesus" moment and decided after 9/11 that any terrorist who attacks here ought to be tried in civilian courts. Is that what we`re supposed to believe? That that`s Rudy Giuliani`s principled anti-terrorism position, which is all about his expertise on the subject matters, has nothing to do with him trying to make political hay out of this?

Then what accounts for his response to the federal court conviction of 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006.


GIULIANI: It does show that we have a legal system that we follow it, that we respect it, and it`s exactly what`s missing in the parts of the world -- or a lot of the parts of the world that are breeding terrorism. It does say something pretty remarkable about us, doesn`t it?


MADDOW: Yes, it does say something very remarkable. There is something remarkable going on here. The once promising political career of the New York City mayor who has national aspirations simply because of his supposed credibility on the issue of terrorism, is probably over now.

And this is the whole basis of Rudy Giuliani`s national political identity. This is the whole reason that Rudy Giuliani`s considered a national brand. It`s the reason he`s considered a national level political aspirant. It`s his supposed expertise on national security and terrorism. That`s what has made him more than just an ex-big city mayor with a consulting firm.

May Giuliani Partners live long and prosper. But the idea that Mr. Giuliani will ever run for anything other than running that business -- that idea I think is over.

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