August 10th, 2007
05:05 PM ET
13 years ago

Edwards camp: Giuliani exploiting 9/11

The Edwards campaign criticized Giuliani's ground zero comments Friday.

(CNN) – Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, who attacked his party’s frontrunner this week over lobbyists, is now taking on the Republican leader in the polls.

The Edwards campaign put out a statement Friday criticizing Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments regarding September 11th as a “break from reality.”

Giuliani was in Cincinnati Thursday, defending his role on 9/11 against claims made last month by a firefighters’ union. The former New York City mayor told reporters, “This is not a mayor or a governor or a president who's sitting in an ivory tower. I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers.” He added, “I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

On Friday, Edwards campaign manager David Bonior said in a statement, “Evidently, Rudy Giuliani has taken a break from reality. It is outrageous for Giuliani to suggest, in any way, shape or form, that he did more at ground zero or spent more time there than the brave first responders who worked tirelessly around the clock for many months during the rescue and recovery operation."

"It seems that Giuliani is determined to take every opportunity to exploit the memory of 9/11 for political gain, rather than honor the incredible sacrifices of our first responders," he added. "Enough is enough. Mayor Giuliani should start answering the serious questions of why firefighters and other first responders didn't have proper equipment and support.”

Giuliani campaign spokesperson Katie Levinson hit back in a written statement of her own, less than an hour after the Edwards release hit reporters’ in-boxes. She said, “For John Edwards to lecture Rudy Giuliani about September 11th is laughable at best. This is, after all, the same guy who thinks the War on Terror is simply a ‘bumper sticker.’"

Filed under: John Edwards • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix Arizona

    Finally...someone who sees Giuliani for what he is. A wanna-be Republican who can only talk about two things: the "war on terror" – which IS simply a bumper sticker – and how wonderful a leader he was on 9-11. Get real takes more than talk and exploitation to become president.

    Woops...maybe Im wrong, look at who's currently in the White House and how HE got there.

    August 10, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Giuliani is a fraud.

    August 10, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Pi, Indianapolis, IN

    Edwards is the one who needs to wake up and smell the toast burning. He's the one who thinks the War on Terror is a 'bumper sticker'. Besides what was lil' Johnie E. doing when 9/11 happened? Hiding in his house?

    August 10, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Chuck, Long Beach, CA

    As usual, the typical name calling, Bush bashing, no substance Democrats.

    August 10, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Rob, Boca Raton, FL

    Katie Levinson is obviously speaking ONLY to her base. Saying that The War on Terror is a bumper sticker gives Edwards credibility to all thinking people. For one thing, it is bad grammer – Terror is an emotion, how can you fight an emotion with an army? You can't, which is why it is just a slogan... or bumper sticker.

    Worse yet, the war against terrorISTS is certainly not happening in Iraq. Iraq is a civil war, a war between patriots and an invading army and a war between a minority government and insurgents. The terrorISTS that attacked us on 9/11 are along the Afghanistan and Pakinstan border, and we aren't bothering to attack them back – I guess there just isn't any big-business reason for us to fight them. Apparently defending us from another terrorIST attack isn't a good enough reason.

    August 10, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. David, Athens, GA

    Well he wasn't hiding on an airplane like Bush or in a bunker like Cheney!!! How much milage is Rudy going to try to get with this 911. The 3,000 deaths have already made him rich (job after mayor). Now he is trying to get the Presidency. Just another opportunist trying to cash in on a tragedy.....disgusting!

    August 10, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Patrick, Raleigh NC

    I find it amazing how when we needed leaders the most, in the face of tragedy, we look to them with respect and are thankful for what they have done. Time passes and we warp these facts into something completely different... a political agenda. Both Rudy Giuliani and Pres. Bush had a major calming influence on our country in the wake of the attacks. What ever we feel about them today lets not loose sight of the good they did in those brief moments. Don't believe me... check out both of these guys approval ratings in the weeks and months after 9/11/01. These facts are not by accident. Stop playing... is there anything of real value that any of the candidates are addressing? Has anyone gotten past rhetoric and shared a viable plan for Iraq? No! Exit is just as foolish as surge. I’d like to hear someone who is willing to stop playing politics for a minute and show what kind of leader they might be… Bring on a solution based plan, not a politically charged one. Be willing to lead instead of bowing down to an uninformed public opinion. Where are the real leaders??? I just see empty mouth pieces with good hair (at least those that have hair).

    August 10, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. kim w., baton rouge, la

    Wow, seriously how old are all of you? I hope you are not adults with a voter registration card. I don't care if you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, there is no need to read a story like this and turn to name-calling. How long ago were you in elementary school? If you have something important, relevent, and thought-provoking to add to this article, then by all means write it. Do not lay in wait until someone types their opinion to attack.

    August 10, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Bill, Columbus, Ohio


    Good comment, and I agree with you. Giuliani and Bush were there as leaders when we needed them. If there is one (or two) things that I wish we could change about our culture, it's our propensity to be Monday Morning Quarterbacks and be so sure about What I Would Have Done If I Were In Charge. I don't buy products from salespeople who cut down the competition...if their product is good they should sell the product. The same is true for candidates. Don't attack others...tell us what you think and what you'll do in the future.

    August 10, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Robert A. Payton III, Mobile Alabama

    Really, EVERYBODY knew that 9/11 was going to be exploited by Rudy Giuliani for his own political gain. What did Rudy Giuliani do as Mayor in this unique situation that no other mayor would have been able to do?

