October 10th, 2007
04:05 PM ET
7 years ago

Giuliani camp compares Romney to John Kerry

The two fierce rivals for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination do not disagree on everything.

(CNN) – An increasingly bitter fight between Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney moved Wednesday from taxes to national security, with both campaigns portraying the other as indecisive.

The latest skirmish between their campaigns is playing out by e-mail. The Giuliani camp is attacking Romney for an answer he gave he gave during Tuesday‘s CNBC/Wall Street Journal GOP debate on whether Congressional authorization would be needed for military action against Iran.

Romney said, “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what's in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat.”

The Giuliani campaign called it a “lawyers test for national security.” And the Giuliani campaign’s news release this morning said, “Sound familiar? Another Massachusetts politician also wanted a national security test”, comparing to 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s “global test” comment. The global test became a favorite GOP attack line, portraying Kerry as weak on national security.


And taking a page from that ’04 campaign, the Giuliani campaign trotted out an expert to paint Romney in that same light.

“Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make,” former U.S. Atlantic Fleet commander, retired Admiral Robert Natter said in the release. “Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation.”

Natter is supporting Giuliani’s bid for the White House.

But the Romney campaign launched its own attack on Giuliani, saying he was vague and indecisive in his answers on Iran. As Romney criticized Giuliani at a morning stop in Royal Oak, Michigan, his campaign pointed to Giuliani’s answer on whether Congressional authorization would be needed when he said, “it really depends on exigency of the circumstances and how legitimate it is.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden fire off this zinger. “On the question of authorization and action against Iran, Mayor Giuliani offered the most muddled and puzzling response of anyone on the debate stage, preferring to rely on a vague explanation.”

– CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. laurinda,ny

    Well this bit of news certainly doesn't look very good for the Republicans. Their two top candidates are squabbling over issues. Hopefully, people will see how they are acting and decide that something is wrong with both of them. The only bright one they had was Duncan Hunter and they were to stupid to push him out front.

    October 10, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. scott, manchester NH

    let them have their fun..the GOP is OUT of business come Nov 08...there is no available evidence to support keeping them around anymore...

    October 10, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. ArbyH Bisbee Arizona

    All of the Republican and Democratic party front runners are just reflections in a Bilderberg multinational sponsored pool of puppets and deceit.
    If you want a strong America first Constitutional Republic as our fore father's saw it, true freedom, a non-interventionist foriegn policy then you want a leader with the will to tell the truth and stand for America first. The individual with America at heart is Ron Paul.
    Does CNN cover Ron Paul well enough, or just the front runners? The debate gave the front runners plenty of time and follow up, but cut off the others....blatantly wrong CNN.

    October 10, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Mike, NYC, NY

    Would it be wise for the Romney camp to call Guliani, "Former Mayor Guliani" instead of "Mayor Guliani"? Guliani's not Mayor of NYC anymore.

    October 10, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Mr President (Giuliani) -very good....the only moderate running....he will be a great president...can't wait!

    October 10, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Cameron F, Redondo Beach, CA

    I agree with ArbyH... where is Ron Paul mentioned here? I have more faith in CNN as being "fair and balanced" than some of the other networks... eh emmm...

    Giuliani and Romney do not embody the true Republican spirit. Neither does this current administration. Ron Paul has hit the nail on the head every time he has answered a question. Instead of allowing the "front runners" to hog the spotlight, why not listen to public opinion, which demands the very things from a candidate that Ron Paul embodies? Ron Paul is a true Republican, not just a "Republican"

    October 10, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Marshall, Atlanta, GA

    Romney might seem like Kerry (i.e., both have no clue and Romney especially doesn't understand Constitutional Law based on the debate yesterday), but Giuliani seems like the type to smile and promise you the world while holding a knife behind his back.

    They're both unfit for office.

    October 10, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Joe in NC

    I guess Giuliani has finally realized that he hasn't won his party's nomination yet.

    October 10, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. A Keyes, Baltimore, MD

    I'm more concerned about his descision making skills while wearing his secret magical pajamas or undue influence from his wives. Maybe he and Giulinazi can have a contest to see who can have the most wives. I'm betting on the mormon.

