November 9th, 2007
04:17 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain questions Giuliani's judgment

McCain goes after Giuliani for not seeing Kerik's faults sooner.

CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Aboard his "Straight Talk Express," Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge questioned former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's judgment and experience by pointing to his association with former police commissioner Bernard Kerik who was indicted Friday and may face federal criminal charges.

McCain told reporters he had never approved of Kerik as a candidate for head of the DHS.

"I went to Baghdad shortly after the initial victory and met in Baghdad with Bremer, Sanchez and Kerik was there,” McCain said referencing former L. Paul Bremmer and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. “Kerik was supposed to be there to help train the police force. He stayed two months and one day just left.”

"That's why I never would have supported him to be the head of Homeland Security because of his irresponsible act when he was over there in Baghdad to try to help train the police."

McCain blamed the initial failure of the police forces in Iraq saying Kerik "didn't do anything," and criticized his early departure.

Ridge added that Giuliani's judgment was "different than mine," on the decision of who to appoint Director of Homeland Security.

"It was clear that the mayor and I had a different view as to what the department does and the kind of leadership that is needed," said Ridge.

McCain also rebuked the New York mayor for his unwillingness to categorize water boarding as torture.

"He doesn't understand. He doesn't have the experience or judgment to lead this nation," McCain, a former prisoner of war, told reporters.

"I mean this is a defining issue about America. It means that he clearly does not understand the moral implications of torturing someone and what it does to our standing in the world and what it does to our ability to win this struggle to win radical Islamic extremism," he continued.

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Bodo, Allegan, MI

    Initial victory???????? Was that at the Mission Accomplished party? If you think there has been any victory, initial or otherwise, it shows just how out of touch and dilusional you really are.

    November 9, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Samuel, Lincoln, NE

    Sorry John, but a candidate who supports the Bush administration's failed Iraq policy and who goes out of his way to kiss the butts of the same "agents of intolerance" who slimed him in 2000 is in no position to question the judgment of another presidential candidate...even if it is Saint Rudy of 911.

    November 9, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Robert, Shelton, CT

    Good, its time McCain get talking about autocrat Giuliani; I can't seem why American feel in love with him in the first place; many in New York did NOT!

    November 9, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Steve, Portland, OR

    Hillarious. One outta touch Republican criticizing another outta touch Republican. No the democrats aren't fairing much better.

    November 9, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Mac, Severn, Md

    No one is responsible for Kerik's behavior but Kerik. Guiliani is not responsible for the trouble that Kerik has found himself in vis-a-vis the indictment.

    I've hired people in the past and wouldn't have any way of knowing if they were cheating on their taxes or anything else. I have no way of knowing if the people I'm working with now are doing illegal things.

    Being associated with someone – or even hiring them – does not mean that you know everything about them or everything they do.

    Thankfully, neither McCain or Ridge fell into the trap of blaming Guiliani for Kerik's behavior.

    November 9, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Mike Blackmore, St, Cloud, FL

    McCain should have been left in Vietnam.

    November 9, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Jeannie, Sacramento, CA

    To Mr. Blackmore - now that's as reprehensible as any human could get – wishing McCain should've stayed and died in Vietnam. Even I, a Democrat, would never wish that on any stupid Republican.... except maybe Giuliani, a NY thug. Now that mouthpiece would probably qualify as a candidate for the next POW camp, seeing as he supports waterboarding. I'd love to see those lungs fill with water while he grapples with what's a criminal act and what's "intensive questioning." What a laugh.... what an imbecile of a candidate Giuliani is!

    November 9, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    Mr Blackmore, go back and crawl under the rock you came from.

    I don't agree with McCain on much of anything, but that was way out of line.

    What have you done for your Counrty other that just whine?

    Your comment is purely disgusting.

    November 9, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Kristy Sanborn Dixon, Mo.

    Giuliani's judgement should be questioned.
    Its easy for Giuliani to say 'I made a mistake'now, in regard to Kerik, but can America take a chance he 'makes a mistake' with our nations security?

