This is a partial transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume," Aug. 20, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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JIM ANGLE, GUEST HOST: Sen. Kerry (search) used the Democratic convention to introduce himself to people, to highlight his service in the military and make the case he would be a responsible commander in chief. What does President Bush (search) need to do?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Well, I think President Bush really just needs to emphasize or reemphasize what he's done and, therefore, what he's going to do in the future, which is to bring us through one of the worst times in our history. We've never had a worse attack in the history of America than on September 11, 2001.
President Bush was our leader. President Bush brought us through. The country is stronger today than it was before then, economically, morally, in many other ways. We're confronting terrorism rather than playing defense against it, which was what we were doing before President Bush.
So I think the president has to reemphasize, and we all do, what he's accomplished because that is exactly what we have to accomplish in the next four years. We have to continue to wage and to win the global war on terrorism. We have to continue to turn around our economy.
And I think those are the things that the president will do and — what we all do at the convention — which is to emphasize the leadership that he's shown, which I think entitles President Bush to be considered a great president, irrespective of what happens in this campaign.
He got us through the worst — one of the worst times in our history.
ANGLE: I'm sure Sen. Kerry would be just as sensitive, if I can use that term, to all the concerns you just expressed about the war on terrorism. What difference would it make if Sen. Kerry were president? How would his approach to the war on terrorism be any different from President Bush's at the point?
GIULIANI: Well, significantly different. President Bush has shown that he can state an objective, which is to do the best we can to end global terrorism and then he can stick with it when it's popular when it's unpopular.
He has the principle characteristic of a great leader like Ronald Reagan, which is he can set a goal and he can stick with it, even when the media attacks you, others attack you.
John Kerry has much more shown the tendency to change his mind when under pressure. And he voted against the Persian Gulf War in 1990. He voted for this war and then he voted against funding the war.
Much more of a tendency on the part of John Kerry, and I say this in the most respectful way: They're just a reflection of his record, of a man who changes his mind early and often.
And at a time in which we're facing grave peril, we need the kind of leader that can remain consistent, even when it's unpopular. Because that's the goal that we have to reach. The way Ronald Reagan was able to remain consistent with the goal of trying to destroy world communism, even when people would ridicule him over it. Because he accomplished it. He accomplished liberating Eastern Europe.
ANGLE: Considerable progress has been made in the war on terror. Even in recent weeks, a lot of roll ups of Al Qaeda figures. But most of that work is now done by non-partisan professionals. How much credit should President Bush get for the work that is being accomplished and whatever gain we are making in the war on terrorism?
GIULIANI: President Bush has to get most of the credit for the accomplishments in the war against terror because he declared the war against terror. It didn't exist before President Bush.
I was there when he did it on September 20, 2001 in the United States Congress when he literally changed the direction of our ship of state and said, "We're no longer going to play defense against terrorism. We're going to play offense. And we're going to separate those people who support terrorists from those who don't and you're either with us or against us."
So President Bush declared the war against terrorism. No one else did. There was no such war going on. For 30 years, we were playing defense against terrorists and encouraging it.
So, the accomplishments largely are the president's in terms of he's the one who conceptualized it. Now, they're being carried out by thousands and thousands of people who have made great sacrifices. Some have sacrificed their life. Others are putting themselves in grave jeopardy. And that is of incredible importance to accomplishing this.
But it's the president who set the goal here and the president gets great credit for sticking to that goal when it's been unpopular. Many, many others have run away from it when it's become unpopular.
ANGLE: Now, one of the central parts of the debate over who would best be commander in chief, and that is one of the key issues in this election, is Iraq, obviously. On that front, Sen. Kerry has had a number of criticisms of President Bush, particularly not restoring security in Iraq, for not having managed the post-war of the post-major combat better. How do you see that debate playing out and as you look at the pools and see that more and more people are saying the war in Iraq was not worth it, isn't this a difficulty for the President?
GIULIANI: I think what's been accomplished in Iraq is a great accomplishment. We've removed a person who was a pillar of support for world terrorism, Saddam Hussein, who was himself a weapon of mass destruction, killing hundreds of thousands, if not more, of his people, and using weapons of mass destruction against them.
And we're now on the road toward creating a much more accountable government in Iraq, which is the only way we're going to solve the problems in the Middle East.
What I detect on the part of Senator Kerry, on the other hand, I don't know what his position is on Iraq, because he changes all the time. There hasn't been a consistent position. He voted for the war. Then he voted against funding the war. Then he said that he voted both for the funding and against the funding.
So there have been so many different positions, honestly, and I mean this in the most respectful way, I don't know Senator Kerry's current position on Iraq.
ANGLE: Thank you for joining us.
GIULIANI: Thank you very much. Thank you.
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