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)
  1. at

    This CNN story is a classic example of the disservice the media is yet again doing in the campaign. CNN is so excited to see "clash" coming from Rudy....but he is not "speaking ill" of anyone. He is drawing a contrast between his view on the issue and the view or vote of the other candidates. He is doing exactly what voters demand–"tell us how you are different from the other choices."

    Argument in the absolute–"I am for lower taxes" is less helpful than the comparative "I am for lower taxes and the other guy is not."

    Every time a candidate does this-offers a substantive distinction between themself and the others, the media uses the word "negative." Then Rudy has to explain that he didnt mean to be negative....the voters get a skewed view of the episode because of the sensationalist headline....and around the cycle we go.
    I know CNN knows this–of course they do–and they know that fear of a headline saying that they are "going negative" inhibits candidates from giving voters more substantive distinctions between themselves and the other choices. The sad part is when the media is not creative enough to make their stories hit home without distorting and ultimately diluting the campaign itself. And save the sensationalism about negative campaigning for the ubiquitous enough personal attacks and inaccuracies that candidates will inevitable turn to and shouldn't.

    January 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. phil texas



    January 20, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Eurotrash777@yahoo.com

    I used to be a squeegee guy. I made a great living and enjoyed being able to bring joy and happiness to many Manhattan motorists. I used to love to squeegee a dirty windshield and watch the smiling face emerge from behind the glass. Sometimes, a customer would be so moved by my actions that they would tip me. Usually this was in the form of a cup of scalding hot coffee, accidently thrown at me I am sure, or a wad of fresh spit, but my best days were when I would be rewarded with a shiny new nickel.

    To me, being a squeegee guy wasn't a job, it was a way of life.
    I could be myself, and provide an important service for people.

    Rudy took that from me, and I will never forget it. After banning people of my profession, I was forced to go back to a life of semi-organized crime.

    Shame on you Rudy!

    January 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. james, newport, KY

    When Rudy places third in Florida, will he finally drop out?

    What about Mostly Dead Fred?

    January 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. All-seeing eye

    Can we get some coverage on Rudy's marriage to his cousin? I mean, whats up with those family values, eh?

    January 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Awaiting Moderation, USA

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess...

    January 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Carol Elkins

    How do you see it as a four-way battle. He's dead last! Ron Paul is ahead of him!

    January 20, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Disillusioned

    Here's the deal, guys, if Clinton and Romney win their respective nominations, I want the libertarians to draft Ron Paul. Heck, I do not even consider myself in that spectrum. I would vote for him over all of the candidates. If that does not work, let's draft Bloomberg. We need change and a bunch of flip-flopping, so-called "change" as in their views candidates will only create more Iraq occupation, more problems, and I guarantee nobody will have a smart tax program (assuming that they vote for Romney) and nobody will have health care for their children probably because another Republican congressional revolution will bash Madame President in the head. Nothing will change. We need anybody else.

    Ron Paul '08. (And I am not even a libertarian! Otherwise, get me a different candidate.)

    January 20, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Ben, TN

    This is a presidential primary. Why are we talking about the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, anyway? We are in the middle of a presidential primary… What?… What do you mean Giuliani is running for president? You gotta be kidding me. Where was he in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina? I thought you had to win some delegates in order to become the Republican or Democratic nominee. Somebody needs to wake this guy up and inform him that local public servants are great and all, but we need a man with some political experience to lead the greatest and most influential nation on the planet.

    January 20, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Walt, Belton, TX

    Guilliani lacks a lot in the character and honesty department; Romney could use some integrity, manners and a more realistic sense of his own self-importance; and Huckabee needs some worldly experience and a lot less “how great I art”. None of these three stooges had the fortitude to serve in uniform! Only McCain has proved himself! If only he can be convinced that illegal aliens need to go!

    January 20, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. mike kaplan

    Every single Republican candidate in the race right now is one or another form of a joke, except maybe for John McCain (who I disagree with on almost everything, but at least he remains a vaguely honorable man).

    Romney? Hilarious- changes positions faster than anyone in politics today, has absolutely no convictions about anything.

    Huckabee? A good candidate for Pastor in Chief who looks like Elmer Fudd and sounds about as smart.

    Thompson? "Lazy" is an understatement.

    Ron Paul? Puh-leeze. All you morons who keep posting "Go Ron Paul" can just keep wasting your time. It's very entertaining.

    And finally, Rudy-(9/11)-Giuli-(9/11)-ani-(9/11) who thinks that losing (and sometimes, not even competing in) every primary is a good way to demonstrate that he's a viable candidate. And this latest statement just shows how out of touch he is- the fact that someone didn't support every single Bush tax cut (the tax cuts that have helped to make our hard-won surplus disappear in just 8 years) is a reason to vote against them?