    November 9, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    I don't agree with McCain on almost anything and I could never vote for him, but he's a decent man who served his country honorably and deserves respect.

    As for Giuliani he's as much of a thug as the mafioso he prosecuted in the 80's.

    November 9, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    McCain, I appreciate your service in the military, but you should not have ever gotten into politics. It's time for you to retire.

    November 9, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Sid New York New York

    Rudy Giuliani was warned about Kerik before he appointed him as Correction Commissioner. Kerik's claim to fame was that he was Giuliani's driver. But what Giuliani was looking for was someone who would be fiercely loyal and not upstage him with the Media. Most of what Giuliani accomplished was started by the Mayor before him and the police commissioner that he got rid of because he was getting too much publicity. Giuliani was NOT a good prosecutor either. Yes he made headline but almost all the wall street types that he made a show of arresting were ultimately found not guilty. and you know the joke about Giuliani and religion. He keeps true to the commandments....all nine of them...his last wife learned about the divorce on TV.
    McCain may be a little nuts but any one who doesn't respect his service is just a commie in disguise....

    When McCain and Barry Goldwater met Goldwater said to McCain if I had won in 1964 you never would have been in an Hanoi jail so long...McCain's comment was " would have been a Chinese Jail" while I may sometime disagree with John McCain no one should ever question his patriotism or wish him ill.

    November 9, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Liberal Chic

    I wish McCain were a little more left on social policies. He's an honorable and decent man. Plus, Cindy McCain would make a very fine First Lady.

    I would also like Mitt Romney if he could have stayed a little more liberal on social issues. And he and his wife, Ann, would also make a very fine First Couple.

    As is, I have to hope for a-hole Giuliani (and his empty headed wife) as the Republican nominee. Why couldn't Republicans have stayed moderate? They let the evangelical conservatives ruin the whole party.

    November 10, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. Mrs. America

    I think Giuliani is digging his own grave. He doesn't need McCain's help.

    McCain's days of White House potential are behind him, but I don't think anyone can question his military contributions and the huge sacrafice he made as a POW. He is a war hero. Only an ill-informed or stone-hearted person would not recognize that.

    November 10, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. random

    McCain is a nobody.
    He's just a candidate who just wants to bicker and make fun of stuff.

    November 10, 2007 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  16. GH, New York, ny

    Kerik is a crook and Giuliani. Both have become millionaire because of 9/11. Birds of the same feather flocks together.

    November 10, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  17. lynne

    Hey McCain, stop acting holier than thou, critizing Rudy, have you forgotten "The Keating Five",you have
    to be desperate, to critize anyone.
    How come you brought your Mom on with
    that lefty Chris Matthews, while I respect your Mom, she looks great at her age, but that was not a good idea, to have to defend at your age.

    November 10, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Carol Lipski SC

    I question both of their judgements.
    Giuliani has demostrated he does not have much judgement when it comes to picking honest reliable men as partners or to work for him.
    McCain is nothing more than a me to Bush we have had enough of the Bush's to last at least a hundred years or more.
    It will take that long if we are lucky to get out of the massive debt they have put us in.

    November 10, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Karen,ny

    Well, John is at it again. I'm sorry, but he is so funny. Of course I wouldn't vote for him, but I love to hear the things he says, he makes politics so much more interesting.

    November 10, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    If I am ever stupid enough to submit another blog on this network be sure you take it off.

    November 10, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Chris, Middletown, CT

    And soon after – Sen McCain announced the Lotto numbers from last Wednesday – because everything in hindsight is 20/20 – can you imagine if you knew what was going to happen tomorrow...? I do...Giuliani and Clinton will run for the White House – All Republicans will back Giuliani – 80% of unaffiliated will also back him....and 40% of Dems will as well...and prove that the Republicans were the first to understand that the country doesn't need the right or the left anymore – they need a moderate...and his victory will usher in a new generation of politicians...( least I hope it will)

    November 10, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. A supporter for Ron Paul

    I Question all of the candidates judgment.

    November 11, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |