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Giuliani Chimes In, Bashing Obama on Sept. 11

By Michael D. Shear
Republican Sen. John McCain on Wednesday brought out the big guns -- America's Mayor -- in an effort to continue bashing Democrat Barack Obama as soft on terrorism.

In a conference call with reporters, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani reiterated the McCain campaign's claim that Obama has a "September 10" mentality and said he was puzzled by what he said was the Democrat's "softer" approach to terrorism.

"He seems to think [terrorism] is adequately dealt with merely by being a criminal prosecution," Giuliani, himself a famous prosecutor, said. "On every issue, he takes a softer approach."

Giuliani was referring to comments by Obama two days ago, in which he said that after the "first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated."

Giuliani said that statement -- and other comments Obama has made -- suggest Obama would go no further than criminal prosecutions in combating terrorism.

"I'm not saying they shouldn't have been prosecuted," Giuliani said. "But it's the idea that it's the be all and end all that's the mistake."

In fact, Obama has himself rejected an over-reliance on the legal system, calling for military tribunals and saying last August that "I ... reject a legal framework that does not work."

Giuliani, a former McCain rival, is now attempting to lend his Sept. 11 credentials to the Republican campaign. But he also chided both campaigns yesterday for name-calling instead of seriously discussing the issue. He criticized McCain's advisers for calling Obama "naive" and said Obama should not be talking about the "politics of fear."

Asked about a television pundit who called President Bush's foreign policy "stupid," Giuliani said "I think we should restrain from using similar language about Senator Obama."

By Michael Shear  |  June 18, 2008; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Issues , John McCain , National Security , Rudy Giuliani  
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