January 7th, 2010
09:10 AM ET
5 years ago

Giuliani: Obama needs 'major correction' on terror response

(CNN) – Echoing other high profile conservatives in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day terrorism attack, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN Wednesday President Obama waited far too long to react to the botched bombing and needs to make a "major correction" in the way he is dealing with terrorism.

Speaking on CNN's Larry King Live, Giuliani said the time it took the president to react to the attempted attack may "convince our enemies we are not ready."

President Obama first addressed the issue from his vacation spot in Hawaii three days after the attempted attack, calling for a complete review of the incident and the country's airline security policies. He then gave a public assessment of those reviews in a statement Tuesday, saying they had uncovered that "U.S. intelligence had uncovered numerous "red flags" prior to the attack."

"All this is ten days too late," Giuliani said. "This something you react to immediately. Not after your vacation. The president of the United States, when there is a potential massive attack on the country, should have been on top of it immediately."

Giuliani, who late last month announced he would not run for either governor or senator in New York this year, also faulted the administration for not classifying the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as an enemy combatant.

"The minute you [don't designate him an enemy combatant], you cut off the ability to question him," Giuliani said. "I don't know the inside story. He was talking until he went out and got him a lawyer. You want to talk to this guy for a month. You want to keep him for a month or two get to get you a the intelligence he is going give you."

Giuliani's comments closely echo those of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who released a statement saying the president is pretending there is not a war on terrorism.

Speaking to Larry King, Giuliani defended Cheney's criticisms, though said he disagreed with some of them.

"Nobody was concerned about that when everybody criticized President Bush day in and day out including testimonies calling him names when he was trying to prosecute the war in Iraq, and Vice President Cheney is entitled to his view."


Filed under: President Obama • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. brianm0122

    Why are you giving this clown airtime? He is no longer a politician ($50 million dollars and he got ONE delegate!! Well, maybe that does make him a politician!). You are effectively giving him free airtime to advertise his business.

    January 7, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Mlhall

    Do you remember that the Bush administration prosecuted shoe bomber Richard Reid in Federal Court for attempting to down a transatlantic flight using the same type of explosives found on Mr. Abdulmutallab. No one then questioned the Bush-Cheney administration's judgment.

    January 7, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. EJW

    His 15 minutes of fame are over. He should get a life.

    January 7, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Jeff

    Instead of finger pointing, let's focus on what happened, how it happened, and how we can prevent it and similar incidents from happening again. This goes for both sides. All I hear from Mr. President is "We should have done better. This is unacceptable." I am not concerned with who is to blame (beyond the extent to which it must be known to fix the situation) but rather how to move forward. Blaming doesn't change the past.

    January 7, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Rudy...where in the Constitution does it say the president has to react to a crisis immediately without knowing all of the facts? Was Bush's dumbfounded looking reaction on 9/11 just perfect to you? Maybe the terrorist wasn't treated as an enemy combatant because we're not at war with Nigeria...huh? As far as your "War On Terror" ...how's that "War On Drugs" doing Rudy?...did the Republican Taliban do enough during their eight years just completed?...How's that "Contract With America" coming?Besides as everyone knows...and as we were lauded by the Republicans...the "Mission Is Accomplished"...right?

    January 7, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. J

    Rudy is one of the most contemptable hacks on the planet. He'll politicize anything and take cheap shots all day long. Where was he when Bush handled Reid the shoe bomber with civilian courts and when Bush took six days to respond? Also, he actively employed crooks like Kerkik.

    January 7, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. sifto77

    100% right–and who better to see the weaknesses–Obama is just to slow on the uptake to be effective–what if doctors waited a week to"diagnose" cardiac arrest? Difference–more people die from a terrorist attack–already libs are trying to portray Al-Quaida as "losing their steam " –because a passenger foiled the attack and saved maybe thousands of lives...make no mistake, liberals–these people are testing the President–luckily, he was "saved " by a citizen....

    January 7, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. D. Tree

    Oh get of your high horse Mr. Giuliani – America is sick of Republicans playing the politics of fear!

    January 7, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. clint

    Giuliani has turned into a pathetic, whiny gas bag. I am surprised that he took time off from his lucrative money making activities, but I guess that he needed to grab some free publicity.

