October 10th, 2007
04:05 PM ET
13 years ago

Giuliani camp compares Romney to John Kerry

The two fierce rivals for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination do not disagree on everything.

(CNN) – An increasingly bitter fight between Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney moved Wednesday from taxes to national security, with both campaigns portraying the other as indecisive.

The latest skirmish between their campaigns is playing out by e-mail. The Giuliani camp is attacking Romney for an answer he gave he gave during Tuesday‘s CNBC/Wall Street Journal GOP debate on whether Congressional authorization would be needed for military action against Iran.

Romney said, “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what's in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat.”

The Giuliani campaign called it a “lawyers test for national security.” And the Giuliani campaign’s news release this morning said, “Sound familiar? Another Massachusetts politician also wanted a national security test”, comparing to 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s “global test” comment. The global test became a favorite GOP attack line, portraying Kerry as weak on national security.

And taking a page from that ’04 campaign, the Giuliani campaign trotted out an expert to paint Romney in that same light.

“Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make,” former U.S. Atlantic Fleet commander, retired Admiral Robert Natter said in the release. “Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation.”

Natter is supporting Giuliani’s bid for the White House.

But the Romney campaign launched its own attack on Giuliani, saying he was vague and indecisive in his answers on Iran. As Romney criticized Giuliani at a morning stop in Royal Oak, Michigan, his campaign pointed to Giuliani’s answer on whether Congressional authorization would be needed when he said, “it really depends on exigency of the circumstances and how legitimate it is.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden fire off this zinger. “On the question of authorization and action against Iran, Mayor Giuliani offered the most muddled and puzzling response of anyone on the debate stage, preferring to rely on a vague explanation.”

- CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    All the attacks on Ron Paul ... it tells me one thing, none of you have read the Constitution in a long time ... if ever. You really do not know the issues. What you do know, very well, is exactly what Fox News wants you to know.

    I am a Democrat (a former Republican) and very hopeful Ron Paul supporter.

    October 10, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. Dan (Baltimore, MD)

    Mitt Romney must be getting really desperate. Rudy Giuliani's answer made perfect sense. Poor Mitt probably didn't understand the word exigent, which describes circumstances requiring quick action. So, Rudy simply agreed with everyone else. If the president needs to use military action quickly and for a clear threat, then that must be done without Congressional authorization. Anything where time can be used, the president must seek authority. Make sense Mitt? Can you now tell us how this was different from most of the answers?

    October 10, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Mike Longview, TX

    Hey Chris in CT, I am with you about Guiliani becoming President. Now when exactly is Hell freezing over?!?

    October 10, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Terry Armenta, Bellflower,CA

    Both of these jokers will be a Democrats dream. A cheating husband, vs a flip flopper. Aren't Republicans the ones who shove family values down everybodys throats? And don't they hate flip floppers????

    October 10, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. Mike Longview, TX

    Hey Chris in CT–I hear ya!
    Rudy Guiliani will make a great president!
    Now when exactly is Hell going to freeze over?
    HILLARY '08

    October 11, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    I'm befuddled when did Giuliani become this great expert on fighting Islamic terrorism. When he had the chance by being a member of the Iraq Study Group, he was more interested in making money by giving speeches. And his excuse that he left the Iraq Study Group because he was going to run for the Presidency makes no sense. Running for the Presidency does not mean you have to recuse yourself like a judge has to in a case before when there maybe a conflict of interest. Having been a member of the Iraq Study Group would have a positive not a negative, for being President.
    If every time both Giuliani and Romney changed their position on an issue, and they aged one year they would both be over one hundred years old.

    October 11, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. Bharat Jashanmal, Manama, Bahrain

    It is amazing that Giuliani and his team are now acting as if he was the 9/11 hero, and that no other mayor would have reacted as he did when the tragedy struck! What does he think that any mayor of any city in the US (or indeed any mayor any where in the world) would have done if his/her city had been attacked, irrespective of their political persuasion? Simply standby?

    October 11, 2007 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  8. Simon Templar

    So, the children are at it again. These two are acting like a pair of seven year olds. I have no problem with a candidate pointing out the failings/shortcomings of another candidate, but this is getting ridiculous. Instead of them telling us what they are going to do for the American people if elected President, they keep taking pot shots at each other.

    I want to know where Mitt, Rudy and the other candidates stand on the issues and what they are going to do if elected. These two are starting to become nothing more than an ever growing distraction. The question is if Mitt or Rudy gets elected will he be a bigger distraction once in office than he currently is.

    As for everyone who goes on and on about fighting Islamic terrorism, I thought terrorism was a tactic much like Blitzkrieg or carpet bombing. The majority of the little fish are willing to die after having been thoroughly indoctrinated by the bigger fish. The majority of the bigger fish are nothing more than fascists. Fascists who have found a way to use Islam to get what they want. It would seem to me that we are fighting Islamic Fascists who use terrorism as their tactic of choice.

    October 11, 2007 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  9. David Erlichman

    Why is that noone is discussing why neither Rudi or Mitt or Fred served in Vietnam when their country was at War?

    October 11, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Sahwn


    October 11, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Still baffling how the left forgets that Hillary voted for the war – anyway – the country is done with the right wing....and the country is also done with the left wing (and a socialist) – so....that leaves Giuliani – the only moderate running...he will be president for that fact alone....liberals start thinking up your excuses as to why the election was stolen from you (you have time ...make it a good one...blame CO2...its apparently a catchall for you guys)

    October 11, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Jeremy Orlando, FL

    I love how people still use the "magical pajamas" (Howard Stern isn't exactly a qualified Mormon doctrine expert) and multiple wives references (CLEARLY has been illegal and not practiced by the LDS church since 1890, more than a CENTURY ago).

    Let's start talking about the real issues.

    October 11, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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