January 20th, 2008
09:55 AM ET
10 years ago

Giuliani breaks '11th Commandment'

Giuliani is getting tough on his rivals.

Giuliani is getting tough on his rivals.

(CNN) - As the Republican race was focused on South Carolina and Nevada Saturday, Rudy Giuliani ended his longstanding observance of the famous "11th Commandment"– attacking his main rivals as he prepares for the make-or-break Florida primary in just 10 days.

He has often referred to the 11th commandment, first coined by Ronald Reagan: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

The former New York City mayor, who has long said he would only strike at other Republicans in defense of his own record, hit Nevada victor Mitt Romney and South Carolina winner John McCain over taxes.

“I’m running against good men, some very fine, all of whom have very good motivation. But there’s a big difference,” said Giuliani at a Florida campaign event Saturday.

“I supported the Bush tax cuts. John McCain voted with the Democrats against the Bush tax cuts - twice. And Mitt Romney did not, clearly, support the Bush tax cuts.”

Giuliani has avoided the race’s early contests, and is counting on a strong showing in Florida’s January 29 primary to revive his flagging campaign. On Sunday, he will begin a two-day bus tour across the state.

The former mayor is currently locked in a four-way battle for first place in the state with Romney, McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (206 Responses)

    Rudy is Breaking Promises Already. Rudy cannot be trusted.


    January 19, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |


    Rudy keeps getting married to have another Honey moon.

    He may have to do it again because the Florida Honeymoon is over.

    January 19, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. Jon, Charlotte NC

    who cares? Giuliani is running the most foolish campaign i've seen in my life – you cant get single digits in every single state and then claim that you're not "competing" in those states, especially when one of those states is the 8th largest in the Union and a swing state. what are you going to do when you dont get the nomination, say that you weren't competing for that either? i cant wait for him to fall flat on his face in Florida just like Thompson did in South Carolina

    January 19, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. Melissa, Tarpon Springs, Fl

    Way to go, Rudy! Stick with a losing formula since Bush's tax cuts of the wealthy have done absolutely nothing to help the economy. A proven loser of trickle on the middle class tax strategy – it failed yet again so when do you finally give it up?

    January 19, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. Nick Bartolotta

    “I supported the Bush tax cuts. John McCain voted with the Democrats against the Bush tax cuts — twice. And Mitt Romney did not, clearly, support the Bush tax cuts."

    That is a fact. John McCain's voting record is a matter of public record. And Mitt Romney's position has been made clear throughout the year. This isn't an attack, this is pointing out a simple difference that is available for anyone to see. Don't make this out to be some huge thing about him breaking his "11th commandment" - it's just him pointing out how HE in particular has been consistently supporting lower taxes.

    January 19, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Gil - California

    Rudy (9/11), Rudy (9/11), Rudy (9/11). As a presidential candidate, you make a great former mayor.

    You have been less active in this campaign than Thompson and you want to try to gain the advantage by blasting those that have been in there from the start? Why don't you save yourself the embarassment of losing big in Florida and quit now.

    January 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  7. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Rudy, the light at the end of the tunnel is within view. Its not the General Election. It is late in the night after the precincts close here in Florida. Enjoy retirement, for it begins in earnest the day after.

    January 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Melanie

    Giuliani is still a contender? I never know if I add enough i's in his name.

    The only state he is actively campaigning is is Florida. The last time I checked the President was supposed to be the President of the United States. Florida is NOT the only state.

    Perhaps he should simply run for Governor of Florida. Maybe that would be a better job calling and fit.

    January 19, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. Paul P

    I'm honestly surprised that he is in the top four for Florida...lately he has been doing pretty bad in the primaries.

    January 19, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. CJM

    Florida, knows better then most "You can tell a tree by it's fruit" What you say and do as a candidate is your fruit. Breaking the 11th comandment is not good fruit.

    January 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. numbers

    I think all the republicans are terrified of Ron Paul. Giulliani above all should fear him the most. He has been beaten by RP in all but two of the primaries. Not only did RP come in second in the popular vote in Nevada, the media has completely ignored the fact that it is the "delegates" that count in Nevada. The popular vote has nothing to do with Nevada's presedential nomination. AND, from what I hear, Ron Paul has been winning HUGE numbers of delegates. What does that mean? Well, it means that Ron Paul might actually have more votes for president (delegates) that Romney. The only problem is, Nevada doesn't release thier republican delegate counts until April, so it looks like we will have to wait and see who "really" won in Nevada........Do your own research.......think for yourself..............

