December 1st, 2007
06:56 PM ET
10 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. TC, Napa, CA

    "The Good part is that we are not in a Cold War." Therefore, leave it up to Giuliani to start another one and an arms race. Yay! I's 1945-1990 all over again!

    December 1, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  2. TC, Napa, CA

    Saying you are the best candidate to defend this country because you were there at 9/11 is like saying I am the best candidate to midwife a woman in labor because I was at my own child's birth. I can understand instances of illogical commentary, but some things in this world are flat out stupid. Guiliani's comments on national security and Russia are some of the most inane I have heard.

    December 1, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. Pete,T.S. FL

    We would not be in this situation if Bush and his “Russian Expert” Condi Rice had done their job, but once again they failed America!

    Rouge criminals, and that is all that these terror groups are will not destroy America, a country that has thousands of nukes and delivery vehicles that will hit our soil 20 minutes after launch is what we should fear.

    Communist’s are like watermelons, once they turn red inside they stay red inside…………

    December 1, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  4. jw, canadian,ok

    OMG – The man is a freaking fruitcake!!

    December 1, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Dear Defen$e Contractor$,

    HO, HO, HO, Merry Chri$tma$!


    Rudy G.

    P.$. – Wait till you $ee what I got you for next Chri$tma$ if you promi$e to be good boy$ ;~) until election.

    December 1, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Walt, Belton, TX

    Since Clinton reduced the Federal government by 15 percent which reduced the military by 40 percent, while no one else was affected, this is a long time coming! Way to go, Rudy!!!!

    December 1, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Tim

    And they call Ron Paul nuts.... This guy would be wise to read some more instead of always looking for his next ex-wife.

    December 1, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Eyckie, Toronto, Canada

    Oh Oh, he's going to invade Canada next. We don't have an army to speak of, so not much protection there. And... according to Rupert Murdoch we are America's RETARDED cousins to the north so we will be running around drooling all over the place, but being Canadians and all we will certainly throw roses and the war mongers will be welcomed with open arms. We would be the easiest to invade, and Rudy would have all of these natural resources and wide opens spaces with fresh water to plunder. Oh, and our tar sands I guess for the oil. Shhhhh, don't tell Bush there's oil up here. If you guys vote in another war-mongering president we are not going to play anymore. We'll take our oil, fresh air, fresh water and LOTS of land that hasn't been plundered and hide it before Bush and Rudy remember we're up here. NO MORE WAR MONGERING REPUBLICANs.

    December 1, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. matt, chanute kansas

    Gotta have build up before a pre-emptive strike! Figured you all would know that by now!



    December 1, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Bill, Albany New York

    Only him and Biden has even acknowledged that Putin and Hu Jintao (China) are a danger to America. I applaud both men for doing so. But I have a question how to do we pay for such an increase in military build up when are biggest banker is CHINA! In addition that the country is already paying for two wars, possiblly a third if we bomb Iran. The Europeans cant help us because Putin has them by the next with his gas reserves.

    December 1, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. jon houston, TX

    How for God's sake is this guy a front runner?
    How can we point to the short comings of 'russian democracy'?

    Sorry to be frank and honest, but when is the last time we seriously took a look at our own 'democracy.'

    We are OWNED, bought and paid for, by corporations. We are not soveriegn citizens but soc. sec. numbers. We really need to wake up and fix our own system. It is elementary school yard behavior when a kid with problems at home puts in on everyone else. Yet we can't see ourselves doing this as a country. And like someone above said, hmmm and they say Ron Paul is crazy?

    Seems to me if we had any hope at all of saving anything at all for anyone at all, people would start considering Ron Paul real quick.

    Even you web guys at cnn have to see and be aware of what is happening to this country.

    December 1, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. DP, Fullerton, CA

    It's useless to give comments to CNN politicalticker. They tend to censor whatever comments that they don't like.

    If you see all these comments here, all that are posted are those who oppose Mr. Giuliani strategy. I am sure there must be those who agree with but yet not passed the censor.

