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. Palo Alto, California

    Rudy Giuliani is the only serious candidate with a proven track records of turning thitngs around. This is the very reason why he was and has been attacked so profusely. I've seen through the muck...and found my candidate. Californians for Rudy 2008

    January 20, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Ed L

    Rudy "Skull Face of Death" Giuliani does not have national support and seems to have support only from the elderly and those from New York City.

    I still remember him from an appearance on THE DAILY SHOW stating he would never run for public office again-this, after his stint as NYC mayor.... Clearly he cannot tell the truth.

    What Republicans see in him is beyond me. He sure doesn't look like presidential material to me. Ask any of his wives.

    January 20, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Jenny, Paxton, MA

    What's the matter CNN, choking up on something?

    January 20, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Brandon

    Gulianni is not what America needs. We don't need another Bush touting the words "9 11" instilling fear in our country-men to get vote for him.

    I hope my home state of Florida will be the round Gulianni leaves the race.

    January 20, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Rick Levandowski

    And Pat Buchanan endorsed this guy?

    January 20, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Juls

    Living here in NYC, we experienced the real Rudy. Arrogant, pompous and all-knowing. Rudy pushed through alot of laws which were challenged at the outset and fought all through his years as mayor. The public outcry was loud but could not move him. Once he left, and the courts were looking at these changes Rudy made to New York's laws, many of them were declared unconstitutional and repealed. Rudy is not supported by the very firefighters he claims to revere. Why? Because there was never a time when he truly respected them or any other city workers let alone anyone who disagreed with him. And he showed it. Now it is coming home to roost. My point here is, if you like George Bush, vote for Rudy...they operate in the same cloud.

    January 20, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. JimBob, Encino, CA

    Hey, if he wants to talk PRO Bush tax cuts, let him. Since most of the country is against those cuts it will merely hasten Rudy's slide into the dustbin of history, where he richly deserves to reside.

    January 20, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. FL Rep.

    Giuliani has no integrity. Because he is behind he is willing to shed his moral shell and begin breaking his promises. He attempts to justify them by "protecting his reputation" and "defending his character" but in doing so he reveals his character. Vote for someone who doesn't strike at the ankles of his party when he's laying low on the ground – Huckabee!

    January 20, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. larry sprenkle

    Rudy is a man who can't be trusted. He has run a lousy campaign so far and only on one issue. 9/11. I agree with the other commenter who said that maybe he should run for the governership in the Sunshine State. He thinks he can win the nomination by winning in that state alone. I never cared for him when he was mayor of NYC. I thought that he grandstanded on the day that the towers fell. putting him in the White House would like electing Tony Soprano.

    January 20, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. ag

    "FRED" is now the new four-letter word.

    January 20, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Laura

    Watching the Sunday morning news shows today, I suddenly understood the blackballing of JRE last year on CNN & FOX, when he was tied with clinton and obama in iowa for several months. If they manage to eliminate the one Democrat whose ability to win the general election is well-established in the polls – John Edwards, then they will proceed to start every "news" stoy with the inelectability of Sens. Clinton and Obama. Then they will get the Republican president of their choice. South Carolina voter – Vote your OWN judgement! and be glad you can do it in private, and not in the cock-fight-like settings with unregistered voters that the Campaign of Hope staged here at caucuses in Iowa and in Nevada.

    January 20, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. WHunter

    Holy hell! Do any of you people really think it matters who gets the nomination or presidency? Nothing's gonna change. The rhetoric and scenery will seem different, but no real change is gonna occur. The cards may get shuffled, but its the same deck.

    January 20, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Grover

    A vote for Rudy is a wasted vote.

    If you want to see something intelligent come out of Washington, consider Ron Paul. If you believe in liberty, consider Ron Paul. If you think it’s time to put our country back in the hands of the people, consider Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul is a true agent of change.

    The man loves this country and the constitution. I trust him.

    My name is Grover and I approve this message.

    January 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Robert Head

    That's it? That's getting tough?

    I'll make no comment about the candidates, but I don't even know how to respond to a "story" like this. Is CNN and the rest of the media world so desperate for conflict that any mention of one's rivals is "getting tough" and "taking off the gloves" or "breaking the 11th Commandment"?

    This has been the cleanest, most courteous presidential campaign in my lifetime. Maybe ever. That these innocuous comments are presented as aggressive is astonishing. Smells like newspeak. Black is white, wrong is right. Why? Because we say it is!

    You need conflict? I think there's enough drama in the catastrophic consequences of our current foreign and domestic policies.

    January 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Sheila in the "Other" Washington


    The bias, once again, is so apparent, in the MSM. CNN even reports that there are 6 candidates ahead of Rudy! Thompson and Ron Paul have more of a chance than Mr. 9/11. He's locked in a race for last place by looking at the numbers, with Hunter! When the media can give a balanced account, then I will take more credence in what they report.

    January 20, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. barbara

    Rudy is locked in a 4 way battle with McCain, Romney and Huckabee? I don't see yet where Rudy is a factor in anything viable at all. I am a Democrat from New York, and even if by some absolute miracle Rudy pulls out a win in Florida and becomes viable, once the Democrats fully trot out the facts about his record as mayor of New York, his lack of competence shortly after he demonstrated leadership on Sept 11th, and prior to that letting the command center being situated under the WTC AFTER it had already been attached – which shows gross incompetence, and on top of it all, alluding to President Bush as a great savior after Sept 11, his associations with losers like Bernie Kerik, his questionable business affiliations with Arab countries, and a litany of other problems, he will become a distant memory in this election. The only reason the Democrats haven't dissed him as yet is because they know he is basically a non-issue. Do I want Rudy as our next President? The answer should be quite obvious from reading this.

    January 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Dave,TX

    Let me guess Rudy, you are vying for a Secretary post in a Republican administration? Dept of Homeland Security perhaps??? You're just gonna have to wait another 4 years!!!

    January 20, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Oliver

    Rudy is poised to win Florida, with NJ, NY and California close in tow. Winning those four states means Rudy is way ahead of the other candidates by far. The strategy makes sense. On Feb 6, we will be all talking about Rudy and the others will slowly fade into the sunset. Do not be misled by the media who is thoroughly obsessed with looks rather than issues. The people shall choose their leader.

    January 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Chris

    I thought the 11th commandment was thou shall not marry your cousin, and he broke that one too.

    January 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Wally hernandez

    Rudy lost all credibility when the former mayor of new York was dressed head to toe in Boston Red sox gear.

    January 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Bill Hutchinson

    Remember when Giuliani was just hospitalized for the 'flu' (they don't put healthy people in the hospital for flu)

    So he's basically been sick all this time and convalescing in Florida. People need to wake up and smell the coffee. The Ghoul is finished.

    January 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. deano

    Ok CNN whats the deal? Ron Paul has beatin Guiliani in every state, he has more total delagates than Guiliani. But as allways CNN has chosen to show Guiliani in florida. Instead of showing Ron Paul. Who has clearly beatin Guiliani

    January 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Unkle Kracka

    Reagan was a fool who believe that Republican were never wrong. 11th commandment, what a pound of you know what? Reagan was more theatrics than presidential. Rudy also broke the "thou shalt not cheat on your spouse" commandment twice.

    January 20, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Don Longmont, CO

    I can't belive it another Republican who's word means nothing to him. I wonder if he could be trusted once in the White House. Mmmm.

    January 20, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Ken, Tucson, AZ

    Jason, you're an idiot if you think that tax cuts alone will spur the economy. If that were true, then why haven't Bushes tax cuts reduced the national debt rather than nearly doubled it? Think and stop just repeating what you hear from the party line.

    January 20, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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