December 1st, 2007
06:56 PM ET
11 years ago

Giuliani advocates military build-up to counter Putin

Giuliani said a larger military will help counter Russian and Chinese influence.

OKATIE, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday advocated a strong military build-up by the United States as a bulwark against the oil-rich Russian President Vladimir Putin and his increasing consolidation of power in the country.

"The good part with Russia is we're not in a Cold War, there is no longer a Soviet empire, their desires are still of a matter of concern but they're not nearly what they used to be and we don't want to get ourselves back into that," said Giuliani, who described Putin as both "good and bad."

"Long term the way we prevent getting ourselves back into that, both with regard to Russia, and even China, is to become militarily even stronger."

The former New York City mayor was responding to a questioner at a town hall meeting who asked: "What are you going to do about Putin?"

Giuliani provided little detail on what being "stronger" would mean, other than saying the "best answer" to the Kremlin would be "a substantial increase in the size of our military."

He justified his claim, explaining that a robust military was the primary reason behind the United States' success in the Cold War. Giuliani said U.S. and European demilitarization after the two World Wars was a mistake that contributed to the growth of Nazism and communism, and he also criticized the post-Cold War peace dividend as "way too big."

Giuliani predicted Putin's "energy extortion" would create more global allies for the United States than it would for Russia.

Still, he said he would maintain a good economic relationship with Russia, but would criticize the Kremlin as needed.

"You keep pointing out the ways that which they are sliding back, because Putin is to some extent sliding back, and you keep making the world know that," he said.

The Putin question is partially moot on the campaign trail, because the Russian president's term expires next year, before Americans cast their ballots.

However, Putin's United Russia Party is expected to maintain its hold on power in this Sunday's Parliamentary elections, and it's been suggested Putin could play a role in the government even after he leaves the presidency.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani • South Carolina
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Can anyone say draft? There is no way we can continue this rhetoric without it.

    November 30, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  2. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Real smart.......

    November 30, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  3. Nando,Palm Coast,FL

    GOD HELP US IF THIS MAN IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE HE WOULD START WORLD WAR 3, Rudy please just do us a favor and Go watch TCM because you are a WACKJOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. George,IL

    You got to reward your sugardaddy someday isn't it.

    December 1, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. Craig, Greencastle, PA

    Brilliant. Sounds pretty Cold War-esque like to me. Let's create even more fear-mongering amongst the public.

    December 1, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  6. Darrell, Pennsylvania

    At least this isn't a crazy reaction or anything...oh wait

    December 1, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  7. bprossersme

    Thank you! At least someone sees through the B.S. of today's politics to see the threat growing under our very noses. It has nothing to do with the defense installation as Putin claims, Russia is rising from the ashes to walk side-by-side with China and together they will attempt to become the new stronghold of power on the world's horizon.

    December 1, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  8. Steve, Portlan, OR

    Ever hear of diplomacy? Seems your a photocopy of our current and very unpopular cowboy president.

    December 1, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  9. Anthony, Sleepy Hollow NY since we are not in the cold war any longer and we don't want to get ourselves back into that situation, the best idea would be to become militarily stronger, which is exactly what happened in the cold war, you know, something we are no longer in, and would rue the day to get back to that place, which would be done by...

    my head hurts.

    December 1, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  10. bprossersme

    CNN put my comment back in, what is with you guys?

    December 1, 2007 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  11. Bob, Delaware, OH

    Seriously, to think we can just take on Russia, China, Iran, Al-Quaida and just about everyone shows how extremely stupid we really are. "Scarface" would do better as president than some of our candidates, and given our drug problems, would be more "appropriate" for the role lol

    December 1, 2007 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  12. Nils, Monterey, CA

    I find this type of speak from Giuliani particularly disheartening. Having spent a significant portion of my life as an American living in Russia, and trying to understand the Russian political system for the confusing beast that it is, one thing both politicians and the American media is continuing to ignore is the fact of what Russians want for their country. 1) They want Putin (or people like Putin) in power. The 1990s under Yeltsin were like a nightmare for most Russians from which they are just now starting to wake up. Putin may not be who the Americans want, but Americans aren't the people voting in Russia, the Russians are. Developing another arms race will do nothing but raise government spending on so-called preventative defense (despite the fact that two nights ago in the debate Giuliani insisted he was for lower spending)and raise international tensions between Russia and the USA, impeding the progress both countries would enjoy if they were working together with greater cooperation. It is true that Russia is not a democracy the way that Americans view democracy. But Russia is still in the early stages of its own democratic development, and it needs to set its own course, not have it dictated to them by people like Giuliani who feel the need to "look tough" at the expense of American effort, resources, and the potential of both the Russian and American people.

