A friend of mine stumbled across three interviews Rudy Giuliani gave for the old PBS show “The Open Mind,” hosted by Richard D. Heffner. Two of the interviews were conducted in 1984 (Part 1, Part II), when he was a U.S. Attorney, and the other took place in 1995, when he was in his second year as mayor. All three of them are illuminating and worth watching if you’re interested in Rudy-or if you just want to see what he looks like with hair.
In the 1984 interviews, Giuliani offers his philosophy of criminal justice in the context of the passage of a major crime bill that year. On the hot button issues of the day, he says he supports capital punishment, but also waiting periods and background checks for purchasing guns. Much of the discussion centers around his belief that the justice system had drifted too far in the direction of protecting the accused and convicted, to the detriment of victims of crime. “I think we’ve moved away from the model of America that most of us grew up with 20, 30, years ago, which is one where we emphasize individual responsibility,” he said in the first interview. He later adds: “I consider myself a very firm believer in due process, and a libertarian in that sense, but I think we became almost stupid in our excessiveness in the way in which we were protecting, overprotecting the rights of people, to the disadvantage of other people.”
The 1995 interview goes a long way in making the case that while he certainly took several liberal positions as mayor, philosophically, he had a lot in common with conservatives.
Months after the Republican Congress had swept into power, he argued that he would support the federal government cutting spending as long as they gave more freedom to state and local governments over how to spend it. The problem wasn’t that government wasn’t spending enough, but that they were spending it inefficiently. Invoking the 10th Amendment, he made a case for federalism. And argued that he believed it was possible to achieve more localized control:
Given that Giuliani was defending many cuts in government spending, as well as a shrinking of federal power, Heffner asked him in what areas he though the federal government should increase spending. Giuliani’s answer would surprise those who only associate Giuliani’s immigration stance as mayor with maintaining a sanctuary city:
All videos are worth viewing if you have the time.
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