    January 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. VahMonter

    Guiliani has embarked on the most unusual of strategies and if it works politics will never be the same. Will it work? It's highly doubtful. While he has been given nearly free rein in Florida his poll numbers are not impressive and others have "fought the good fight" and laid out a case for their nominations. When everything is said and done these three things will determine the outcome: money, message and victories. Mitt Romney has all three and will be the Republican nominee. Rudy's best hope is win or finish a very strong second and Romney to finish a weak fourth thus clouding the race leading up to Super Tuesday. No gonna happen!

    January 19, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. John

    Rudy, you're done. Go McCain!!

    January 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. Conservative4Life, USA

    Is this guy still in the race? Rudy basking in the sun in Florida while all the other candidates have been treading through snow and rain doesn't seem right. It's like they're all running in a marathon and Rudy suddenly gets out of his golf cart on mile 16 and just starts running.

    Welcome to the race Rudy (finally)

    January 19, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix, AZ

    Rudy, come on, just because you don't have any other song to sing than the two notes of "I was Mayor of NY during 9/11" and "I supported the Bush tax cuts" doesn't mean you need to start splitting hairs with Romney on the issue. McCain, no problem, it's public record he voted twice (not just once, but twice) against the tax cuts. But Romney...come on. You know Romney supports tax cuts. You're being disingenuous.

    January 19, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. Kurt


    How exactly did Mitt oppose the Bush tax cuts!? I have paid attention to his campaign for a year and researched his record as governor and from what I see he has always come down on the side of lowering taxes. . .

    January 19, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  17. Chris, Jacksonville

    Wow, did this guy ever fall off the face of the earth.

    Nice stategy there, Rudi.

    Oh well, I guess you can't just endlessly exploit 9-11 forever without some blowback.

    January 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  18. Sam

    I don't understand why Rudy Giuliani is even running for president.

    Name recognition? Oh, I get it. We're that shallow of a country that we consider him a viable candidate because he had a nice photo-op with firefighters on 9/11.

    I love America.

    January 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Supporting the tax cuts is not something I would brag about.

    January 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  20. Shannon

    Excuse me,
    But Mitt was a little busy running a state and did not have a "vote" in the very thing in which you speak about.
    He was all "FOR" the tax cuts..but his opinion didn't matter!!!
    Let's get the story straight Guiliani.

    January 20, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  21. Murph

    Enough of Giuliani, he is the true fringe candidate that nobody cares about.

    January 20, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  22. Troy La Mana

    Rudy is toast. His strategy of waiting until Florida to win was ill advised at best, completely idiotic at worst. He has made Florida a MUST win and he isn't going to place higher then third.

    January 20, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  23. Gus T. Miami, FL

    You can tell the media has been very preoccupied with Giuliani. They fear him most. Why? Because he would wipe the floor with any of the Democrats. Giuliani is a man who would revolutionize the Republican party. He would steer it away from the far religious right and would be objective on many social issues. That is a danger for liberals across the country and that is why the media is going after him here in yet another example of their hatred for him. How is stating facts about someones record an attack? He is clearly not attacking anybody or violating any commandment. He is drawing a clear distinction between himself and the others.

    January 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Young voter

    I'm hoping our next president will avoid taxing me into oblivion. As it is, my generation is already going to get screwed on the national debt, social security, and Medicare; I don't see any politician(s) willing to sacrifice for us. So as long as there isn't much hope for us in the future, at least let us keep more of the money that we work for and enjoy the present. I don't see any Democrat that would allow that, and only 2 or 3 of the Republicans would support tax cuts.

    January 20, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. Patty D.

    Rudy's latest ad was a disgrace. By invoking 911, a lot of people let him slide because he was the mayor of New York, but using those images he has really lowered the bar. I remember when I believed Bush about WMDs and supported the war in Iraq. But after 2003 I realized our country was in a grip of fear. Mostly, because Bush and Cheny were going around the country screaming about terrorists are around every corner. Then I realized that since the beginning of time,men have always used fear to control the so-called common man. When in 2004 I told family members I was voting for John Kerry they told me I was a defeatist, I would not waver, my mother told me Kerry was not moral, I still held my ground. And I will go to grave claiming that I voted for John Kerry. It might not mean much, but for me it does!

    January 20, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
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