    January 7, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Mark S.

    What a hypocrite. What an embarrassment.

    January 7, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Richie

    Shut up and go away, Rudy.

    January 7, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Pete

    When Richard Reid tried to commit the SAME CRIME during the previous Administration, the previous President took twice as long to issue a public statement as President Obama. As the weeks and months passed, the words "Richard Reid" barely passed from the lips of the previous President. Granted, at that time the previous President had already decided to take his foot off the gas against Al Queda in order to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

    January 7, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. britt-knee

    America needs to get a closer look at their friends and enemies here, especially when you have the same group that Lied about WMD, and got us into TWO WARS....and the Economic melt down,, don't they get it! We are sick and tired of them, especially Mr. 911, he's made sooo much mooching out it, didn't he get the memo also he's a Loser too.

    January 7, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. Houston Mom

    Rudy who?

    January 7, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Pete

    BTW, Guliani is wrong about not being able to interrogate the Underwear bomber. Anything that this guy says NOW can't be used in the court case against him. However, since the criminal case against this guy is airtight (witnesses, a confession, physical evidence), what's the problem.

    It's funny that conservatives only used to argue that torture was a worst case scenario for the "ticking time bomb". Now they just want to torture any suspect right away.

    January 7, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Texas Doc

    Uh, let's see.....Osama Bin Laden attacks us and we attack Iraq. Bin Laden still free. My Pet Goat. Rudi you need to look a little closer at that glass house you stand in.

    January 7, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Carole

    Thank you Rudy.

    You keep beating that 'terror' drum like that trashy Cheney family. Tell the terrorists that we are weak. Just because you were admiral on the 9-11 attack that happened on the Bush watch does not make you an expert. Maybe that is why you were not elected President, Rudy?

    I am totally disappointed in Larry King for having this has been who cheated on his wife on television in the first place. Why have him on?

    January 7, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. cynt

    Who listens to this loser? Rudy has no clout nor does he has status, he is complete loser who needs to stay off the air with his idiotic statements. bush took longer to address a terroist, but this moron nor cheney are talking about that. President Obama is not a hot head like cheney and bush were, this President actually has a brain and he uses it intellengently. gulianne is a wanna be, and nobody is listening.

    January 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. David from VA

    Rudy, you're a baffoon. You and your party have done nothing but stone wall the current administration. Wish that's how it was 8 yrs. ago...the Dems should have done the same thing....maybe we could have avoided a worthless war. You're all very predictable now....Obama could stop a missile with his bare hands and you'd still find a way to criticize him. It's pure entertainment at this point. Keep the polarizing going and we'll continue to look like idiots to the rest of the world.

    January 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Rumself

    Rudy, thank you for speaking up and joining the ranks of the Cheney's! I vote that you and the Cheney's head off to a deserted island so that we do not have to hear from either one of your camps. You are all irrelevant....you, especially so.

    January 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. jules sand-perkins

    Mr. Giuliani is only stating what is obvious to anybody with common sense.
    Everybody else with common sense had better stand up and cheer, or at least say "Amen."

    January 7, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. CommonSense09

    Wow! Another loser wants to give the elected President advice after dropping out of the presidential campaign....Please go into hiding, retirement or another marriage!

    January 7, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. W l Jones

    What were happen in New York city every day when he were Mayor.? Enough said.

    January 7, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. JackAndJill

    I had respect for Mr. Giuliani. Not anymore, since realizing how corrupted people around him are (and that tells something about himself). Mr. Giuliani is in no position to comment. Do you want President to jump around and be on live TV day in and day out. Leaders need to be calm, composed and refrain from making premature comments without knowing what they are talking about. And you are not one of those. So please be quite.

    January 7, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. Average Guy in Red-State Kansas

    Rudy, Rudy, Rudy...

    For cryin' out loud! Can't you come up with anything more original to say than this drivel?

    One the hamster engages the wheel that powers your brain perhaps you'll realize that your comments are irrelevant and sophomoric at best.

    Get off the rickety, wobbly GOP bandwagon, Rudy, hitch up your britches, and try to realize few people who have more than two firing synapeses give a hoot about what you think!

    January 7, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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