This debate between Republican presidential candidates was held on January 24, 2008 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
The information presented below reflects the 2008 election season and is not representative of changes in titles, roles, or policy views expressed since then.
Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani battled organized crime and insider trading on Wall Street as a federal prosecutor, then gained a national reputation for crime-fighting success as New York’s mayor. But he is most fixed in the public consciousness for his leadership after the 9/11 attacks in New York. During Giuliani’s mayoralty from 1994 to 2001, crime statistics declined significantly—a feat attributed in large part to his CompStat program, which gives the police department access to constantly updated crime data. Giuliani’s crime fighting and security measures also caused controversy among some New Yorkers, who opposed what they saw as heavy-handed police actions. At the same time, he is believed to worry some in the traditional Republican base for his positions as New York mayor advocating gun control and his policy of stopping city workers from reporting suspected illegal immigrants.
Upon leaving office, he founded the consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, which advises clients such as Mexico City on security and crime reduction. In 2005, Giuliani also added his name to what is now Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, known for representing the oil industry and financial sector, and for its handling of cases related to homeland security and energy policy. Giuliani has been a steadfast supporter of the Iraq war and the troop surge.
Giuliani ended his campaign for the presidential nomination on January 31, 2008.
U.S. Policy toward Africa
Giuliani has said the United States should focus its policy toward Africa on increases in trade. “U.S. government aid is important, but aid not linked to reform perpetuates bad policies and poverty,” he wrote in a September 2007 Foreign Affairs article. In that article, Giuliani also said the next president “should continue the Bush administration's effort to help Africa overcome AIDS and malaria.”
In May 2007, Giuliani was informed that he held between $500,000 and $1 million in investments in companies that work in Sudan. His campaign spokesperson did not say whether he would be divesting (AP) from those companies.
U.S. Policy toward India
Giuliani views India's rapidly growing economy as a potentially lucrative market, saying the United States should “take advantage” (CNBC) of the “large number of consumers that are emerging in India.” In particular, Giuliani said, the U.S. stands to “make a lot of money in India” in new energy technology.
Military Tribunals and Guantanamo Bay
Giuliani supports the detention camp at Guantanamo. He said in a June 2007 interview with the Wall Street Journal that he believes the allegations of prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo have “been grossly exaggerated, and many of the reports that I see are that it's not terribly different from any other prisons.”
Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney as well as mayor of New York, defended Bush's domestic spying initiatives, saying “he did it to protect our national security and to try to find out information about people that might attack us and might be preparing an attack on us, in order to secure us, in order to protect us.” In a September 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Giuliani said electronic surveillance should not be "unrealistically" limited.
Giuliani, responding to Edwards' criticism of the war on terror, said at the June 2007 Republican debate, “This is not a bumper sticker; this war is a real war.” Still, Giuliani generally now refers to “the terrorist war against us,” rather than the “war on terror,” he told TIME. But while he has changed the term to refer to U.S. efforts to combat terrorism, his policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, homeland security, and U.S. defense policy in general do not appear to vary greatly from the Bush administration's.
In a May 2007 Republican debate, Giuliani lashed out at Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) for claiming that U.S. policies in the Middle East provoked the 9/11 attacks.
Democracy Promotion in the Arab World
Giuliani shares the Bush administration's larger goal of a democratic (AFP) Iraq and Middle East. But, he says, stability takes precedence over democracy. “Democracy can't flourish unless people are safe. You can't have democracy when people are being killed,” he said in January 2007.
Through his Giuliani Partners consulting firm, the former New York City mayor has advised various energy companies, many of which are fossil fuel-oriented. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Giuliani's law firm, has represented energy companies like Duke Energy Corp., the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, Valero Energy Corp, and FPL Energy. Whether these ties will be problematic for Giuliani's campaign remains to be seen (CBS). Giuliani has supported increased use of nuclear power. In November 2006, in his role as a consultant for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, Giuliani backed a plan to keep open the controversial Indian Point power plant, just north of New York City.
