October 9th, 2007
06:20 PM ET
4 years ago

Paul, Giuliani exchange sharp words over 9/11

Rep. Ron Paul sparred with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani again during Tuesday's debate.

(CNN) - Reminiscent of the tussle the two had in a May GOP debate, on Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Texas Rep. Ron Paul reignited a war of words over 9/11.

Giuliani took issue with Paul's contention that in "220 years" Americas has never been under imminent attack. Paul was responding to a question on whether the president needs Congress to approve a potential invasion of Iran.

"I don't know where he was on September 11," Giuliani said in response to Paul's comments.

"That was 19 thugs," Paul sharply fired back. "That had nothing to do with a country."

"Well, I think it was kind of organized in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Giuliani said. "And if we had known about it, maybe - maybe hitting a target there, quickly, might have helped prevent it."

The debate was similar to an exchange the two had in a May 23 debate, when Giuliani sharply criticized Paul for saying the 9/11 attacks were the result of America's involvement in the Middle East.

"As someone who lived through the attack of September 11 - that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq - I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th," Giuliani said then.

In response, Paul stood by his comments and said that "if we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem ... They come and they attack us because we're over there."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney

Filed under: Michigan • Ron Paul • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Jimmy4truefreedom

    I just don't know what to think about this Ron Paul guy. Where does he get his crazy ideas from? Here is a Congressman who thinks he can slay all the other candidates just by telling the truth, and addressing America's real needs. He continuously holds true to the constitution, which "is nothing more than a god damn peice of paper,"(George W Bush)in my oppinion, proclaiming rights like freedom of speach and privacy; rights that most American's abuse and should have taken away from them by their representative leaders, for the benifit of society. He thinks we should drag our feet by getting the "go ahead" from congress, whose main job is to keep checks and balences in government, instead of giving all the power to the president, "The Disider". Now thats just stupid! He dosen't like tourture, which can be used effectivly get vital information out of terrorists, but may also make our troops subject to the same treatments, but the Gineva conventions are so WWII anyway. He wants to destroy our monitary system, which since it's establish has done nothing but strengthen our dollars buying power, and replacing it with a new currency just because it's debt free to our government, and won't allow so called private bankers to manipulating our economy. He basically wants to give to the "have nots" the very people who we walk on everyday and who make it so easy to be an American. Dosen't he realize we depend on six year old boys in China to create the low cost sales at our local WalMarts? Ron Paul, I've got a foriegn policy for you.. we bomb first, destabalize the region second, and take everything for ourselves always, then we build our homes off the blood of others, and as long as we keep taking them out, they'll never come to America trying to harm us for our freedoms!

    October 10, 2007 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. Dan ~ Longview WA.

    Before Bush leaves office, we are going to attack Iran! We will bomb the bejesus out of Theran!

    After that, all of the sheep in this country are going to vote for a cantidate that has been talking about taking it to Iran the whole time, which are: Rudy, Mitt, John, Fred, Hilary, Obama, etc....

    RON PAUL is the answer people! Wake up and seek information!

    Read everything you can.
    Google "Nuclear attack, they talk about bombing Iran every day! Multiple times!
    Google Rudy Knew, and see what he knew on that day, he was told the towers were coming down. His specially fortified, terror proof command bunker was on the 23rd and 24th floors of the 49 story Building 7 that collapsed on 9/11 at 5:30 pm, but he set up shop elswhere....WHY?...Because he was in on it folks, he KNEW building 7 was coming down, even though it was not hit by a plane! HE KNEW! How anyone could seriously consider casting a single vote for Rudy is beyond imagineable...

    My country tis' of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.......

    Ron Paul, the Constitution of the United States of America, WE THE PEOPLE, don't let the machine hijack another presidency.

    October 10, 2007 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  3. Sternberg

    In two years,no one will remeber Ron Paul's name.

    October 10, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  4. Trang, Fremont, CA

    I am glad to see Ron Paul was so passionate in speaking out against this war. I only wish the leading Democrats have this clarity in their head and are this passionate about it.

    October 10, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  5. John, Houston, TX

    I'm starting to become more and more afraid of those candidates... they sound like crazy dictators, without reason.

    Except for Ron Paul of course.

