November 8th, 2007
12:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Giuliani on Kerik: 'I made a mistake'

Watch Giuliani discuss Kerik Thursday in Dubuque, Iowa.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday he made a "mistake" in not thoroughly vetting former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik.

But the Republican presidential frontrunner argued voters should instead focus on his entire mayoral record when evaluating his candidacy.

"I think voters should look at it, and what they should say is in that particular case I made a mistake," Giuliani said during a press conferred in Dubuque, Iowa. "I made a mistake in not clearing him effectively enough, and I take the responsibility for that"

"But when you balance that mistake against all the successes that we had and the reality that you make some mistakes and you make some correct decisions, I think the overwhelming record is a record of great success," the New York Republican added..

Giuliani's comments come the same day federal prosecutors are expected to indict Kerik on charges of tax fraud, corruption, and conspiracy counts.

Related video: Watch Giuliani discuss Kerik

Related video: Will Kerik be a problem?

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Wayne, Greenville TX

    And when you focus on his entire mayoral record – especially everything up to September 10, 2001, when most New Yorkers considered him scum – you'll agree with me that the only way Rudy Giuliani belongs in the White House is as a tourist taking the White House Tour.

    November 8, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Adole, Oxford MS

    Of course Rudy. We are expected to just forgive you and look at all the positive that you have done. But then, we would be doing the exact thing we did when we elected Bush. Sorry, but I don't think America is willing to repeat that mistake.

    November 8, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Ron, Ashburn, VA

    Man, the Bush administration attracts crooks like sugar attreacts flies! The crooks know if the boss can do it so can we. They all wanted to join his band of merry crooks. Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor – GWB steals from the poor and middle class to give to the rich! IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY – there is still time.

    November 8, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Was it also 'just' a mistake to put the Emergency Services Office in the World Trade Center against others recommendations? Was it 'just' a mistake to not upgrade communications systems for first responders, so that they could communicate with each other on 9/11, as recommended after the first attacks on the World Trade Center?

    And he thinks that he is qualified to be Commander and Chief?

    Many would differ!

    November 8, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Jeff from Jersey

    Ya think?What a former prosecutor and mayor.The police commisioner is commiting crimes right under your nose and you don't know a thing about it?That's why on 9/10 you were one of the worst mayor's in history.That's also why om 9/12 the NYPD and the NYFD wanted nothing to do with you.

    Rudy fans don't know squat about this phony.He's the least qualified candidate for president since Pat Robertson.No wonder Robertson endorsed him.

    There's nothing funny about what will happen to this country if this scum got elected.Anyone that thinks he will end corruption in government is a fool.At least a mugger has the integrity to let you know you're being mugged!

    Strong on national security?World War III is almost a sure thing!How secure will you feel then?Your children will never grow up to give you grandchildren.

    November 8, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. No vote for loser

    Makes you wonder how many more skeletons you have in your closet.
    Sorry you lost my vote!

    November 8, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Ryan F., Salt Lake City, Utah

    Rudy Giuliani has been able to court social conservatives on his pledge to appoint strict constructionist judges. He obviously couldn't be trusted to vet whom he recommended for Homeland Security Chief. Why should be trusted to do any better job at vetting the judges he nominates?

    November 8, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Matt, Boston, MA

    That is exactly what I want in a President. Someone who will throw his long time friend under a bus in order to further advance his own career.

    November 8, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Len, sparks nv

    Yes, lets look at his mayoral record which includes putting Wall Street ahead of the lives of rescue workers and residents around ground zero. He held back city tests that showed the air was lethal. He told residents to clean up the 9/11 lethal dust with a mop and broom. He did not enforce the use of safety equipment for the rescue workers. And he also didn't get the firefighters the radios that worked though he had 8 years since the last trade center bombing to fix it. Instead he bought radios from Motorola that didn't work and so they had to use the old ones that didn't work. Yes, his record tells us a lot about him. Combine that with his coverup of his mafia family past (his father broke legs for his uncles loan shark business and was a convicted felon) and his hot-headed temper and we find a man who definitely should not be making complicated decisions on national policy nor have his finger on the button to release nuclear weapons. Electing Giuliani would be a terrible mistake, that is sure.