    So, whoever of the candidates that CNN like most, those will get the most positive coverage. Congratulations CNN.

    December 1, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Ron, Dundee, OR

    "The good part with Russia is we're not in a Cold War..."???
    So why don't we just start it up again? Brilliant reasoning from someone who is supposed to be running for a conservative nomination. What does he think the Cold War was, us lobbing snowballs across the Bering Strait?? Lets spend billions developing and building bigger, badder weapons so they can sit in silos, just-in-case. Why not spend that money on a better solution. I don't know, maybe we should find a way to offer socialized healthcare for needy families instead of marching down Main Street with all of our munitions like North Korea. What's his next suggestion, power-for-life like Chavez?

    December 1, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Jay, Kensosha, WI

    Guiliani and other Republicans will never get fair reporting on CNN. Never trust second hand sources of information. Listen to the candidates speak for themselves when their quotes can't be taken in context.

    December 1, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Giuliani will terrorize the whole world if given the opportunity. How can there be any peace process when we've got a bafoon like Giuliani shooting off his mouth. And to increase the size of our military can only mean a draft.

    December 1, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    Jimmy Breslin was right.

    Giuliani is definitely a "small man in search of a balcony."

    December 1, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    sounds like a good idea – this newly enlarged military could take on new roles like chaffeuring the first mistresses.

    December 1, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    First of all, I can't believe CNN actually posted that comment by Steve from CO– what a miserable jerk you must be Steve!

    Secondly, just because Guliani wants to build up the military does not mean he plans on attacking Russia. Whether you like it or not, a strong military is the BEST diplomatic tool. We won the Cold War precisely for that reason–sure, it helped to talk to the Soviets once in a while, but without a strong backbone for backup, we would've gotten about as much respect as Papa Smurf. When Reagan was prez, he did precisely that, and the results speak for themselves.

    Listen folks, we all want peace, but it won't happen just because we give someone a hug. I wouldn't walk into a gang-infested neighborhood without some protection, and I'm pretty sure you all wouldn't either!

    December 1, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |

    I believe a militarily strong Russia and China is a good thing. They each have their sphere of hegemony and will serve as a counter balance to one another. Having one superpower in the world whether it be the USA or another nation leads to bullying and unchecked aggression. Look at what Bush has done in the Gulf. Rudy wants the big stick so he can be the world's bully, the man is dangerous.

    December 1, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Kristy Sanborn Dixon, Mo.

    So Guiliani doesn't support the surge of troops in Iraq, but wants to build our miitary to take on the Kremlin and China? Isn't that a little contrary to him saying not to get involved in other countries problems, like Iraq?

    December 1, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Kevin from Acton, MA

    So pour more money into military and everything will be just fine? Let's make more tin soldiers. Sounds like something Hitler would say. Then again, Rudolph and Adolph roll off the tongue in a similar way...

    Do not vote for this nutbag.

    December 1, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Brad, from the great state of Texas

    I beg to differ with your Cold War comment. Reagan didn't have as much to do with "the results" as much as Russia almost had a financial collapse keeping up with us in the arms race with a weak economy while being stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan ...with our help. Remember? We were helping bin Laden prolong Russia's war.

    History repeats itself but now it's America that finds itself in the same predicament. Stuck in two wars that are being prolonged by rich Saudis and other Middle East countries helping the Islamic militants while our debt increases exponentially.

    But I do agree with you, we all want peace.

    December 1, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. anon, ny, ny

    Giuliani is paranoid. American has already spent much much more in military spending than Russia.

    On the other hand, Giuliani has earned millions in his personal security companies from government spendings.

    December 1, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Jose Card

    What I like about Giuliani is that he tells you what he wants to do BEFORE he is elected, not AFTER.

    It's fair if the voters know what they are voting for or against.

    December 1, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. demwit

    The progressive thing to do would be to abolish the military and surrender to Russia and China too..

    December 1, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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