    October 10, 2007 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  6. Evie, Tarpon Springs FL

    WHY ater all this time do some still say a country was responsible for the actions of so few ...

    hmmm ... never mind ... the desires of a few in our country are responsible for the crimes against humanity :-(including legal residents and citizens) done in the name of democracy (and God ~ gotta remember that ~ will sanity return? )-:

    October 10, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  7. luo Dobbs

    Paul is right. Most people do not want to understand the consequences of the goverment actions around the world. Look at Switzerland for example, why is she not being attact?. Oh, I forgot the military industrial complex. We need to fight more wars to build more military hardware which will create jobs and make some people rich. Or is the other way around? either way, the uninform public is scam into believing that the people hit American values and way of life.

    October 10, 2007 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  8. Rye, Austin, TX

    Jon, you're just wrong. First of all, Pearl Harbor was not an imminent attack, it was a *surprise* attack. Are you suggesting we should have bombed the Japanese before we even suspected they were going to attack us?

    Neither was the Cuban Missile Crisis an imminent attack; if you really think it is you need to study MAD a little more. As history shows, it was maneuvering by the USSR, nothing more.

    Finally, 9/11 was not only not an imminent attack (another surprise attack), but it wasn't even organized by any nation! The perpetrators of 9/11 WERE thugs, just as Ron Paul declared, and should be dealt with using police action, not state warfare.

    Ron Paul has my vote – he's the only sane one up there!

    October 10, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  9. Tara Briner, Marietta, GA

    Gosh, I guess Rudy never got to his reading list...for shame.

    October 10, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  10. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Rudy is essential to throwing the theocrats out. While I don't think he'd win or do the best job,he'd be better than any godhead. As a democrat,I'll stand up and say he deserves our support for his efforts to bring sanity (relative) to his party. Even in the longshot chance that he became president,I don't think it would be as bad as you people fear. We were allowed to bash Rudy back then,unlike the atmosphere of tyranny that the theocrats imposed under bush. So hands off the godhead slayer.Go Rudy!

    October 10, 2007 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  11. Sérgio, Porto, Portugal

    Ron Paul seems to be the best man in the GOP side.

    Giuliani, on the other hand.....what a narrow-minded guy.

    Check this out Rudy, if an American gang made a terrorist attack in Canada or Mexico, would those countries be entitled to bomb US?

    October 10, 2007 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. Sherald Ward, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

    Well I think I've heard enough. Fred should've stayed in bed. McCain wanted everything repeated again. Mitt needs lawyers to help him ruin stuff. Rudy as usual portrayed himself as a Fooliani.

    Dr. Ron Paul annihilated them all with a few words he said more than they did with ten times the air given. Thank God for Ron Paul and God have mercy on America if we do not elect him.

    October 10, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. Citizen

    Paul is right. Never has America needed preemptive war to stave off an attack that hasn't happened yet. Until Iraq that is. The 220 year period Paul spoke of is completely accurate. Giuliani symbolizes with clarity why the republican party is collapsing.

    October 10, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. John Zamonski, Keene, NH

    Ron Paul got it right in pointing out that 911 was organised by 19 thugs and not by Governments, 911 was irrelevent to the original question.

    However I think Ron Paul didn't go far enough in his rebuttal. After Rudy mentioned that it was organised in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Ron Paul should have pointed out that there is a complete difference between in a country and BY A COUNTRY! Rudy's comments are akin to bombing the White House to stop the unabomber.

    Besides Ron Paul voted in favour of going after Al Qaeda, and then we promptly dumped that idea in favour of going into Iraq. Meanwhile Al Qaeda and Osama are still out there.

    October 10, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  15. ron paul democrat, columbia, sc

    "Frudy McRompson!" I love it!

    October 10, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. JoeC,Boston,MA.

    What amazes me is Guiliani was told by a Saudi Arabian prince with a 10 million dollar check in hand at the twin towers rubble, "foreign policy" caused this. And the FEDS say it was 16 Saudis, and the FEDS say virtually all the suicde bombings in Iraq are Saudis? Is Rudy really that ignorant to blame Iraq and now Iran? Why not advocate bombing Saudi Arabia? I know its as ridiculous as what we are doing now. Those 4 clowns are not Republicans, they are CFR globalists intent on deceiving the sheople to accomplish their own goals.

