Most Revealing Fibs: Rudy Giuliani
All political candidates make mistakes, but some mistakes are more revealing than others. A candidate's fibs and exaggerations, and his or her willingness to correct them, tell us something about that person's character and approach to campaigning. To coincide with "The Front Runners" series in the newspaper this week, The Fact Checker is taking a look at the "most revealing fibs" of each of the candidates. Last but not least: Rudy Giuliani.
"I brought down crime more than anyone in this country -- maybe in the history of this country -- while I was mayor of New York City...I took the crime capital of America and I turned it into the safest large city in the country."
--Rudy Giuliani, Republican presidential debate, Orlando, FL, October 21, 2007.
Rudy Giuliani has taken a good record in reducing crime in New York City--and tried to make himself look like Superman. FBI statistics show that the New York crime rate had been falling for four years before he became mayor in 1994. Furthermore, New York was hardly the "crime capital of America" when Giuliani took over. Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Detroit had higher violent crime rates in 1994.
The reasons for the falling New York crime rate are disputed. Giuliani can certainly claim credit, together with his first police commissioner, William Bratton, for improved policing methods, including the CompStat system for tracking crimes. But other factors, including demographic changes and an overall improvement in the economy, also played a role. For a more detailed look at the mayor's crime-busting exploits, and a comparison with other cities, see my post here.
The endless recycling of dubious boasts has become a staple feature of the Giuliani presidential campaign. The mayor has made a series of claims about his record in New York City, ranging from cutting taxes to boosting adoptions to transforming budget deficits into surpluses, that turn out to be not quite accurate on closer examination. When challenged, Giuliani has often responded by ignoring the critics and repeating the original claim. A few examples:
Perhaps the most blatant example of Giuliani digging in his heels and refusing to admit error came in November when he claimed that his chances of surviving prostate cancer were twice as high in the United States as in England, "under socialized medicine." Numerous cancer researchers disputed the Giuliani statistics, but the mayor simply repeated his false claim. The Giuliani campaign has so far been unable to cite a reputable cancer researcher who agrees with the mayor.
The Pinocchio Test
It is still too early to rank the candidates in terms of their overall truthfulness. I am giving all the candidates a pass this week on the Pinocchios, but will be back in business next week. See you then.
| December 16, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Social Issues
Save & Share: Previous: Most Revealing Fibs: Mike Huckabee
Next: Pinocchios for Huckabee on Illegal Immigrants
Posted by: joseph t. | December 16, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jhbyer | December 16, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jhbyer | December 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pali2500 | December 16, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 16, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: goldie | December 17, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.