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Giuliani Steps Up the "Not Ready" Talk

By Perry Bacon, Jr.
DENVER -- Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, repeatedly cast presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama as "not ready" at a press conference today a few miles from where Obama will accept the Democratic nomination on Thursday.

Standing in front of a huge banner that read "A Mile High, An Inch Deep" and "Not Ready '08," Giuliani questioned Obama's credentials, quoting statements by his rivals in the nomination process, including some by both presumptive vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Steele attacked Obama for voting against a troop funding bill last year in Congress, calling the presumptive Democratic nominee "woefully ill-prepared to be the next president." Obama opposed the bill because it lacked a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but Biden supported it.

"Senator Biden agreed that Barack Obama was unprepared to be president," the former mayor said at one of several events Republicans have organized to attack Obama in Denver.

Referring to Obama's pledge last fall to meet with leaders of foreign nations like Iran without preconditions, Giuliani said, "I think Hillary Clinton called it naïve. Senator Biden called it irresponsible."

Obama has over the last few months said he would make sure any meeting he had with foreign leaders would advance U.S. interests. And both Clinton and Biden have enthusiastically affirmed their support for Obama in recent days.

But Giuliani and other Republicans have seized on what they argued was a glaring omission in Clinton's convention speech: she didn't say Obama was "ready" to president, something she seemed to question during the primaries.

"She left out the key question that lingers," Giuliani said. "What we don't know is if she thinks he's qualified to be commander in chief."

Ann Lewis, a longtime adviser to Clinton, dismissed the former mayor's argument in an interview a few hours after Giuliani's press conference, arguing the New York senator was trying to give the most compelling argument she could for her supporters in the speech.

"Of course she believes he is ready to be president and ready to be commander in chief," Lewis said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 27, 2008; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Conventions , John McCain , Rudy Giuliani  
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Which dress was Rudy wearing when he made these remarks?

Posted by: Florida | August 28, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, there wouldn't happen to be any pictures of Rudy standing in front of the "Not Ready '08" sign, would there? Please?

Posted by: NH Dem | August 28, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope that Giuliani didn't see Clinton and Biden tonight... he might've gone into fits and developed a run in his stockings!

Posted by: Mark Kraft | August 28, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone wondered why McCain can't get the heavy-hitters in his party like Senator Warner, Colin Powell or Senator Lugar to come to bat for him? Instead he is stuck with Rudy Giuliani and Michael Steele?

Posted by: Mary | August 27, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Repeat after me:

Noun + Verb + 9/11 = Ghouliani

Rudy, your ship has sailed. You are a loser.

Posted by: Elrod | August 27, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, Rudy! would certainly know about not being ready in '08.

Posted by: Tracy | August 27, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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