In yet another ominous sign that the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign is desperate to right their sinking ship, the former mayor of New York City accused former President Bill Clinton of being weak on terrorism. In a speech at the Pat Robertson founded Regent University Rudy said, “Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before Sept. 11. Many people think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993.” He then accused Bill Clinton of emboldening al-Qaeda to stage other attacks, because he did not respond militarily. “The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond,” Giuliani said. “(Osama) bin Laden declared war on us. We didn’t hear it.”

He then launched into the meat of his speech that people should vote for him because a vote for Hillary Clinton would equal a return to the policies of the 1990’s, and make America less safe from the terrorists. “But now is now, and there is no reason to go back into denial, and that is essentially what the Democratic candidates for president want to do: they want to go back, to put the country in reverse to the 1990s.” Giuliani also ignored the growing tide within his own Party that is calling for a new strategy in Iraq. He said that the Democrats would abandon Iraq and give the enemy a timetable for our withdrawal.

We all know that Rudy really only has one issue to run on, and that is 9/11. However, if I were him, I don’t think that I would be picking a fight about terrorism with Bill Clinton this week, after it was alleged by Christie Whitman during her congressional testimony yesterday that Giuliani didn’t properly protect the first responders at ground zero by providing them respirators, and it has also come out that Giuliani turned down a position on the Iraq Study Group so that he could continue to make money by giving speeches. I, personally, think that it would have been great for Rudy to be involved with the Iraq Study Group because then he would have actually been to Iraq. Amazingly enough, Giuliani wants to criticize the Democrats on Iraq, but he himself has never been there.  

The Giuliani campaign sees the polls too. They know that Fred Thompson is going to be tough for them to beat, so this speech was just another way for their candidate to hopefully gain a bit more conservative street cred. Plus, what was Giuliani going to talk about in front of Pat Robertson? He certainly isn’t going to discuss his pro-choice position on abortion. By criticizing Bill Clinton, he did nothing more than throw a little red meat to the lions. It doesn’t matter if Giuliani had publicly taken the blame off both Presidents Clinton and Bush for 9/11 in speeches last year. No, what matters is that he is running for president now, and he must seem tougher on terrorism than the Clintons, because if Rudy loses the terrorism issue, he really has nothing left to run on.

Rudy’s quotes came from here. 

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 6:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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