Giuliani has held up Israel as “the only outpost of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the only absolutely reliable friend of the United States.” (Haaretz) In a 2002 speech, Giuliani stressed that Jerusalem must “remain the undivided capital” of Israel. He also said at that time that the Palestinian Authority is not a “moral equivalent” to the Israeli government, because “there is a difference between a nation based on law and democracy and one that harbors terrorism.” Giuliani called on the Palestinian Authority to create “institutions of political and economic freedom and religious toleration.” More recently, Giuliani has said that in his view it “makes no difference” whether the Palestinian Authority is run by Hamas or Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. At a March 2007 fundraiser, Giuliani also said that the United States should “not push any peace process” until the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel's right to exist and condemns terrorism.
North Korea Policy
The former mayor of New York City supports the Bush Administration’s North Korea policy, with emphasis on a Chinese role in placing pressure on Pyongyang. “I think the strategy has produced enough results so far that you have to stick with it,” said Giuliani at an April 2007 event in New Hampshire, the New York Times reports. At that time he indicated it remains unclear whether Iran or North Korea is further along in developing a nuclear weapons program.
Giuliani is critical of Castro, which he made clear during the debate over whether or not to return Cuban child Elian Gonzales to Cuba in 2000 (Giuliani was an outspoken voice for keeping the boy in the United States).
In June 2007, Giuliani criticized Castro's treatment of homosexuals (NYT), calling him "a murderer, a dictator, a man who has been horrible to gays and lesbians."
Giuliani has also attacked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for following Castro's "model." Speaking to Cuban-American voters in Florida, he said the United States must build an alliance with Mexico and Colombia to counteract the shift to the left of Latin American governments.
U.S. Policy toward China
Giuliani has not made many public statements on his views of China during the campaign. However, Giuliani said in a CNBC interview in early 2007 that Sen. Clinton's goal of limiting China's ownership of U.S. debt is “generally a bad idea and generally self-defeating.” He said that the U.S. should build industries that we can sell” in China.
In 2001, the then-mayor of New York City met with Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian. At the time, Giuliani referred to Taiwan as a “remarkable country,” even though it is formally considered a territory of China.
Giuliani has generally supported the Bush administration's policies in response to the threat of terrorism. He has called for an “offense-as-a-defense” (Journal-Register) strategy towards al-Qaeda, backing the U.S. troop surge and continued presence in Iraq.
Giuliani advocates the addition of thirty-five thousand troops to the army's current level of 512,000.
In a September 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Giuliani said the United States should pursue a nuclear missile defense system, as "America can no longer rely on Cold War doctrines such as 'mutual assured destruction' in the face of threats from hostile, unstable regimes."
His stance on weapons spending is unknown.
Giuliani is a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, including Bush's troop surge plan, but he says the plan needs some quantitative means by which to measure progress. “You need statistics,” (FOX) he said in January 2007. “You need to be able to determine whether or not you've brought the violence down. If it doesn't work, then you got to put more people in.”
Giuliani opposes any "artificial timeline" for troop withdrawal from Iraq, which he says would be tantamount to giving America's enemies “a printed-out list of how it's going to retreat to its enemy.” He is steadfast in his support for the war, which he considers part of the larger global war on terror.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Giuliani generally praised Bush's agenda in Iraq, but said the administration's "communications effort" with the general public regarding the war was lacking. He also criticized the administration's disbanding of the Iraqi infrastructure, which he said was "clearly a mistake."
Giuliani's “Twelve Commitments to the American People” include statements in strong support of free trade. Giuliani pledges to “aggressively advance” free trade, focusing on three main elements: reducing tax burdens to improve the competitiveness of U.S. companies; reforming the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, toward the same end; and reinvigorating the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations. Giuliani's economic advisor, Stanford University's Michael Boskin, says Giuliani supports free trade “but also wants to make sure countries such as China are playing fair,” according to an April 2007 report in the Business Journal of Phoenix. As mayor of New York City, Giuliani criticized NAFTA, saying: “I continue to be concerned about the effect it [NAFTA] would have on the job situation.”
In an October 2007 Republican presidential debate, Giuliani spoke in support of the pending Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, saying they "would be good deals for the United States."
Giuliani won plaudits for his actions as mayor of New York City on 9/11. But he also admitted fault in vetting former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to be Secretary of Homeland Security. Kerik is suspected of organized crime connections (WashPost). Giuliani himself had been President Bush's first choice for the job after former Secretary Tom Ridge stepped down in 2004.
