ESTERO, Fla. – Republican Rudy Giuliani said Saturday that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has not stated clear goals for dealing with the Iraq war and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The Clinton campaign disputed the charges.
The former New York City mayor also criticized Clinton's health insurance proposal and her suggestion that every child born in the U.S. should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.
Based on Clinton's answers in recent debates, Giuliani said during a town hall meeting that he cannot figure out her position on Iran.
"We're dealing with a level of ambiguity that I don't believe is a good sign in a would-be commander in chief in a time of war," said Giuliani, who has positioned himself as the one Republican able to thwart another Clinton presidency.
In a debate late last month, Clinton refused to say whether she would pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013, what would be the end of her first presidential term. "It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," she said.
The New York senator also ducked a debate question about whether Israel had the right to bomb Iran if Iran posed a nuclear threat. She called the question a "hypothetical," and said, "That's better not addressed at this time."
Giuliani said he has made it clear that he would not allow Iran to become a nuclear power and would not rule out military action to stop that from happening.
He said the U.S. must win the war in Iraq so that country "will act as an ally for us in the Islamic terrorist war against us."
"If you listen to Democrats and some people in the press, the whole reason we're in Iraq is to figure out how to withdraw," he said. "That's all they talk about. I don't know if they realize how counterproductive that is. I don't know if they realize how strategically irresponsible that is."
A Clinton spokesman said Clinton and Giuliani "fundamentally disagree" on this issue. "Senator Clinton wants to end the war and bring our troops home," Howard Wolfson said in a written statement. "Mayor Giuliani wants to continue George Bush's war in Iraq with no end in sight."
Wolfson added that Clinton has taken the position that Iran must not be allowed to build or acquire nuclear weapons.
Giuliani also pledged to build the economy while keeping taxes low and government small.
"Americans solve problems, not the government," he told the several hundred people who came out for his appearance in the Fort Myers area in southwest Florida.
"Government gets out of the way. It creates an atmosphere of safety and security. It creates an atmosphere of fairness. Other than that, it doesn't try to plan your life for you. It doesn't try to become nanny government," he said.
Three months before voting begins, polls show Clinton solidifying her advantage for the Democratic nomination while the Republican race remains fluid. Giuliani leads in national surveys, but GOP rivals Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and John McCain are in strong contention in various key states.
Giuliani has campaigned heavily in Florida already and said he will be back often before the primary.
"I think it's seared in the minds of all Americans how important Florida is," he said.