August 17th, 2007
12:58 PM ET
16 years ago

Giuliani clarifies following YouTube contradiction

Watch CNN Internet Correspondent Abbi Tatton report on the latest YouTube contradiction.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Confronted with an 11 year-old YouTube clip at odds with a recent speech declaring illegal immigration solvable, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a New Hampshire audience Thursday new technologies can end the problem now.

"Back in 1994, '95, we didn't have the technology that we have today," Giuliani told a Derry, New Hampshire crowd, according to CNN affiliate WMUR.

Shortly after Giuliani declared, "I promise you, we can end illegal immigration" earlier this week, a YouTube clip emerged of a speech the then-mayor gave in 1996 at Harvard University seeming to argue the complete opposite: "We're never ever going to be able to totally control immigration to a country that is as large as ours."

"We're going to have 400,000, 450,000, maybe more, illegal and undocumented, living in the city of New York, and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it," the New York Republican added in the 1996 speech.

Giuliani's chief GOP rival Mitt Romney has criticized the former mayor on the issue, saying that he supported illegal immigration while overseeing New York City. Giuliani has repeatedly denied the charge.

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Romney's campaign, called Giuliani's technology explanation, "nonsensical."

"Technology like night vision scopes and motion sensors all existed back in 1996," he told CNN. "And, before anyone goes looking for new excuses, electricity, telephones and even the wheel existed back in 1996, too.”

In New Hampshire on Thursday, Giuliani continued to defend his record on the issue as New York's mayor, saying "I took a city that had just about the highest illegality rates in the country and took it down to one of the lowest."

He added that if Romney's campaign continues to attack his immigration record, it will "backfire" on them.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. xtina - chicago IL

    Terry I understand your point, but I have to disagree because the most dazzling, charismatic candidates are those who are kind of a "blank slate", where people fill in their wishes within the vagueness of their statements. Barack and Hillary exude this quality that says to people "anything you want, you got it", but that's not realistic and it's false.

    The most berated candidates are those who possess altruism – Romney, Thompson and Giuliani. Both try to do the things that are not popular but are best for all people of our country; continuing to fight terror to strengthen our country; lowering Congressional spending, increasing revenue through keeping the tax cuts permanent and allowing the private sector to compete for medical care, and encouraging private enterprise . These are the things that make our country strong.

    So the diff. is that the more people Hill and Barack can control through taking over their medical needs (universal, goverment-provided health care), their housing needs (subsidized housing), their education (nationalized schools), etc. the more power they absorb. They want to tell you which car to drive, they want to monitor and measure your "carbon footprint" every day of your life (in the name of global warming); they even want government-mandated radio (Fairness Doctrine).

    For they know better than you. If you put your trust in them, they will control every aspect of your life from exactly where you can stand to smoke a cigarette to what kind of toilet paper you can use to how much fat your food can contain .

    Hill and Barack say "dont worry, be happy, we'll take care of ya- just leave it all to us –" yes, every aspect of your life. Romney, Thompson and Giuliani would not say that because they want people to not be tethered to the government.

    The conservative candidates want us to look at Americans who have achieved success and take the opportunities that lie in every city and town and to do what the successful have done; The liberal candidates think that you're too stupid to figure out your own success, so they'll take more from those who have achieved, taxing those people to death, so that they, the new socialist government can give it you, be your great benefactor. It's called re-distributing the wealth, or socialism and it diminishes the original purpose of our country.

    August 18, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. David, Salinas, CA

    xtina –

    I’ve never heard anyone try to claim the Republican party is altruistic, unless you mean tax cuts for the rich and no-bid contracts for Haliburton.

    Romney achieved success by predatory corporate raiding.

    Giuliani achieved success by shameless exploitation of the victims of 9/11.
    Thompson achieved success by lobbying for mining, tobacco, asbestos and Aristide.

    Support for affordable housing, education, environment, and universal health care is real altruism.

    August 19, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    xtina ... you find nothing wrong with Rudy flip flopping – his talking "tough" on immigration now after making NYC a safe haven for illegals when he was mayor .. or even AFTER this clip?

    Of course you wouldn't!

    If you like flip flops xtina ... try Romney!

    Hh ... and is the competition (in place of govt) that you love so much OK when buyouts decrease the number of competitors and allow the companies with resulting monopolies to jack up the price on goods and services as a result?

    Yeah ... I didn't think so either.

    The fact is that too much free market is as bad as too much govt control.

    Thanks for posting though, and thus allowing me to correct you yet again.

    August 20, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
1 2