    October 10, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Joe, Florida

    9/11 was horrible, but Ron Paul is right about the possible motives for its occurrence. I admire his guts for saying this. People like Rudy only watch Fox News. Rudy's never tried BBC apparently. We're really liked around the world, NOT.

    October 10, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  18. Ann Dothan Al

    Why is Guliani even still in this race? He is a one trick pony { 911/terrorist/911} profiteer who over and over embarrases himself with his lack of the level of knowlege needed to rise from a mediocre mayor to the leader of the free world. Ann

    October 10, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  19. Kendrick, Hamilton, New Jersey

    Some argue that we were in danger of imminent attack in the past. Well, yes but mostly no. Pearl harbor- we knew about it but never really did anything to prevent it. Moreover, the mainland was never threatened.

    As for the Cuban missile crisis, there was never really any danger. I think both leaders at the time knew that it would be stupid to have a nuclear attack on one another.

    Cold war crisis? Huh? It was just that a cold war. No attacks ever occurred.

    9/11- Yup, Dr. Paul is right. 19 thugs are responsible in the name of Al Qaeda according to the 9/11 commission. And they are from different countries. If one wants to argue that the Taliban was harboring Al Qaeda- then how is it that or same government gave them $40,000,000 in May 2000 knowing they were keeping Bin Laden and his camps as a guest.

    If you are smart enough, you'll read through all the nonsense these politicians throw at you.

    Regardless, the chance we have with honestly is Dr. Paul.

    October 10, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. John, Gothenburg, Sweden

    The best way to prevent the "immanent" attack on 9/11 would have been to deny the 19 boxcutter wielders visas. The Neocon "INVADE THE WORLD; INVITE THE WORLD" strategy might be a good one for Israel's security but not for the US's.

    The Cuban missile crisis and Cold War threats were not attacks. As to the attack on Pearl Harbor, it doesn't qualify as "immanent" unless someone in the US gov't had advance knowledge. Hmmm.

    October 10, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  21. r schier norwalk,ct

    Likely 1000 unflattering adjectives could describe just how defficient Giuliani is, but they can be all summed up by the word frightening. And
    "Jimmy4truefreedom", your rambling post indeed sounds like a good case to support someone like Ron Paul...it was indeed tongue-in-cheek, wasn't it?

    October 10, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Ru Paul Miami

    Hey Ron Paul Supporters we know there are really only about 4 of you on here and you are using different names....Oldest trick in the book,,Ron PAUL is a LOSER and his ideas, of blaming America first is not going to fly with 80% of Americans. RUDY just bent him over with no vasoline. RUDY DOMINATED RU PAUL,.....

    October 10, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Brian, Portland Maine

    As Dr. Paul Noted in another interview;
    "If the Mafia kills some people in the U.S. you don't invade Italy."

    October 10, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Robert King, Naperville, IL

    So it was Afghanistan and Pakistan who attacked us? No, it was an individual terrorist group who planned it. Yes, in a perfect world, Afghanistan and Pakistan could have done more pre-9/11 to deal with this, but remember, Ron Paul supported us going after the Taliban in Afghanistan, and you can't blame the current governments of either country for not being able to hunt for every possible terrorists in these sparsely populated mountainous areas. It's like the Wild West out there. We can't even control those areas when our own soldiers are there, so don't expect them to.

    Instead, what we can control, and what is the fiscally responsible thing to do, is changing our foreign policy, and stop trying to police the world, and instead, make our home defense stronger.

    The terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Lebanon. They planned the attacks in Aghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and even South Florida. What, so we have bombed all of those countries, and even South Florida? You can't win the hearts and minds of others by occupying their countries, and telling them what to do at gun point, and by accidentally killing their children by our unneeded presence there.

    October 10, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. Michael Quick

    "Well, I think it was kind of organized in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Giuliani said.

    Ok, so by that 3rd grade level reasoning, we should be going to war with our own country when Timothy McVeigh "organized" the attack in Oklahoma? How stupid does Rudy think the american people are anyway?

    Rudy get the vote of the scared little american sucking his thumb in the corner, worried about the next attack on our country. Ron Paul gets the vote of the american who values his freedom over big daddy government providing security at the cost of liberty.

    Simple choice if you ask me.

    Ron Paul 2008

    October 10, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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