Giuliani: Obama dropped the ball on Sandy
November 3rd, 2012
11:15 AM ET
1 year 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. ryan

    Rudy you are a joke! You are one of the front Runners why we hate each other(Dem/Ind/Rep). Keep spewing hate and go back to your 4th or 5th wife.

    November 3, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Sebastian

    Rudy, please stop talking. I used to really respect you and even voted for you. You are finished. You used to be the "Country's Mayor", now you sound like the village simpleton. So sad.

    November 3, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Melissa

    We need a Commander in Chief during a time of significant natural disasters (Hurrican Sandy) and Terrorist Attacks (Libya) not someone who puts politics and campaigning ahead of the lives and deaths of U.S. Citizens. Guiliani has a very valid point, period.

    November 3, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. B.

    Guliani is a Hack and totally without Credibility and we all understand that, he will do and say anything to get in front of a camera..

    Egomaniac.

    November 3, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Curt

    I'am having trouble deciding who is the biggest idiot, Giuliani or Trump. Gov. Chrisitie praised the President. Why are some republicans such morans. Rudy only claim to fame was he was mayor at 9/11. Maybe someone should blame him for what happened.

    November 3, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. R.Owen

    Obama is president. Guliani gets paid to talk at, not make sence. Obama is the only thing america has keeping us from being raped by the gop. god bless america and god bless america.

    November 3, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. R.Owen

    sorry God bless Obama and God bless America.

    November 3, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Independent Texan

    Who listens to this guy anymore? How dare he criticize anybody for dropping the ball. After all he is a "FORMER" mayor for a reason. Perhaps he should do whatever he can to help, rather than place blame. It's time for ALL hands on deck to try and aid these poor people.

    November 3, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. DB

    I am 9/11 surprised Rudy was able to get a complete sentence 9/11 out of his mouth without telling us all 9/11 again how wonderful he was after 9/11. "If I were the president of the United States, I sure wouldn't be flitting around the Midwest and the West," Giuliani said. Gee 9/11 aren't we all 9/11 lucky we will never have to 9/11 find 9/11 out.

    November 3, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Jeetu

    Guiliani has no idea as to what he is talking about. Oh, I forgot, he is a republican and they don't have to know or have the facts to say anything they want to say. It is people like him on Roimney' sidw who will make him lose the election. President Obama and FEMA have been outstanding in their response to Hurricane Sandy and this has been acknoweldged by republicans, democrats, and indepedents. If Guliani would have checked the facts rather than opening his big ugly mouth, he would have found that President Obama is very much involved in the relief efforts to ensure that the after effects of Hurricane Sany are minimal. Nevertheless, you cannot handle such enormous task in one day (it covers 15 states and over well over 1o million people).

    Clearly, Guiliani, Romney and republicans are out of touch and hence should not be winning the WH, House, or the Senate.

    Vove for democrats all the way on November 6.

    November 3, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. iTALIAN NONNO

    Nobody is listening Rudy,..so save your garlic breath. Obama is genuine, the real deal,..you and Romney are lying opportunists, fear mongering, and egocentric. Governor Christie needs to step up one more time, and denounce Giuliani's big lie.

    November 3, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Kareen

    Guiliani's comments last night on Pierce Morgan was sickening.
    I would be arrested if I write what I like to do to that man.
    If I would be a Republican that would have been the last straw to have that man campaigning with me.

    November 3, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. BillC

    Guliani is a BIG Failure! He is just looking for recognition. His words are empty! The man is a former New York City mayor! Check the word "former". It means his time is over, his voice is useless. He needs to go and help clean up NY! He has not done anything as yet to help the city come back from the storm related problems it is facing! LOL

    November 3, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. NikoEsquire

    And, the race to the bottom continues...it really is sad to see someone who once had the world at his feet stooping to this level. It's cynical, it's desperate & it's downright disgusting. I would ask if he has no shame, but, since this follows up another one of his stupid comments, I already know the answer.

    November 3, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Justin Time, Canada

    On Piers Morgan's show, I watched as Guillani did his rant and then, in an unbelievably rude manner he insulted General Clarke by shoving his microphone at the tv camera and undoing his earplug because he didn't have the guts to listen to what General Clarke had to say in reply.

    Now General Clarke is a gentleman in every sense of the word, most people would say – but more to the point he is a retired general in your U.S. Armed Forces and having put his life on the line for this lout Guillani, he deserved some respect.

    But Guillani doesn't seem to respect anyone, including your President. You do remember his mocking and derogatory speech to the Republican National Convention in 2008? This is a very sad commentary on someone who is supposed to have represented the great city of New York, home of some of the most welcoming people in the world. I am sure the United States – and especially the people of New York – are ashamed of this hypocrite.

    November 2, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |

    November 3, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. linda

    How many times did Romney go to the disaster zone to assess the damage, how many times did Christy ask Romney to come, none........what a lying bag of crap ......Guliani is spineless, he's nothing but a want – a – be....just like McCain......losers....he just added more votes for Obama by making these comments.....

    November 3, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Kathy in Decatur, Ga

    I agree with you Connecticut Love, Gulliani need to sit down and shut up. Why is he at a campaign rally saying all this, because he wants to make it political that why. These are people lives Gulliani, Christie and the Pres got it right. You could learn something from them.

    November 3, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. rightospeak

    Gulliani sounds scared-maybe Obama will check into his wrondoings in N.Y.C. ?

    November 3, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. just checking

    GOP PARTY OF LIES.........too desperate, hopefully their plan of Obstruction will be destroyed after this election....and Obama will have a mandate to make some real progress.....for real honest hard working people.... OBAMA 2012

    November 3, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. rightospeak

    When comments await moderation (censorship) often they vanish if not politically correct.It is getting as bad as the Communists.

    November 3, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. sparks2000

    nobody cares what republican politicians say about Obama......except die-hard republicans.......don't forget,Giuliani ran in the republican primary's........lol

    November 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. kel

    Hey Rudy! Where was Bush during Katrina? It WAS the worst natural disaster ever to hit North America.
    President Obama is doing a great job of making sure NJ and New York get everything they need to help the Sandy victims
    and the recovery. I saw you on CNN lastnight and you were a joke. Trying to politicize another tragedy. You republicans are all the same. I'm from Canada! GO OBAMA GO!!!

    November 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Thomas

    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.

    Thank God Bloomberg is Governor .

    Rudy has always been about Rudy , I wish he was so outspoken toward GW BUSH during the hurricane Katrina dasaster !

    Rudy acting as a Romney surrogate last night in Ohio went on and on supporting the Romney disinformation in regards to Libya , stating it wouldn't have happened if John McCain had been elected.

    One could say the same about 911 and the lack of focus of the GW Bush administration on al-Qaeda during his first months in office.

    We as a country can't change until men such as Rudy stop acting like self absorbed Prima donna's .

    November 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. NYC REPUB

    I can't wait for that troll (Guiliani), to climb back under a rock after the elections. The American people have spoken. 78% of Americans think the president is handling the aftermath of Sandy well.

    November 3, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. Logic n LA

    This from aman resposnible for the death of up to 2000 peole becuase of his actions! His team put emergency response people in the WTC basement, knowing it was a terrorist target. He was the one that told the people in the tower they were safe after the planes hit instead of starting immediate evacuation! Had people begun evacuating immediately, most would have been out of the buidlings before they collapsed
    This man should be on trial for neglection of duty- not commenting on Obama. and certianly not politizing the the situation.

    November 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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