The Corner

Politics & Policy

Giuliani’s Harshest Critic . . . Was Once One of His Biggest Fans

The magazine: Human Events.

The time: February 6, 2007.

The topic: The 2008 Republican presidential primary contenders, and specifically, “Who would be the next Reagan?”

The assessment:

What of [Rudy] Giuliani? Of the three he is the only one to face a terrorist attack while in office. His role in 9-11 has cemented American’s view of him as a detail oriented, courageous and empathetic leader under stress. But well before that he figuratively walked into the lion’s den of a crime ridden, high tax, and decaying city and carried out a conservative agenda of tax cuts, crime reduction and, in the case of the Brooklyn Museum, defense of religion in the public square. On this count Giuliani seems to be the winner in the public character category for his extraordinary vision and leadership . . .

Certainly his pro-choice stance creates the greatest concern for social conservatives although his support for Justices Roberts and Alito and strict constructionist judges may give them some comfort. Beyond this hot button issue conservatives may be pleasantly surprised. Is there is any city which more faithfully enacted an agenda of low taxes, school choice, crime reduction and bureaucratic reform? Although he, like Romney, has not been responsible for foreign policy his many public speeches including his address to the 2004 GOP Convention evidence a clear preference for assertion of American power, skepticism of international organizations at the expense of American sovereignty and defense of American exceptionalism and ideals. His defense of Israel and intolerance for Arab and U.N. sponsored anti-Semitism is legendary . . .

. . . the rebirth of New York City, the most visible urban achievement in the 20th century is the work of the person now dubbed America’s mayor. For the millions of Americans who live in New York and the millions more who work or whose livelihood has been affected by its revival the contrast between the pre and post Giuliani years could not be more striking.

The author: Jen Rubin, currently with the Washington Post, where she’s calling Giuliani “constitutionally incapable of telling the truth,” “awful at his job, whatever that is,” “a font of bad advice and misinformation” and saying that he’s “disgraced himself.”

We all change our minds, and one can easily argue that the Rudy Giuliani of 2018 is a quite different figure than the Giuliani of 2007. But the complete reversal is rather fascinating for those of us who remember that coverage of that primary, and folks griping about Rubin being in the tank for Giuliani.