    I'm going to enjoy watching the Democrats (either Hillary or Obama) beat any one of these clowns. If this is the best the GOP can do, we Democrats can look forward to a very enjoyable election season.

    January 20, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. tomw

    i am not affraid of any of the republicans any of the top 3 democrats could beat any of the gop candidates

    January 20, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Bob Henry

    Giuliani is the most reasonable candidate the Republicans have. Huckabee and Romney have that fringe, weirdo feel. Not to mention Paul. None of those has any chance of actually winning in November. McCain is better, but has a few negatives, such as age. The ideal ticket would be Giuliani-McCain. People won't care that the VP serves only one term. This ticket win win some of the states with large electoral vote, like New York, PA, Ohio, Florida.

    January 20, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. LQ, Rochester MN

    From what I've heard, that's not the only commandment he's broken!! LOL!
    He's a sleaze.

    January 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Anti lib Supporter

    Tom, Boston MA, what is your problem boy! is everything in your life negative all the time, did you take your meds? if you forgot, you need to tell your mommy to unlock the medicine cabinet and make sure she gives you your valuim.

    Good heavens, then you can go outside and play with your barbie dolls.

    Stay out of politics boy.

    RB from the bay state, it should read from the left state like you are you lib freak, your hero Hitlery pig sty admits she is for the left side, illegal aliens welcomed here, we will pay for your stay here...forever.
    We will raise your taxes and build big government for you, we will tax you and your children to death, we will tell you how to live, we will tell you that there is global warming, we will tell you all these hings and you will do them, but as for us "leaders" we will not cahnge anything, we will travel in airplanes while you stay at home, we will share the benefits of being rich as you will support us.

    You will be like little chicks in a nest asking to be fed, we will feed you when we feel like it and just enough to let you know you are still hungry.

    That sounds like the left alright. You libs are so blind, you follow the leader like a blind man follows his guide dog, that is what Hiltery is a guide dog leading you to destruction. Wake up America! if you want change, don't vote for that dubbled chinned witch!

    Go Mitt!

    January 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Adam Smith

    Hello all you idiots who voted for John McCain in south carolina did you know McCains a liberal Democrat? South carolina must be full of retired people who suffer from alzheimers. have you ever heard of the McCain Kennedy bill? amnesty for illegal aliens. Why even have elections if people arnt smart enough to vote on the issues. Is the presidential race a popularity contest ?

    January 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. average citizen

    If elected president ,Rudy will be divisive in the extreme.He is already palying numbers game, campaigning in a very calculating way. Thats smart but not leadership. He has the mentality of a third world dictator. POWER HUNGRY...extremely power hungry !!

    January 20, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. LQ, Rochester MN

    Mike VE

    Do you paste that comment daily here on the ticker? Or are you just spam? You have never answered any of my previous questions in the last few days.

    CNN, please get a better spamblocker!!

    January 20, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. MD

    This is *not* an attack. Our CNN writer is trying to make something of nothing. Rudy is stating a difference of opinion.

    BTW, I would not vote Rudy

    January 20, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Nick

    Just think what could have happened if Ron Paul got 1/2 as much coverage as Mr. 9/11 in the early stages....I've never seen such a stupidly run campaign for as long as I can remember watching the primary process.....

    I wonder whats next for him after his failed presidential run...

    January 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    RUDY GULIANI knows nothing of Commandments or ethics or truth.
    He is a war monger who has little respect for marriage, working people or the
    health even of those who rushed to the World Trade Center to help save lives.

    He is an embarrassment to America and should just go home to his 'love nest'

    I am so sickened by his constant banging of the "9-11' drum as if he were a hero when really he is the reason many great heros are dead.

    January 20, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. winterman93







    January 20, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Venice, FL '05

    Romney is at the top (or near the top) in every early state. I think that says something to compete in all the states and do well. To my knowledge, he currently has the most delegates and clearly the most money. Say what you may, but there is no question that Romney has the best business/economic experience of any GOP candidate. I'm voting for Mitt, cause I really think he is the only one that can whip Washington's sorry rear end into shape.

    January 20, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. terridiane

    Why would Rudy even say he sided with Bush on anything if he wants to win? Ugh we are sick of Bush Rudy don't you get it? As a Floridian I am doubly sick of that name.

    January 20, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    "I opposed the Bush tax cuts?" Rudy, when running for President of the United States, it's not a good idea to associate your name with someone whose approval rating is now in the thirties.

    January 20, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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