November 8th, 2007
12:25 PM ET
7 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. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    MR. GIULIANI IS THIS ONE OF THOSE DECISIONS AMOUNG THE MANY THAT YOU HAVE MADE, THAT AS YOU CLAIMED WOULD HAVE MADE US SAFER?

    November 8, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. doc, new york ny

    haha...where shall we start?

    he made a "mistake" in not thoroughly vetting former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik. (wow! Really!???)

    voters should instead focus on his entire mayoral record when evaluating his candidacy. (rudy – do you really wanna push that button?)

    "I think voters should look at it, and what they should say is in that particular case I made a mistake," Giuliani said . . . "I made a mistake in not clearing him effectively enough . . ."

    "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."

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

    You're right Rudy. If you can pick someone who is a tax fraud, corrupt and a conspirator to be the police chief of America's premier city, then you should have no problem pushing Osama Bin Laden's nomination as Secretary of State through Congress.

    I'm joking of course, but what Rudy and the rest of the idiots who like to vote for people like him don't get is that this is a major demonstration of his judgment. Haven't you had enough of Bush's misjudgments (Gonzales, Rumsfeld) and Cheyney's demagogues (Wolfowitz, Libby, etc) for one lifetime? You need not worry about Al Qaeda with this guy in office – he'll push the Doomsday button for them!

    BTW, isn't it interesting that the most venomous comments about Rudy come from his former city?

    November 8, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. vincent bronx ny

    Rudy. Pro abortion but asserts he'll appoint judges who will outlaw abortion. That makes a lot of sense

    November 8, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    I agree Giuliani is scum but I have one question worth an answer, Giulani and Kerik started a security business of some kind after he was booted out of NYC, is he still in business with Kerik?

    November 8, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Hey Rudy, instead of mentioning 9/11 and trashing Hillary in every speech, why don't you worry about your own moral terpitude???

    You, sir, were a petty mini dictator as a mayor and would be an even worse one as president. Why is it that most of us who live in the NYC area and know how this creep operates have come to detest him? Republicans, think about that before you make him your nominee.

    Some of you question Hillary's past, but she's Mother Teresa next to this very nasty man. If you don't believe me go talk to his previous wives, his children or the NYFD and the NYPD.

    November 8, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Hank, Fort Myersk, Fl

    Yep...why are so many New Yorkers against Rudy. Should this mabye send a signal to the rest of us?

    November 8, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Don, Staten Island, NY

    When he was mayor, he also fired ANYONE who disagreed with him! He went through several School Chancellors who disagreed with Rudy on curriculum and fired Police Chief Bill Bratton who worked his way up the ranks in Boston from patrolman to Chief since Bratton thought for himself.

    Meanwhile, who kept their jobs? People like Child Protective Services head Nick Schopetta (sp?), even though several kids supposedly being supervised made headlines for being abused literally to death, and Bernard Kerik, former Corrections Department head-turned-Police Chief who since plead guilty for not withholding Social Security from his kids' nanny's salary, and is now in deeper hot water for alleged tax evasion and fraud!

    Disagree with Rudy, and he tossed you out. Keep nodding and saying "Yes" and your job is safe, no matter how bad a job you're doing.

    Rudy's only running for President because he can't be elected Dictator.

    November 8, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Kevin, Cleveland, Ohio

    Rudy may be horrendous at preparing for and helping to prevent terrorist attacks, and at choosing people to serve in his administration, and at telling the truth, etc. But he's soooo grrrrreeeeeat at responding to a terrorist attack with a hardhat and a steely look to inspire people! We need him in the White House to ensure that 1) we have LOTS of terrorist attacks on American soil, and 2) we have a president who offers us a phony sense of comfort while we bury the dead.

    November 8, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Mike,Panama CIty, FL

    I don't buy it , Its to late Rudy .

    He knew that erik was invoved in all of this hoopla and still he daired to recommend kerik to bush for the position assistant homeland security .

    I mean just because you and him were heroes on 9/11 doesnt mean that you are above the law .

    November 8, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Evie, TS, FL

    It is time for US to stand up for America and say ENOUGH!!!!

    Stop the madness ~ tell Rudy to be looking for the next Mrs. the current one can find out during an interview ... that's how he does it ... right?

    November 8, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Rudy made a fortune on 9-11. Now he wants the Presidency. Consevatives say Liberals are incapable of acknowledging evil. Why don't Conservatives recognize THAT evil?

    November 8, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Karen, St. Louis, MO

    What I will never clearly understand is how all of us sit here on our little pedestals and point fingers about the mistakes all of the candidates are making/ have made. Are you willing to sacrifice your life and your time to run for office, could you secure the presidential nomination based on your flawless background? I think we should all sit back and reflect a little before we fly off at the mouth about these candidates. I think Rudy has made some mistakes, but as a true Republican - he is the best we have got, now isn't he?

    November 8, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Don, SI, NY

    Mike from Panama City, and everyone else –

    Could someone PLEASE explain why Rudy is considered a hero for 9/11? Name ONE thing he did that was heroic! He was never at risk, but showed off the site for visiting dignitaries and got loads of photo ops from it.

    THEN he has the nerve to respond to first responders' health claims by saying HE was there as much as them! HE didn't inhale a fraction of a percent of what the real heroes had to!

    I may not know contaminated air from clean air scientifically, but I know his BS when I hear it!

    November 8, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Stemall, Memphis TN

    Did the Clinton Campaign send out a memo to bash Rudy in the comments?
    You people are being really silly. If Mrs. Clinton was held to the standard you are talking about she would not be allowed to run. Quit casting stones about someone you obviously already did not like because of your own agenda.

