Giuliani: Obama dropped the ball on Sandy
November 3rd, 2012
11:15 AM ET
2 years ago

Giuliani: Obama dropped the ball on Sandy

(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, accused President Barack Obama in a Friday appearance on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" of putting his own campaign ahead of handling the fallout from Superstorm Sandy.

"If I were the president of the United States, I sure wouldn't be flitting around the Midwest and the West," Giuliani said. "My job would be making sure this thing was followed through to the very end. Maybe the first couple of days he was keeping his eye on the ball, but we got gas lines now that are a mile long. We got bodies still being discovered, and we got a president who is playing campaigner in chief."

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His comments on CNN came the same evening that Giuliani rallied thousands at an Ohio rally for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, where he called for the president's resignation on the grounds of mishandling the economy. He blasted Obama as the "worst president for our economy in our lifetime" and said that if Obama "was paying attention, we wouldn't be going through all this investigation of what's being covered up about Libya."

"What the heck is he doing, flying all over the country and not keeping his attention on what's going on there, making sure people don't have to wait until November 11th or November 12th for the power to go back on?" he asked on CNN. "I understand he's still running for re-election, but his first responsibility is as commander-in-chief, and I think he's taken his eye off the ball at least for the last couple days. Maybe the first couple days he kept concentration on it. But I feel pretty darned offended seeing my president floating around campaigning while people are suffering the way people in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are suffering."

White House officials have said Obama remains very much up to speed on the response to Sandy. The number of deaths in the United States blamed on the storm rose to 106 on Friday, and damage has been estimated at between $30 billion and $50 billion.

Obama visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday morning before his day of campaign events, and White House officials have said that while on the campaign trail, he continues to be briefed on the response. As the storm approached and hit, Obama canceled several days of events and only returned to campaigning on Saturday.

"I can assure you, everybody on this team, everybody sitting around the table, has made this a No. 1 priority, and this continues to be my No. 1 priority," Obama told reporters after the meeting. "There is nothing more important than us getting this right, and we're going to spend as much time, effort and energy as is necessary to make sure that all the people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut know that the entire country is behind them in this difficult recovery effort."

Obama convened meetings in the White House Situation Room on Monday and Tuesday, a senior administration official said, as the storm ravaged the Mid-Atlantic and then Northeastern United States.

"The president is focused on the response to Sandy, on making sure the federal government is doing everything within its means to assist state and local officials and the millions of people affected by the storm. He's very intense about it," a White House official said Tuesday.

Obama canceled campaign events on Wednesday and instead traveled to New Jersey and surveyed the damage with Gov. Chris Christie. After the tour, Obama thanked first responders for their efforts, expressed his sympathy for those who lost homes and loved ones and said the federal government would continue to participate in the response efforts.

"What I can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done," Obama said. "We are not going to tolerate red tape. We're not going to tolerate bureaucracy. And I've instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team: You return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it's the mayors, the governors, county officials. If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes."

The president held "conference calls throughout the day with local elected officials from impacted areas to ensure that available federal resources are being provided in support of local response efforts," on Thursday, a White House official said. Obama also held campaign events on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited New York, including the hard-hit Staten Island, and issued a waiver to expedite the delivery of fuel by ship to Northeastern ports. The Department of Defense also announced it would deliver an additional 24 million gallons of fuel to the region.

Pressed by CNN's Piers Morgan, Giuliani maintained Obama's efforts were not enough.

"It's a heavy charge to level at him, Rudy," Morgan said. "Wouldn't people just say straight away well, if Mitt Romney is campaigning over the last 48 hours, then surely the president who only has four days left until the general election has to campaign, too? Doesn't he?"

"Sure he can, but he could divide his time, couldn't he?" Giuliani replied. "I don't see how he's spending any time focused on this."

– CNN's Jessica Yellin, Dan Lothian, Paul Steinhauser, and Ashley Killough contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Michael Q

    Rudy Giuliani, a "former" New York City mayor, would like the President to stop campaigning while Romney and the GOP continue to spread their lies and con-job to get the 1% back into the oval office. Thanks, Rudy, but no thanks if the result are you GOP clowns get back in office.

    November 3, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. David Corse

    The kindest thing I can say is who cares what Giuliani has to say.

    November 3, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Gary from Canada

    Giuliani is your typical GOP, running off without any factual intel, the GOP gathers a bit here and there and makes false statements. In fact listening to your defense people, there were special forces ready to go in italy,
    the fact was when asked for there was not enough time to get there. According to Giuliani , he would have had these forces in place(the wrong place at that) so they too could become part of the death toll. That says a lot for the so called Government of the People party. Shoot first ask questions later oops made a mistake sorry quite the creed to run a nation on. Good Luck America if this party rules again.

    November 3, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Rudy_Fan

    This comes from a man that walked the streets of NYC comforting people in shock on 9/11 . Rudy is a leader. The POTUS needs to be a leader but is in another state telling everybody he is a leader. Wake up America .

    November 3, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. anonoymous

    I guess Rudy didnt get the memo from Gov Christie..what a fool he's making of himself. 78% of the people approve of th handling of the strom Gov Christie among that number. Why Rudy and McCain go somewhere and have a cold one and remince on the days where the were reverlant.