    October 10, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Andre' J. Perrin, Richardson, TX

    Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black

    October 10, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. S, Orlando, FL

    Is Ghouliani actually going to get specific on why he's so great when it comes to national security or is he just going to take cheap shots at a man who isn't even running?

    October 10, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. KP, Virginia

    And as for the "no available evidence to support keeping them around anymore" comment, I beg to differ. How about this significant bit of evidence, summed up in one word: "Hillary"! If we don't elect a Republican to the presidency, she is who we'll end up with! That's scary. I trust the Republican candidates much more to ensure a strong economy, a strong military, and strong families.

    October 10, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Kerry was weak on national security?

    He ended up being correct; and he correctly stated that Bush waould have no clue on how to fix an international mess as well.

    October 10, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    Obviously neither of these guys are fit to be in the oval office. If Romney were half the man that Kerry is that would be a step in the right direction. Then I would need to see his plan to kick out the 12 million criminal immigrants, fully fund social security, Medicare, Medicaid, protect veteren's benefits, refocus the war from Iraqi oil back to terrorism and paying off the deficit. But the GOP, except Ron Paul seems to think that stay the course should be the new name given to the same old trickle down ecomonics which have failed so dramacitcally for too long. The dem's are little better, but Biden hit the nail on the head when he said the Old Rudi is the least well informed of the whole bunch. He may be as clueless as Bush for that matter. A pox on both their houses, we need a slot for none of the above on the ballot. If no one gets a clean majority, they all get banned for one election cycle and the election is reheld in 60 days.

    October 10, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. F. Thompson, Hollywood, CA

    Honestly, I am more worried about Romney being too influenced by his wives or making bad decisions because of his magic, secret, special pajamas. He's going to look silly wearing those in the Oval Office.

    October 10, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. SB, Topeka, KS

    Mitt, can I borrow your magic pajamas or is one of your wives already borrowing them?

    October 10, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Maybe they both should just give up on their efforts for the nomination; take the rest of the century off and go out to celebrate their losses and have a couple of glasses of Quats. Liquid fungicides that attack decay organisms. The quat preserve is used in swimming pool chemicals, shampoos, hospital mop washes, and many other human contact applications.

    October 10, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. JKap, Schaumburg, IL

    How about a "Constitutional Test"? You know, the part about Congress having exclusive authority to declare war.

    October 10, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Matt Baker, Boston, MA

    Who cares if Romney is comapred to Kerry or Guliani is compared to Bush. These are outdated candidates and Americans will be fooled again for the 3rd Bush term if any of these jokers are elected in 2008.

    October 10, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. grant

    Heh...does it really matter who gets the Republican nomination when you're so hopelessly tied to the war? They're destined to play the role of Hubert Humphrey, either way.

    October 10, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. laurinda,ny

    ARBY, ARIZ. What kind of a name is that. Did your mother name you after a so called restaurant. Ron Paul isn't even in the running.

    October 10, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  22. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Giuliani shows short-sighted selfishness towards his wives, his children and again towards America with the wonderful "constitutional" murder of the line-item veto. So he got NYC 200 million back at the expense of putting back 200 trillion waste back into the government. And we're supposed to cheer because hey, he defeated Clinton...yes and every other president and taxpayer thereafter. Moron.

    October 10, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Romney might seem like Kerry (i.e., both have no clue and Romney especially doesn't understand Constitutional Law based on the debate yesterday), but Giuliani seems like the type to smile and promise you the world while holding a knife behind his back.

    They're both unfit for office.

    Posted By Marshall, Atlanta, GA : October 10, 2007 4:11 pm

    Actually "Marshall" he understands it exactly, he like many others just doesn't agree with it, as he used the "line item veto pen" while Governor of Mass quite smartly.

    The President should be able to use that power, but with needed oversight so one can't play games or play favorites.

    After Romney wins, it will be back and for the betterment of the country due to out of control spending on BOTH SIDES.

    October 10, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Isaac, Washington, DC

    Comparison to Kerry? OH NO HE DIDN'T!

    October 10, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. John from America

    What an interesting partnership those two would make – President/Vice-President, let's see if Rudy agrees to move the White House to Salt Lake City, Mitt will allow Rudy to keep all his wives!

    October 10, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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