    November 8, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Mike , Panama City, FL

    Don you are absolutely right , Guilliani I should have said portrayed an Image of a leader during the events of 911 .

    IT was a poor decision very poor , Kerik is and was then in so much trouble ,he should have been AUTOMATICALLY disqualified for that position .

    It was a very poor decision for rudy , poor management skill that no doubt romney and the other will use against him .

    November 8, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Doug, New Jersey

    "Yep…why are so many New Yorkers against Rudy. Should this mabye send a signal to the rest of us?"

    Because New Yorkers are on another level when it comes to blind partisanship as compared to the rest of this nation.

    Current Mayor Bloomburg has an over 70% approval rating yet if he runs for president, over 60% of New Yorkers say they will not vote for him. Why? No little d next to his name (he would run as an independant), it is a billion times worse if you have an R next to your name.

    The rudest, most partisan, hateful, dishonest people in the world (true democrats) voted for a republican, that shows you how incredible Rudy is. Close to 90% of NYers voted for Kerry, you are going to tell me that Rudy did a bad job to get these people's support for re-election?

    Rudy being elected in New York is equal to Joe Lieberman being elected in Iran.

    November 8, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. JD Rugby ND

    Guiliani is in no way, shape, or form fit to be the president of these United States.

    November 8, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Take it from someone who was in the North Tower on that fateful day and saw more fellow Americans jumping to their death than anybody should ever have to see: Rudy Giuliani did NOTHING to prepare us for a terrorist attack.

    Why did you see him on TV running through the streets covered in dust? Because the fool insisted against expert advice to place the Command Center on the 23rd floor of the 7th Tower knowing full well that the WTC had been already attacked in 1993.

    Why is it that despite him being a native New Yorker Hillary would handily carry the state? Please, Giuliani is a legend in his own mind!!!!

    November 8, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Could someone PLEASE explain why Rudy is considered a hero for 9/11? Name ONE thing he did that was heroic! He was never at risk, but showed off the site for visiting dignitaries and got loads of photo ops from it.

    Posted By Don, SI, NY : November 8, 2007 5:02 pm

    I've been wondering the same thing for more than six years now. Rudy did NOTHING beyond what any other public oficial in his position would have done. Truth be known, he's directly responsible for many of the 9/11 deaths because he ordered the city's emergency command center to be located at the site of a previous terrosist attack (the WTC), and ordered non-compatible two-way radios for the police and firefighters. Because the responders could not talk to each other, many of them went their deaths that day needlessly.

    Rudy has 9/11 blood on his hands.

    November 8, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Liberal Chic

    Just an example of Giuliani's headstrong ways even when all evidence should lead him to be otherwise. According to the NYT, there were a TON of people who advised him against Kerik. But did Giuliani give a crap? No.

    It's just like when he was mayor of NYC and everyone got sick and tired of him towards the end because he was abusing his powers. He knew people were sick of his ways but he didn't tone it down at all. Kind of like the Bush administration.

    Giuliani is viable only because the towers fell about two months before he left office. If the towers had fallen in December, he wouldn't even be a blip on the political scene.

    Still, better to have him, as nasty as he is, then the more decent Republican candidates. Religion and politics should not mix.

    November 8, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. ronnie knoxville tn

    at least guiliani admits when he errs. Hillary will never admit to making a mistake now or if she's elected for 4 yrs. YOu have to ask yourself, can you get used to that

    November 8, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. Kabine D.K, New York, NY

    Mr. Mayor of the Universe,
    Understandingly, I forgive you for checking Bernie Kerik background.
    Should I forgive you for misleading the President of the United States to choose a Crock for a top Security job in our Nation History?
    Should the State of New York forgive you for making 9/11/ impossible, and making possible a better communication between EMS and the Police?
    Should the State of New York forgive you for not naming the State precinct after a crock like your former Police Commissioner?
    Should the State of New York forgive you for not dividing the people of New York after the Unarmed, Amadu Diallo, was shot (41) by 4 Police Officers?
    Should the tax payers of New York City forgive you for not insulting their family values by tossing the first lady and the first kids out the City Mansion, and then bringing in your girlfriend?
    Should the State of New York forgive you for carrying the 9/11/ fund with so much transparency?
    Understandingly, America, shouldn’t forgive you for establishing a Security Business and staying in that Business with a crock friend Bernie Kerik.
    Mr. Mayor of the Universe, you think you’re smart, but sure you’re not smart enough to fool all the people all the time.
    I suppose is time to leave the arrogance, and be wise enough to follow the power of the people with humbleness.

    November 8, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. Colin742

    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. Posted By Roger – IL

    Rudi's mistakes cost at leasr 100 lives. If the others made mistakes, did anyone die.

    November 8, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. kristy sanborn, dixon, Mo.

    I do believe if Keric would tell the truth, that this could have very well been a plan to get some corruption into our homeland security, thank God that didn't work, can you see it now, Homeland security keric supports tax evasion, and Giuliani probably knew it too?
    Just like the illegal immigrants and giving them drivers licenses, hmm...how many happy illegals would that make in the U.S.? and if CNN is correct and their drivers licenses aren't going to be monitored at voting time, how many votes would that get Giuliani?
    I think there is a name for doing that for votes?

    November 8, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Art, Del Mar, CA

    Amazed that this is the latest in a series of bad character revelations, and this guy continues to lead the GOP pack. I thought they were the Party of values!!!

    November 8, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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