    November 3, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. don in albuquerque

    Hey Mr. G! After a disaster of this magnitude most thinking people expect chaso. It just happens. As I recall it happened after 911. The difference was, everybody knew you were trying, just as the president is trying. The difference was there were not a bunch of know nothing loudmouths stabbing you in the back. Et Tu, Mr. G?

    November 3, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Ted van Tol

    Hate and fear from the party of NO!

    November 3, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Bill from GA

    Let's all ignore the fact that New York Harbor has tankers loaded with gas, waiting for the oil companies to OK their docs for unloading.

    And also, the President has no control over the power companies that are working hard to repair the power grid so gas can be pumped.

    And as the media creates panic, people are wasting a quarter tank of gas, waiting in line, when gas is available.

    But let's all blame the President. Especially you small-government republicans. Let's cut the government to its smallest size possible, then expect it to take care of all our needs.

    And where is newt in this crisis. Isn't he also supposed to be yipping about the failures of the President. And donald, let's hear from him some more.

    Mitts can't even seem to get his Attack Puppies in line.
    More complaining, boys!
    Louder!!

    November 3, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Rudy

    wow

    November 3, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Ados Ibrahim

    Rudy Giuliani never liked democrats

    November 3, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. TP

    What partisan hack Rudy is, he spent the last decade talking about 911 and has the nerve to be cretical of Pres Obama.These republican have no decency.He is with Romney at a campaign event complaining about Obama.The
    Re(tug)licans are sure desperate. Canada Loves Pres Obama. Congratulations on your re-election Obama goodbye the fake one.

    November 3, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Miryam

    Guliani ingnorant, umpolite little mayor couldn't take it when Wesley Kanne Clark, general of the United States Army. Graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master's degree in military science. He spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000 etc etc was given Giuliani lesson on External Affairs jejejejejeje.

    November 3, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. WILSMITH24

    WOW is Rudy NUTS!!, I guess he think Bush did an awesome job, by the way where is BUSH?

    The people of NY and Jew Jersey are not complainting so why is Rudy, everyone know it takes time....Do Rudy think Obama should come to New Jersey and pump the gas personally or clear the roads? Hey Rudy what are you doing besides complainting...... You can join Romney next Tuesday for a loser drink after Obama win his 2nd term.

    November 3, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. LJ1984

    Why does everything have to be political? Chris Christie praised the president's response on the storm now mayor Giuliani is criticizing. Democrats praised president Bush on his response to September 11. I mean give credit where credit is due and let's unite for a change, but let's not let tragedies be the only time we unite and maybe it can last for a while.

    November 3, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. bb

    Resorting to desperate measures of using tragedy and human suffering for political gain, Romney's campaign is definitely circurling the drain.

    November 3, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Kathy Mills

    What an idiot! He is just as bad a liar as Mitt Romney. Guess when your teams down say anything to get people to vote for your man. Disgusting!

    November 3, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Joe Smith

    I'm from NY, and as far as I'm concerned, the only thing Giuliani cares about is Giuliani. He made the most of his photo ops on 9/11, and that's about it.

    November 3, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Buba

    Guliani is a joke. He eft 1st responders to die during 9-11 and now he says what? Why does he think we got mayors and Governors? Isnt Romney the saame person who wanted to dismantle FEMA? This people are just unbelievable? Christie got it right, Obama was up to the task and Romney was awol? See, Romney hasnt even called NJ Gov Christie since the disaster. What a shame.

    November 3, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Connecticut Love

    will somebody please tell this non-factor idiot to shut up and sit down somewhere...go chase a woman since thats what you're suppose to be good at ..that EGO is the same size as that head HUGE...why dont you resign from whatever it is you do... because i still dont know what it is..!!

    November 3, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. David Spencer

    Rudy who?

    November 3, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. bcrunner

    Their guy is losing and they are coming unhinged!! Perfect example is Guiliani!! Obama is up 6 points this morning in Ohio. Those Jeep ads are actually hurting Romney!! Yeah!! Obama will win! But, EVERYONE who has not voted must go out and vote... I am done!

    November 3, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Giuliani is an embarrasing. A complete political freak that fancies himself insightful. Who cares what he thinks except perhaps "bricks". Please get him off the podium!

    November 3, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. clem

    Rudy's an a hole just like all the Faux Noise employees and listeners. They LIE just like Romney.

    November 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. trevor

    Rudy is trying his best to offset the praises that President Obama got from the GOP's favorite son, Governor Christie.

    If you listened to Rudy, you would think that Obama needs to crawl through the rubble and search for survivors, climb an electrical pole and restore power, serve food, direct traffic, and answer the help line. Then, if he did, they would criticize him for micro-managing. He can't do enough for certain people, although he tries.

    Look, the federal govt has people assisting in those areas. President Obama is using a very novel approach to handling this- he has his delegates coordinating the effort. You know, his Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Director, and Supervisors who are paid to handle these situations. Stop letting Rudy tell you stuff without you researching for yourself.

    November 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Pete

    How sad for Guiliani....another sign of the desparation of the Republicans...they know its over so they are going to fling the kitchen sink. First the BS ad about Jeep and now this.....looking forward to what is next.

    November 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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