Speaking in Youngstown, Ohio ahead of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11, declared that Islamic extremists hadn't carried out any terror attacks on American soil before Barack Obama's presidency.Giuliani has said this before:
"Under those 8 years, before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the US," Giuliani told the crowd. "They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office."
It's not the first time Giuliani has made remarks that seemed to gloss over the terror attacks that left nearly 3,000 dead and that defined him in the eyes of many Americans. While suggesting in 2010 that Obama could stand to take some cues from George W. Bush, the former mayor claimed, "We had no domestic attacks under Bush."Somewhat awkwardly, Giuliani is disagreeing with the man for whom he's a surrogate, Donald Trump, and disagreeing with Trump's mortal enemy Jeb Bush.
Recall the presidential debate in September in which Trump attacked the former president and brother Jeb defended him:
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump needled the former Florida governor ..., saying that he opposed the Iraq war from the start. “Your brother and your brother’s administration gave us Barack Obama because it was such a disaster those last three months that Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have been elected,” Trump asserted.Jeb used that line a number of times. And while his campaign was an utter failure, the line about his brother got big applause.
Bush was backed into a corner. “You know what? As it relates to my brother, there is one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe,” he said.
Jeb poll-tested the line. It was a big winner:
According to a 112-page PowerPoint document that was presented to Bush donors in Houston last weekend (and leaked to U.S. News), the Bush team conducted a poll from Oct. 13-17 to test voter reaction to the assertion that "Former President George W. Bush was successful in keeping us safe while he was in office."Note that the poll question didn't say W kept us safe after 9/11 -- it said "Former president George W. Bush was successful in keeping us safe while he was in office," period. GOP voters overwhelmingly agreed:
The poll, of 1,515 likely primary and caucus voters, found overwhelming GOP approval of George W. Bush. In Iowa, 54 percent strongly agreed with the "kept us safe" statement, while another 31 percent agreed, but not strongly — for a total of 85 percent agreement. Seven percent strongly disagreed that G.W. Bush kept us safe, and another five percent disagreed, but not strongly -- for a total of 12 percent disagreement.
In New Hampshire, the Bush pollsters found that 76 percent of GOP voters agreed with "kept us safe," while 21 percent disagreed, and in South Carolina, 77 percent agreed with "kept us safe," while 20 percent disagreed.
So, Trump notwithstanding, the vast majority of the party gives W that mulligan.