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Asked how he would rally a war-weary nation around his commitment to remain “on offense” against terrorism, Giuliani rejected the premise of the question. “I think the mood of the country has subtly changed somewhat and it’s going to be somewhere different six months from now.” Giuliani remains committed to keeping troops in Iraq, but he said going forward, the major issue will be Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“The use of the military option against Iran is something that we should avoid, it’s something that should be the last option,” Giuliani said. “It’s something that we should realize would be very dangerous, and difficult. But a nuclear Iran would be more difficult, more dangerous, long-term more destabilizing for us and the entire world.”
He rejected the arguments of those who compare a nuclear Iran to the former Soviet Union.
“There are people who believe that we can live with a nuclear Iran,” Giuliani said. “There are people who believe that containment might work. There are people who believe you could use the model of the Cold War….I believe they are fundamentally wrong in that calculation. I think Iran is very different than the Soviets were during the Cold War. Iran is very different than even North Korea. Iran has imperial ambitions, Iran has used language of attack against Israel and the United States. They’ve sort of told us their ambitions if they become nuclear. Iran is an unstable regime. It is an irrational regime, it is controlled by the mullahs and by a theocracy.”
The latest CNN/WMUR poll had Giuliani slipping into third place in New Hampshire, 17 points behind Romney and slightly trailing John McCain. The silver lining for Giuliani was that only 14 percent of those polled said they were definitely decided on a candidate, meaning that the former mayor still has an opening. Within the last two weeks, Giuliani has taken out his first television ads here, which, along with the bus tour, suggests he plans to compete seriously in the state. He has six weeks to get results.
Philip Klein is a reporter for The American Spectator.
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