January 8th, 2010
12:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Giuliani says no 'domestic terror attacks' under Bush

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/19/giuliani.jpg caption="Rudy Giuliani said Friday that the United States was not subjected to domestic terror attacks when he was in office."](CNN) - Echoing recent comments from former Bush administration officials, Rudy Giuliani defended former President George Bush's record on terrorism Friday, saying the country was not subjected to domestic terror attacks when he was in office.

"We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama," Giuliani said on ABC's Good Morning America.

Democrats and other political observers were quick to question Giuliani's comments, wondering how the former New York City mayor would classify the attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as Richard Reid's attempted shoe-bombing in late 2001.

"Giuliani seems to have forgotten about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and shoe bomber Richard Reid," ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who conducted the Giuliani interview, wrote on his blog.

Giuliani's comments are similar to those of former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and former Dick Cheney aide Mary Matalin, both of whom have said in recent weeks no terrorism attacks occurred under Bush.

"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term," Perino told Fox News last November.

In December, Mary Matalin - a former senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney - made comments that seemed to place the 9/11 attacks under President Clinton's watch. "We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history," Matalin a CNN analyst, told John King on CNN's "State of the Union" last month.

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Although the 9/11 Commission revealed the intelligence failures of the Bush administration that led to the terrorist attack, Bush's greatest failure was not implementing the recommendations of the committee.

    January 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. ken

    ummm, rudy, was 9/11 a "domestic attack"
    forget that already?

    January 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. SAmico

    Some Republicans seem to have selective memory or no memory. The level to which they will sink has no limit. What next? The record budget surpluses under the Bush-Cheney administration; the 8 years of "peace" we enjoyed; or, how about the "huge" tax breaks given to the middle class.

    January 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Jayson

    Fascinating. I guess the Republican's latest strategy is to take a page directly out of George Orwell's classic "1984" and use Double Think to win support and get votes. Double Think was a technique used by Big Brother in which a person simultaneously believed two completely contradictory ideas; Oceania was always at war with Eurasia, Oceania was never at war with Eurasia etc.

    The key was that the person had to deliberately forget forget the contradiction between his two opposing beliefsā€”and then deliberately forget that he had forgotten the contradiction. This gave the government infallibility; it never made mistakes...it was always right.

    "To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed." -George Orwell

    January 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. jack greco

    not even the old soviet union could rewrite history as well as our present day conservative republicans.

    January 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. HarryB

    I doubt that even the most unhinged right-wing Tea Party member is dumb enough to swallow THAT line! Bust must be the only two-term, seven year President, since Giuliani seems to "misremember" when he was elected. Was it on 9/12/2001, or are you just retarded?

    January 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. David

    Hmmm... I thought I remembered something happening in New York back in 2001, during Bush's first year. September maybe? Something involving airplanes?

    January 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. john bergeron

    Can somebody tell this idiot to ride away in to the sunset so we don't have to listen to his inane comments anymore.
    Say Good Night (once and for all) Rudy!

    January 8, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Mike

    They've gotta be smokin' something. A recession from Clinton? No terrorist attacks under Bush? Were they asleep at the wheel or what? And do they expect us to believe them and to retain their credibility if they ever had any?

    January 8, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Nate

    Why would anyone for any reason insinuate that it was the Obama Administrations fault for this attack. Don't sit there and tell me there were no attacks under Bush. I remember where I was on 9/11 and Bush was president. Despite not agreeing on many of Bush's policies, I do not blame him for the 9/11 attacks. Is it impossible to entertain the idea that no president Republican or Democrat does not want these kinds of things to happen on their watch?

    January 8, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Glad Im A american and not a republican

    January 8, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Mike Coster

    That is right.

    Clinton was President on Sep 11, 2001.

    Or maybe Rudy's NYC was a foreign country.

    January 8, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. RF Xaver

    If the lie is repeated often enough, it's still a lie.
    Rudy, you're right up there with Holocaust deniers.

    January 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Dave

    Of course this is true. If you are empowered by right ideas then what you think must right. Why can't you poor, confused liberals get that? It doesn't matter what the actual date of 9/11 was, it just matters that Bush and Co. don't like terrorists and all Democrats love them. When can we swear Sarah Palin in as President, please?!? Then we will all be safe, regardless of whether we are attacked again or not.

    January 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Doug, Seattle, WA

    It is very sad and frustrating that the GOP cannot seem to acknowledge their failings in both ideology and leadership. Historical denial and revisionism does not play well with those of us who believe in the need for a strong middle class, fiscal responsibility, America's judicial principals, and the fundamental human rights enumerated in our Constitution!

    January 8, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. ns

    What was 9/11??
    Giuliani was a LOUSY mayor, and he is showing as a fruitcake.

    January 8, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. th

    The bomber did not get on the plane on U.S. soil. It was a foreign aiarport that let him on the plane.

    January 8, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. kerick

    Giuliani would vote for Hitler , if barrick obama was on the ballot

    January 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. JC

    What?? This guy's every other word during the campaign was 9/11. How can he forget?

    January 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. eric schwartz

    Wow. Just...wow. Now stand up and admit to being a Republican. I dare you.

    January 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Jim from Seattle


    No other comments from anybody around the world?

    CNN is busy 'filtering'... protecting Rudy from being blasted by the truth.

    Comments closed now?

    January 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Jeff

    I doubt the president at the time had a significant effect on whether or not the attacks happened. As much as we like to blame everything on the president at the time, it probably doesn't depend as much on them we like to think.

    It is reasonable to say that the September 11, 2001 attacks were concieved and planned during the Clinton administration. President Bush was in office for less than 8 months at the time, which is probably much less than the time it took to plan them.

    The attacks that occurred and were attempted (Ft. Hood/Christmas Day) during President Obama's administration could have entirelly been planned during his time, however the reigning president at the time may probably had little to do with the motivation for them, nor would a different president necessarily have made a difference.

    January 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Gem4ever

    What?!! I'm sorry, I'm not blaming Bush or anyone else (except those terrorists) that 9/11 happened, the shoe bomber, etc...who in their right mind, especially Giulianni, to claim that we had no terror attacks under Bush? We're supposed to forever remember that event...so now he's saying it never happened? What?!

    January 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Andrew

    So, Rudy doesn't consider 9/11 a domestic terror attack? Alrighty, then.

    January 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Carrie

    While I'm not entirely fond of our current Administration, I'm not dumb enough to misplace (or even forget) the worst terrorist attack in American history–you know, the one that occurred during the George W. Bush administration.....

    January 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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