    December 1, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  13. Independent in IA

    Brilliant stratagey, Numbskull!! Our military is nearly depleated numerically and financially and YOU want to confront and further antagonize the Russians and their despot leader, Vladimir Putin. Smooth move, Exlax...

    December 1, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  14. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Sure, dumbass.

    Let's ignore, nay, help Putin amass more and more power, instead of helping Russia's was-amazing fledgling democracy, then give our military industrial complex a permanent erection by *recreating* the cold war, and making Americans focus on this rather than all of the destruction in America these Repubs have caused the last 7 years of "rule" by Darth, I mean, President Potato Head.

    Giuliani: When insanity will do for president.

    December 1, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  15. Moe, NY

    OMG...even Bush is doing better with foreign relations with Putin...and that is the first time I ever gave Bush credit for anything. "We're not in a Cold War, there is no longer a Soviet empire"...Giuliani does not have a clue regarding foreign policy. In case Mr. Giuliani hasen't noticed...military might is not working! (Plus, Russia is alive and well). In my opinion, Giuliani could really inflict big time damage in the foreign relations arena. If the majority of people in NY (which seems to be the case) are telling fellow Americans that this man cannot cut it...I think we should ALL listen!

    December 1, 2007 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  16. Ron Nebraska

    This guy is another absolute moron!

    December 1, 2007 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  17. john, new york, new york

    God help us all if we get another chest-thumping, wanna-be king of the world as U.S. president. Sounds like Giuliani wants to rule the U.S. just like he ruled New York City, with an iron fist. We need a president who actually has some basic human insight and wisdom in his world perspective, not another power-hungry demagogue.

    December 1, 2007 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  18. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Rudy doesn't think that two wars, a possible recession, health care, security and immigration won't keep the President busy enough? Now he'll find time to criticize Russia?

    Increase the military? More bonus money or just start a draft?

    He's still talking about the Cold War. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy ... its the 2007 and heading towards 2008 if you haven't changed you calendar recently.

    December 1, 2007 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  19. David Ware, Nouakchott, Mauritania

    My God!

    December 1, 2007 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  20. Chris, Chicago, IL

    What he means is that a War on Terror doesn't totally fit the bill of WHO CAN MAEK WAR WITH THE BEAST?

    I still wouldn't vote for you though. I'm voting for Osama.

    December 1, 2007 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  21. Axel, RKDA, California

    Typical "Arms Race" mentality... What happens when we build up? They build up. What happens when they build up? We build up. It's a vicious cycle, and we've already been there and done that. Wouldn't it be a better plan to try and avoid another war, cold or otherwise?

    December 1, 2007 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  22. Sam, IA

    So how are we going to pay for this Rudy? Oh, I know. We will give more tax breaks to the richest and they will expand thier businesses and tax revenues will skyrocket, right?
    I can't believe the d students of the right still buy this 9th grade econ 101 crap. They will invest the money allright. They will invest it in third world countries and communist China and Vietnam. They will also be recruiting illegals to work in thier packing plants and poultry, milk, and construction operations as you bash illegals and spend the employers of those same illegals campaign contributions. The party of corruption and hypocrisy marches on.
    Our grandchildren will once again be shouldered with the burdens of the borrow and spend Republicans.

    December 1, 2007 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  23. David, Dallas Tx

    Giuliani needs to study his history. We got into the cold war because we declared Russia potentially dangerous and decided we needed a stronger military than them, just to be safe.

    They responded in kind, and the arms race, nuclear proliferation, and the cold war were the results.

    The beginning of the end of the cold war was when both governments decided all this was nuts, and started signing treaties to reduce their military build-ups.

    Message to Giuliani: you repeat your successes, not your mistakes.

    December 1, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Brian, Danville, Illinois

    That's right Rudy, there is no longer a Soviet Union. Is this the kind of thinking this country needs?

    If we don't have the troops to take care of Iraq and Afghanistan, where are we going to get the personnel and resources to restart the Cold War?

    While it is amusing to hear the comical statements made by GOP candidates, as they do show how ignorant Republicans have become, the stakes are too high to simply brush these things off. The fate of this country, as a democracy is at risk in this election. This nation can not afford have Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee as president. Don't screw this up America. Vote Obama.

    December 1, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  25. aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Giuliani is right the Soviets no longer has the imperial strong arm over eurasia it once had. But neither do we. Both of our Presidents have taken unprecedented executive powers and used them to sweep fear and mistrust among their citizens. If Putin is a tiger, then Bush is a bear. The missile defense shield being built by our military across eastern european countries like Poland are only increasing tensions with our former Cold War enemy. I truly believe both us and Russia are going to be the reason our world died in the 21st century. We have irresponsibly proliferated nuclear technology to our close allies, and not so close. This war-hawk Giuliani talks like somebody with absolutely no military experience, like Bush, and only serves to instigate the next nuclear holocaust

    December 1, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
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