    November 8, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Steve, NY

    Cronyism at its worst.......the country cannot afford to have a President who makes "mistakes" like this.

    November 8, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Jon, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    Just one more reason we need more Statesmen and less Politicians.

    November 8, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Mary Jo, Nashville, TN

    You mean to tell me that Rudy Giuliani didn't know the COMPLETE background of his POLICE COMMISSIONER!!??

    Why would we want this guy to run our country, let alone give him any kudos for after 9/11?

    November 8, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Stan, Omaha,NE

    Does anyone notice a pattern here? Whether it's racist television stars or questionable politicians, this trend of "say or do it, waiting for the backlash, then going on some show or website apologizing for it" is all too familiar. For all politicians (and anyone else on tv), Americans are smarter than you people think, so stop insulting our intelligence with your meager tactics and hypocritical tendencies. Get it together!!

    November 8, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. John Miller

    Some politicians hunt, some golf , that seems American.
    Rudy and his law firm sells American soil to foreign countries for profit as an UNPATRIOTIC OPPERTUNIST. Just google Rudy Superhighway. I do not think a person running for president should be doing something as un-American as this. The media does not tell you this do they? Rudy has a LONG ugly past. Rudy is supportive of the CFR also, that is not for AMERICA!
    Let’s take our country back and send a message to the two party system that threw us taxpayers overboard 16 plus years ago, and has us by our short hairs! Vote for a candidate who will restore government to a workable size and follow the constitution!

    November 8, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Great, Rudy makes a mistake, and it's OK.

    But, let Hillary make one........?!?!?!

    November 8, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Daniel, NY

    New Republican polls from Iowa and New Hampshire testifies to how difficult it will be for Rudy to get the nomination. He is crushed in both states by Mitt Romney. Link to both polls.

    November 8, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. rudy? nah ny ny

    Kerik= 1 mistake
    How many more are there?
    And he is not showing his smirk this time.

    November 8, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Benita, NY, NY

    And Rudy, you also made a bigger mistake hyping Kerik for the job in Homeland Security, where it could have had even larger implications. Don't just chalk this up as misplaced loyalty or an error in judgement. It says a lot about an arrogant bombast who certainly does not have the street cred to be president.

    November 8, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Don - Minnesota

    Duh..."You think"! Even though I don't agree with you or your record (what a joke) I'll accept that admission, but the US is not NYC, and at this level mistakes like that can cost lives and careers of others.

    November 8, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Hank, Fort Myers, FL

    Sure Rudy, we understand. Hey, Rudy, how about the lack of communications between EMS and police...should we forgive you for that too. Sure, we can forgive. But when you use your a reason to become the next President of our nation, well, mabye I oughta think a little longer. Great prosecutor, O.K. mayor, visible after 9-11, but because of his fiscal policies fire/law enforcement really didn't have all the tools they needed, and hey, every political leader in NY had a photo op in front of the trade center. O.K. so we take away all that and just evaluate him on whats left...erhh...erhh...erhh...erhh..well we forgive you Rudy.

    November 8, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Bill, Alabama

    Guilliani should also be asked if he made a mistake when he tossed his wife and two children out of the mayor's mansion and moved his girlfriend in.

    November 8, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. ano to

    Rudy the lies and deception come out!

    November 8, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    It's about time Rudy and his *mistakes* just went away.

    November 8, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Marty, Sacramento CA

    This is why going from the mayor of a city to the most powerful man in the world is a bit too big of a leap.

    November 8, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Roger - IL

    How many mistakes have Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Thompson, Romney, Richardson, Paul, Huckabee have made in their past?

    How many admit that they made a mistake? At least he didn't try to cover it up.

    November 8, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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