Giuliani: Clinton's Speech No Help To Obama Former presidential hopeful and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is among a group of Republican leaders countering Democrats during their national convention in Denver. He says Hillary Clinton's speech in support of Barack Obama helped herself and helped Republicans, but didn't help Obama.
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Giuliani: Clinton's Speech No Help To Obama

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Giuliani: Clinton's Speech No Help To Obama

Giuliani: Clinton's Speech No Help To Obama

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Tonight may belong to Barack Obama and the Democrats, but there are some prominent Republicans in Denver this week. One of those Republicans is former New York Mayor and Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani, who spoke with us yesterday from Denver.

INSKEEP: What are you doing in a city full of Democrats?

Mr. RUDY GIULIANI (Former Mayor, New York): I am here to lay out our side of it the way the Democrats did to us four years in New York and the way we did to them in Boston. And nowadays, with 24-hour news, and both parties are going to try to respond immediately to the things that happened.

You know, and I was here. Mitt Romney's been here. I think others are going to be here.

INSKEEP: Have you actually been able to go over to convention and look around?

Mr. GIULIANI: Yeah, I was there a couple of times. I was there during Governor Warner's speech, and I left right before Hillary Clinton's speech. I watched it on television. I thought it was a very good speech. I thought she did a good job for herself. I thought she did a pretty good job for us, and I thought she did a bad job for Barack Obama.

INSKEEP: Tell me, each of those three things: good job for herself…

Mr. GIULIANI: Excellent speech in which she left the delegates wondering how come she's not the presidential or vice presidential candidate. A good speech for us because she never rebutted the charges that we've made that come from her mouth that Barack Obama is unprepared to be president of the United States. She never said those words. She did endorse him as a Democrat on the issues, but we know they agree on the issues. But she never got to the point that both she and Joe Biden had said before the convention, and Hillary as recently as a few months ago.

INSKEEP: Although she has come out and said, as you know, look, I made some remarks during the primary, but the totality of the issues point to Barack Obama as far as she's concerned, not John McCain.

Mr. GIULIANI: But notice the issues, not is he prepared. I mean, there's no question that Barack Obama is the least experienced candidate for president in the last 100 years. I'm not saying anything Democrats haven't said.

INSKEEP: Wait a minute. Wait - if I could just stop for a second, less experienced than George W. Bush was when he was elected?

Mr. GIULIANI: Remember George W. Bush was the governor of one of the largest states in the country.

INSKEEP: As his critics argued, a relatively weak governorship, yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GIULIANI: Yeah, well a lot different being a state senator or community organizer.

INSKEEP: Well, United States senator, too, we should mention.

Mr. GIULIANI: In which he has basically spent his time going around giving speeches and raising money for other candidates. He's been there for four years, two of which he's run for president.

INSKEEP: So would you argue then, Mayor Giuliani, that although Hilary Clinton gave what you said was a good speech, that some of her supporters might still be persuadable for John McCain?

Mr. GIULIANI: That's what they said on television. I heard some of them being interviewed.

INSKEEP: I just want to mention, Major Giuliani, since you mentioned things that Hilary Clinton brought up during the primary campaign and spoke against Barack Obama, I'm looking at a transcript here of an ABC interview in which you were critical of John McCain, your party's nominee. Is there a point at which it becomes unfair to go back over those old video tapes?

Mr. GIULIANI: No. You're entitled to go over all of them, and the reality is we did disagree on policies. But you're not going to find any one of us questioning the preparedness and ability of that person to be president of the United States. That is an extraordinary charge, and it's different than the usual charges that are made in these campaigns. And it's one that you have to explain. And in the case of Senator Obama, where that is a real issue, I know the media doesn't want to deal with it, but he really does not have the usual preparation that somebody has for this job.

INSKEEP: One or two other questions, Mayor Giuliani, and we're done. Do you accept the idea that it's fundamentally a Democratic year and Republicans have to swim against the tide? Or do you think that might not prove to be the case in November?

Mr. GIULIANI: Well, you know, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. I just know that the polls are much closer when you measure John McCain and Barack Obama than when you do Republican and Democrat, so it seems to indicate that that race between McCain and Obama is going to come down to who the people what as president of the United States, not Republican or Democrat.

INSKEEP: It gets down to a question of personalities, then, in your mind?

Mr. GIULIANI: Yeah, doesn't it always about president of the United - the job is too big to get decided on Republican or Democrat. It gets decided on who do you think is the better person for the job?

INSKEEP: So have you made plans for 2012, 2016?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GIULIANI: No. I don't plan that far ahead.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GIULIANI: I'm working on next week and the week after.

INSKEEP: Mayor Giuliani, thanks very much.

Mr. GIULIANI: Thank you.

INSKEEP: Rudy Giuliani was a Republican candidate for president and the mayor of New York City. You can hear NPR's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention on many public radio stations and at, where you will also find analysis, profiles and blogs.

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