Rudy Talks to Bloggers | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rudy Talks to Bloggers
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I was on a conference call with Rudy Giuliani earlier this afternoon, which was his first with bloggers. Just posting now because I had to go to a meeting.

Rudy was obviously pleased with last night's debate performance, saying the debate was a "much better opportunity" to address a range of issues than the first debate, and he said: "hope this becomes the pattern for future debates."

Jennifer Rubin asked him about the Senate vote on legislation that would cut off funds to Iraq, and specifically that the Democratic presidential leaders voted in favor of the legislation. Giuliani said it exhibits a "certain level of denial of what we are facing," and mentioned the recent plot against Fort Dix.

I asked what his policy would be with regard to Israel, in light of today's events in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and what conditions he would deem necessary for a return to the peace process and working toward a Palestinian state. Giuliani emphatically said "the ball is in the court of the Palestinian Authority." He rejected the idea of pressuring Israel into negotiating with a Palestinian government comprised of Hamas, and said "it does not make sense to sit across the bargaining table from people who want to destroy you" and added that it's "negotiating against yourself." Giuliani said that in the 1990s when the Clinton administration built up Arafat and romanticized him as a peacemaker, continually pushing negotiations without recognizing him as a terrorist, it was a "terrible mistake that cost us a lot of lives." He said he would support a Palestinian state if Palestinians recognized Israel, renounced terrorism, actually demonstrated the ability to crack down on terrorism, and created an accountable government. Israel is ready for a Palestinian state, he said, but "it is not ready for it at the price of its security."

Jim Geraghty asked whether Ron Paul should be allowed in future debates. Without saying yes, he said he was surprised to hear Paul's statement in a Republican debate, and it reminded him of the comments made by the Saudi Prince after Sept 11., whose $10 million check he rejected. Rudy said he went back and watched Paul's answer and said there was "tremendous confusion" in what he said, specifically that 9/11 was a result of us bombing Iraq during the 1990s. "The whole thing made no sense," Giuliani said.

He was also was asked by Matt Lewis his position on torture and pretty much reiterated his answer from the previous evening that in the very hypothetical scenario described, he would support "enhanced interrogation techniques," but not torture.  He added in response to a later question that the "technique that was being described last night does not fall into the category of torture." (The technique that was mentioned was waterboarding.)

More from Jim Geraghty, Dave Weigel, GraniteGrok, Race42008.

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