    August 10, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Mac, Severn, Md

    We put our leaders in impossible positions. If they show up to a catastrophe, they are chastised for being there just for a "photo op". If they DON'T show up, they are criticized for "not caring". The best they can do is what they feel is the RIGHT thing to do at the time. At times of sorrow we usually want our leaders to talk to us, to reassure us. Let's not tear them apart months or years later for doing the right thing at the right time.

    August 10, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Mike, Eau Claire, WI

    If anyone knows breaks from reality and about exploiting situations it would be the ambulance chaser in good ole Senator John

    August 10, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. KD, Toronto

    I say round one goes to Edwards camp. The "War on Terror" is not a bumper-sticker slogan. It isn't even proper english, and it says a lot about the people who use it. Bumper-stickers usually make sense.

    August 10, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    I don't see this name to enlighten us Kim?

    August 10, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Your absolutely right John but what do you expect Rudy to do?
    If he can’t exploit 911 what else does he have to run his mouth on?

    The “War on Terror” is the Republican Fear Factor that put Bush in the White House.
    It worked twice for Bush, It lost the Congress once; Rudy holding on that he can scare and TERRORIZE American into voting for him.

    August 10, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. Pat, Lakebay, WA

    any one whith the answers to this? What was he doing when there were no cameras there? Was he doing any digging and lifting deep in the pit looking for bodies among the toxic gasses? How many bodies did he lift out of the hole? How many times did he have to come up for air and get water from all the work he was doing under there? Who was running the city when he was sorting through the ruins of the twin towers, if he was so involved with the rescue effort? Why couldn't one of his aids take the photo op with the celebs and other politicians because he was too busy digging in the pit for survivors and bodies of the deceased? How many people did he help evacuate before the towers came down? How much time did he spend hosing down the smoldering pit? How many times did he order people to go into the pit despite knowing from the EPA that the air quality was very compromised at best and people should avoid breathing the fumes? Any answers?

    August 10, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  17. Greg, Dallas TX

    [quote] find it amazing how when we needed leaders the most, in the face of tragedy, we look to them with respect and are thankful for what they have done. Time passes and we warp these facts into something completely different… a political agenda. Both Rudy Giuliani and Pres. Bush had a major calming influence on our country in the wake of the attacks. What ever we feel about them today lets not loose sight of the good they did in those brief moments. Don't believe me… check out both of these guys approval ratings in the weeks and months after 9/11/01. These facts are not by accident.[/quote]
    Uhh, are you speaking of the same "facts" that said there was weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

    I've never respected these leaders you speak of. We pulled together as a country with our history could only expect to do. In fact, let's not forget we had the whole world pulling together right by our side. Then one of these so called leaders started doing just as you typed, "warped the facts" for their "political agenda" and took us somewhere (Iraq) completely different than where we should've been. All the while creating giant and massive demonstrations in major cities all over the world like they've never seen before. Now that we all know the truth, it should not shock anyone to see where their approval ratings are today when level heads aren't trying to process the extreme aftereffects of one of our nation's largest attacks on our soil and at the same time reacting as best they could by comming together in pride, anger, compasion and patriotism as they were when those approval ratings you speak of were conducted.

    August 10, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Alexis, New York, NY

    Anyone who lived in NYC during Giulianis term knows how terrible he was as a Mayor. He would be a terrible president. Please look at his record with an impartial view. He is not the hero of 9-11. And you should ask his wife about his integrity and honesty.

    August 10, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. Tim, Pella Iowa

    Giuliani should be ashamed for putting himself in the same light as those who sacrificed their lives on a daily basis. The man is truly a fraud and should be investigated for his involvement in 911.

    August 10, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Conservatives always attack liberals for not calling evil,evil or a spade a spade. Well, Edwards is only pointing out the obvious;obvious to all except conservatives.

    August 10, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  21. Simon, Richmond, VA

    Where would Guliani be without 9/11? Just another mayor. Mayor of a big city, but still just a mayor.

    Come to think of it, where would Bush be without 9/11? Can you imagine his approval ratings without the "at least he is keeping us safe" support?

    August 10, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. bprosserme

    Ride your own ticket Edwards, if you have one.

    August 11, 2007 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  23. Lance, Monrovia, CA.

    It is naive and divisive to say Edwards simply thinks the war on terror is a "bumpersticker." What he has said repeatedly is that the current administation uses "the war on terror" to keep people in party line. They use the term like a club to beat up on people who disagree to them.

    We must ask ourselves, is it healthy to be in a perpetual 'war on terror'? You can never win a war of ideals with bullets. It is misleading to the public to say that we can.

    We were attacked on 9/11 by a bunch of radical criminals. If they were from any country it was Saudi Arabia, yet we are not at war with them.

    You go to war with infrastructures, with countries, not with individuals or individual groups.

    What Edwards was pointing out, quite correctly, is that as long as we keep jumping at every shadow we are vulnerable to being manipulated.

    August 11, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. jeanruss,sewickley,pa

    I couldn't believe that a pundit on lou dobbs on Friday said that john edwrds is finished-I guess that mccain, brownback and all the rest are finished as well, because their numbers are HORRIBLE-the more these media lapdogs diss Edwards the more I want to help him-what passes for commentary is pathetic-the money men must be getting desperate-the last thing they want is a middle class-they are half way to destroying it and want to continue.

    August 11, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Pam A S'Side PEI

    If this image is the reel deal on Edward's $400. hair cut, it sure gives me a heightened sense of gratitude for my hairstylist!

    August 11, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
1 2