Giuliani's law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, has worked on several homeland security-related cases. It represented the “nation's largest real estate investment trusts during the development” of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, and attorneys from the firm “contributed the majority of chapters to the first Homeland Security Law Handbook.” Giuliani expressed support for the Patriot Act in this 2005 New York Times op-ed.
In a September 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Giuliani stressed the need for a nuclear material detection systemin the United States.
Giuliani has said the United States should proceed diplomatically with Iran, but that “we will use a military option if we have to.” (Fox) At the first Republican presidential debate, Giuliani said a military strike would be “very dangerous” but nuclear arms in the control of “an irrational person” like President Ahmadinejad was more dangerous.
One of Giuliani's top foreign policy advisers, neoconservative Norm Podhoretz, is a vocal advocate for bombing Iran preemptively in order to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, Podhoretz told the New Yorker, he has not asked Giuliani to take a stand on this topic for fear of damaging his candidacy.
Giuliani has said he believes climate change exists (SFChron) and that something must be done to reduce pollution. However, he has not said outright that he believes climate change is caused by human activity . His statements with regard to policy on the issue have been rather vague.
Giuliani supports some type of path (NYT) to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “If you have twelve million people, to thirteen to fourteen to fifteen million that are here illegally, it is much easier for terrorists and drug dealers to hide,” he said recently. He also said that he is in favor of a border fence and a database with which to keep track of all immigrants.
Giuliani's consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, partly owned Sky Watch L.L.C., a company which says it has created a sensor that can detect illegal immigrants (NYT) crossing the U.S. border. Giuliani Partners gave up ownership of that venture in September 2007.
Giuliani opposed the failed 2007 Senate immigration reform plan, which he called a "typical Washington mess."
As former mayor of the large immigrant melting pot of New York, Giuliani has sought to balance a law-and-order approach with practical measures to handle the illegal immigrant problem. Giuliani has said that House legislation making illegal immigration a felony punishable by up to five years in prison “could not possibly be enforced” (NYSun). He has said he backs comprehensive immigration reform, as envisioned in the Senate's 2006 bill.
As mayor of New York City, Giuliani opposed a law (NYT) that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security, food stamps and health care benefits.
Giuliani has been extremely critical of the United Nations, which, he wrote in a September 2007 Foreign Affairs article, "has proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years." He says the institution's primary capabilities are in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, but "we should not expect much more of it."
Shortly after 9/11, Giuliani gave a speech before the UN General Assembly appealing for UN member states to fight terrorism. Specifically, he said the United Nations must hold accountable states that support or condone terrorism. “Otherwise, you will fail in your primary mission as peacekeeper,” Giuliani said. “It must ostracize any nation that supports terrorism. It must isolate any nation that remains neutral in the fight against terrorism.”
U.S. Policy toward Russia
Giuliani advocates commercial engagement with Russia, but has also expressed support for the planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. In an October 2007 Republican debate, Giuliani also called for an increase in military spending to “send a heck of a signal” to Russia.
In November 2001, Giuliani accompanied Putin on a visit to Ground Zero. Giuliani told news media at the time that the attacks of September 11, 2001 would bring the United States and Russia closer together. In 2004, Giuliani traveled to Moscow to promote U.S.-Russian business relations.
U.S. Policy toward Pakistan
After Bhutto's assassination, Giuliani said the United States should “redouble” its efforts along the Afghan-Pakistani border “to make sure there's not a slip back to terrorists,” (AP) though he did not indicate specifically what that would mean in terms of U.S. troop presence. He said the United States might need to assign increased security resources to the region, and should consider air strikes on al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan (USA Today).
Giuliani says the United States “can no longer rely on Cold War doctrines such as ‘mutual assured destruction’ in the face of threats from hostile, unstable regimes.” In his September/October 2007 Foreign Affairs essay, Giuliani wrote that the United States must build a missile defense shield to make nuclear blackmail “less likely” and to make ballistic missile programs less appealing, thereby slowing “their development and proliferation.”
Giuliani also says the United States should develop “detection systems to identify nuclear material that is being imported into the United States or developed by operatives inside the country.”
Giuliani has said the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran’s nuclear facilities should be taken "off the table." His stance on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is unknown.
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The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges: setting a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order, strengthening the international system the terrorists seek to destroy, and extending the system's benefits. With a stronger defense, a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence, the next president can start to build a lasting, realistic peace.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says the United States is safer as a result of the war on terrorism.
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