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Rudy Giuliani US presidential candidacy under -

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Rudy Giuliani US presidential candidacy under spotlight

Broadcast: 01/10/2007

Reporter: Mark Simkin

US Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani is set to create controversy as his
aggressive political style comes under the spotlight in the lead-up to the US elections.


TONY JONES: Over the weekend a group of highly influential Christian conservative leaders met in
Salt Lake City to discuss their rising dissatisfaction with the Republican Party.

The group are apparently willing to consider supporting a third-party presidential candidate,
should a supporter of abortion rights - specifically the former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - earn
the GOP presidential nomination.

And the Republican front-runner is under fire for allegedly exploiting the September eleventh
terrorist attacks. One of Mr Giuliani's supporters is asking donors to give "$9.11 for Rudy". Well
the Giuliani Campaign has distanced itself from the invitation, but the Democrats have described it
as "unconscionable, shameless and sickening".

Rudy Giuliani is a controversial figure, and his personality sometimes gets more attention than his

Washington correspondent Mark Simkin prepared this report for Lateline on Mr Giuliani, the latest
in our series of presidential profiles.

ANNOUNCER: America's mayor, our friend - Rudy Giuliani!

(Applause from audience)

MARK SIMKIN: To his supporters, Rudy Giuliani is confident and colourful. The tough talking leader
who cleaned up a filthy city.

ANNOUNCHER: The man for whom pugnacity is a political philosophy, Rudolph Giuliani.

MARK SIMKIN: But many of his assets are potential liabilities. Tough talking, or obnoxious,
confident or headstrong, colourful or weird. Even many of his backers concede Rudy Giuliani is an
unconventional candidate.

RUDY GIULIANI, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE (on the telephone while standing at lectern): Hello, dear. I'm
talking to the members of the NRA right now, would you like to say hello? (Laughs) I love you and
I'll give you a call as soon as I'm finished, OK?

MARK SIMKIN: There's no doubt what part of his CV the New Yorker is highlighting.

RUDY GIULIANI (archival footage): By September 11...

RUDY GIULIANI (archival footage): On the morning of September 11...

RUDY GIULIANI (archival footage): The night of September 11...

RUDY GIULIANI (archival footage): I do get very frustrated with people, though, who don't get the
point after September 11.

MARK SIMKIN: Rudy Giuliani's response to that day transformed a controversial mayor into a national
celebrity. The decisive leader who stood tall amid the rubble. Six years later, national security
is a cornerstone of his presidential campaign.

RUDY GIULIANI: There is a terrorist war against America. We call it America's war on terrorism, but
it's really their war on us.

MARK SIMKIN: Once again, though, his strength might also be a weakness. Critics question why the
mayor insisted on putting his emergency command centre in the World Trade Centre, a known terrorist
target. Some of the rescuers who worked in the World Trade Centre site are now sick, and they blame
the toxic dust. The mayor's response?

RUDY GIULIANI: I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there
working with them, I was there guiding things. I was there bringing people there. But I was exposed
to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them.

MARK SIMKIN: No, you're not, say some of the sick workers.

MARVIN BETHEA, FORMER PARAMEDIC: Coming down there and shaking hands and posing with people working
down there, 16 hours a day, inhaling all that toxins - fumes and everything that was down there -
how can you compare the two?

MARK SIMKIN: Rudy Giuliani's biggest challenge is personal. He's abrasive, sometimes abusive
personality might have been a good fit for New York, but how will it be received in middle America?
Consider how the mayor responded on radio when a New Yorker wanted to be allowed to keep ferrets as

RUDY GIULIANI: You have totally and absolutely misinterpreted the law because there's something
deranged about you.

CALLER: No there isn't, sir.

RUDY GIULIANI: The excessive concern that you have for ferrets is something that you should examine
with a therapist. There is something really, really, very sad about you. You need help. You need
somebody to help you. This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.

JERRY MAYER, GEROGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Like New York, he was tough, he was rude, he was fast. And
New York likes that. But will that, as you say, travel in Iowa? And will that travel in a
substantive sense to the White House? I don't think that's a portrait of a good diplomat. And boy,
does America need something in its next president that it hasn't had in this one, and that is
diplomacy. And when you think Giuliani, you do not think "diplomat".

MARK SIMKIN: Even if voters warm to Rudy Giuliani's combative style, how will conservative
Christians respond to his repeated appearances in drag?

RUDY GIULIANI (in drag): Oh, you dirty boy. Donald, I thought you were a gentleman!

DONALD TRUMP: You can't say I didn't try.

MARK SIMKIN: Conservatives could also get turned off by Rudy Giuliani's family values. His first
wife was his second cousin. His second wife found out he was leaving her when he announced it at a
press conference. His third wife is derided as a spoilt princess who demands a separate aeroplane
seat for her handbag. More importantly, Mayor Giuliani supports abortion rights, gay rights, and
gun control. Hardly a typical Republican platform.

JERRY MAYER, GEROGE MASON UNIVERSITY: On those social issues, Giuliani more than any other
Republican is out of touch with the base of his party. Indeed, Giuliani is more liberal on social
issues that Hilary Clinton.

PAT ROBERTSON, TELEVANGELIST: Rudy Giuliani, give him a hand.

MARK SIMKIN: Typically, Rudy Giuliani tried to meet the issue head-on. He paid a visit to Regent
University, a Christian centre in the home of prominent televangelist Pat Robertson.

PAT ROBERTSON: He cleaned up crime, he cleaned up 42nd Street, took the pornographers out of 42nd
Street, rezoned them into another part of the city.

MARK SIMKIN: Rudy Giuliani didn't mention abortion or moral issues at all during his speech, but he
did say this.

RUDY GIULIANI: Don't expect that you're going to agree with me on everything, because that would be
unrealistic. I don't agree with myself on everything. But if you agree with me on enough things,
and you think I have the ability to lead, then maybe I'm the person you can support.

MARK SIMKIN: So can conservative Christians support him? We asked some of the university's young
Republicans what they thought of his speech.

YOUNG REPUBLICAN, FEMALE: I mean, in the primaries, he's, you know, the social issues, everyone's
pointing at that. But as far a country-wide election, you know, he can pull that off. You know,
because he's got the leadership but he also, you know, he's just more moderate. So I think that he
is going to stay out in front.

SECOND YOUNG REPUBLICAN, MALE: It's either you have the perfect candidate who you can never get
elected, or you have a candidate you can get elected who can do some good for you.

THIRD YOUNG REPUBLICAN, MALE: He's a great candidate. Truly, if you're looking at it pragmatically,
here's a guy who can beat Hillary if you're Republicans looking at a potential match-up.

MARK SIMKIN: Rudy Giuliani's campaign depends on that pragmatism. He'll need to convince Christian
conservatives his greatest weakness in the primaries, his social views, is a great strength in the
general election.

It's not clear if the tactic is working. Rudy Giuliani is still the Republican front-runner in the
national polls, but his rivals are catching up and he looks particularly vulnerable in some of the
important states. Everyone's heard of America's mayor, but how will people react when they find out
more about him. Mark Simkin, Lateline.