June 5th, 2007
08:53 PM ET
4 years ago

Begala on Romney's gaffe

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made a major gaffe, early in the GOP presidential debate.

He twice said that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein did not allow weapons inspectors into Iraq.

But United Nations weapons inspectors were in Iraq - and President Bush pulled them out and invaded before they could finish their work. If Bush had allowed them to finish inspecting, they would have proved there were no weapons of mass destruction, and we would not have had this God-awful war. No one called him on it, but it was an embarrassing, ignorant gaffe.

Sen. John McCain should have hit Romney for hiring illegal aliens in his household. The senator has attacked him on it in the past, but I wanted to see him say it right to Romney's face.

Guiliani parried on immigration very effectively. He showed a mastery of the arcana like a smart, prepared lawyer. He also keeps attacking the Democrats, rather than attacking his fellow Republicans. This mimics Hillary Clinton's successful strategy from Sunday night in the CNN sponsored Democratic debate.

So far, Giuliani is winning.

–CNN Political Analyst and Democratic strategist Paul Begala


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John McCain • Mitt Romney • Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Dave, Naples, NY

    Yes Guliani is a sharp lawyer, with polished style. If you are interested in substance then Doctor Ron Paul is your man! Sadly Guliani has been given about 3 times the opportunities to speak than Ron Paul, but thankfully he's not in the same class and it's obvious Ron Paul is the 'smart money'. :)

    June 5, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. Mary Steele

    Giuliani winning? I have seen 6th graders present better and more intelligent arguements in a debate!
    God help us – they are scarey – Stepford candidates – we do not need another robot that preaches the message of Life yet, thinks nothing of killing and nuking people on a pre-emptive basis. Where is the logic? I am a person of faith also – and I can't imagine Jesus ever putting his name on this party ticket!

    June 5, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  3. Ben Cooper, San Diego, California

    Speaking of Gaffes!!! Huckabee stated with reverence that today is Ronald Reagan’s birthday!!! Unless it was repealed during the Republican control of Congress, Reagan’s birthday has always been February 6 NOT June 5, the anniversary of the date of his death!!! Not one of these phony balonies called Huckabee on this gaffe that rivals Gerald Ford stating in 1976 that Poland was not at that time dominated by the Soviet Union. I realize that Republicans have become expert at rewriting history, and twisting the facts, but you would think at least one of these brilliant Reagan-worshippers would have the knowledge and the guts to correct the record.

    June 5, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Alex Carabella.Oakland, Ca

    You're the one who has it wrong the weapons inspectors were not being alowed to do their job by Saddam leading even UN inspector Has Blix to beleave he had weapons of mass distruction.
    Alex (let freedom win in Irac) Carabella

    June 5, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Joseph, Greenville Florida

    Ok. They may have been in Iraq, but Saddam Hussein did not allow them to inspect freely. So they might as well not have been there.

    June 5, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Tom Akron, OH

    "But United Nations weapons inspectors were in Iraq — and President Bush pulled them out and invaded before they could finish their work."

    What is this revisionist history at work here? I know, I know everything is Bush's fault. He is the one that didn't allow the inspectors to do their job. Sadaam was in full compliance with the U.N. And, all of the other U.N. nations were willing to actually enforce the U.N. resolutions when Iraq did not comply. [/end sarcasm]

    June 5, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Sean, Lodi, CA

    What do you mean he allowed in weapons inspectors? You mean over a decade later he allowed in weapons inspectors to places he was comfortable? I'm sure they are all in Syria at that point. Regarding the hiring of illegals, my understand is Mr. Romney hired a company that had illegals working for it. BIG DIFFERENCE! And I'm sure that you knew that and failed to mention it. That is big time deceptive.

    June 5, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  8. Steve, Salt Lake City

    Get your facts straight Paul before you commit to telling a half truth. Romney hired a friend who has a landscaping company. The friend is a legal US resident. Romney, of course, assumed due diligence was done to ensure that all his employees were legal. It is not Mitt's job to validate citizenship on his contractors. These are DNC talking points, and you are obviously spinning this one hard. I hold you to that same standard the next time you go to McDonalds to order a Big Mac, oh wise one.

    June 5, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Josh N, Blissfield, Michigan

    Romney looks like a president and talks like one too. However, throughout the debate I got the feeling like he was giving answers that he thought would win him the most votes. I'm looking for a candidate that promises radical and secure change....like Ron Paul.

    "So far, Giuliani is winning." I strongly disagree.

    June 5, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. valerie brooklyn,ny

    I am an Afro-American Democrat who voted for Reagan.If you want me, and others like me back under the tent, I would suggest that you follow the will of the American people by simply enforcing the immigration laws that currently exist.
    The argument that we cannot round up 12 million people and deport them is ludicrous. All we have to do is take away the benefits they receive and they will leave!! Instead, we are being told that to send these people back to their native land would make us look bad in the eyes of the world community. Personally, I believe that any country who would malign us because we simply want to enforce our laws, might be willing to take a few million off our hands!!
    Then there are others who argue that how could we possibly be the benevolent people we claim to be if we separate families. No American that I know wants to separate families. Each illegal that leaves should certainly take their children with them! However, illegal immigrants are criminals! And, I don't see why we should feel any more empathy for them then we do for citizens who make mistakes and are separated from their children when they are incarcerated. Noone cries for those children who may be forced to live without their parent.
    In 1986, the American people were talked into giving 3 million illegal aliens amnesty. Our reppresentatives asked us to trust them, and swore that this would never happen again!! Well, we are now back drinking at the same trough! Only this time, it's not 3, but 12-20 million people we are being asked to absorb; people who showed the highest disrespect for our laws when they entered our country illegally!!
    If the current laws cannot be enforced, how can they possibly check all the hoops they claim illegals would have to go through to be able to stay here?Everybody knows that that will not happen!
    All we are asking for is that current law be followed. And, if they can't enforce established law, there is no reason for us to believe that they will enforce new ones.All we are asking for is that current law be enforced. No person who is here illegally should recieve any of the social benefits that were put into place to help citizens!! Personally, I do not want to be responsible for the $20,00 per year in services that most of them will receive over and above what they put into our economy. And, when all is said and done, the elite, who insist on creating this monstrous bill, will retreat back into their private/gated communities and the rest of us will be left to deal with the insanity they've created!

    After watching the debates, and doing a little research, I find myself partial to Ron Paul. Dave? Are you out there? Feel your heart about Ron!! He appears to be a humble man who is willing to speak truth; He is a true conservative! And while, many people seem to feel the same way about him as I do, he is not getting the coverage he should! I wonder why???
    At any rate, I intend to change my party affilation, and register as an Independent. This time around you will have to work for my vote!! But, to make myself clear, I will only vote for someone who believes that illegals do not deserve amnesty!

    June 6, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. jon

    Only a liberal out of touch would interpret Romney's comment about teh inspectors that way. It is obvious he meant full permission. Sadam would kick them out then let them in, but only to certain places and with all kind of restrcitions. it is clear he meant full unrestricted access.

    wow, what a MAJOR gaffe. credibility just went out he window.

    June 8, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. jon

    Guliani, articluate? Are you kidding? I think he said "lisptmus test" when referring to a litmous test. i can't get over his lisp. Not so presidential. His glasses make him look old as well.

    June 8, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |