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Rudy Giuliani Responds to Iowa Results, Looks Ahead to National Campaign

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 3, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: while other candidates duke it out right here in Iowa, former New York City mayor Giuliani has his focus on New Hampshire, where the political action is rapidly shifting to. And we'll be there, of course, next week. And joining us now is presidential candidate, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, welcome back.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI, FMR NYC MAYOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, Sean. How are you?

HANNITY: I'm good. All right. Now, you're watching the action here tonight. First of all, your thoughts. And is there any regret on your part not spending more time here?

GIULIANI: No. I think that Mike had a big win. I congratulate him. I think Mike Huckabee did a very good job in Iowa. He surprised everyone. Not so much a surprise tonight, the surprise is sort of a month ago, when he really began to build momentum and to win in Iowa.

And now, you know, now we move on to the 28 more between today and February 5. There are a lot more to go, and we're in good shape in a lot of them. I was in Florida. I was in New Hampshire and Florida today. We'll be back to New Hampshire tomorrow afternoon. So we're carrying on a proportionate campaign, and we're in good shape in a lot of states that are coming up.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, it seems the states that you are doing best in right now in the polls, those would be states like Florida, New York, California, Connecticut, New Jersey. But those states are about a month away. If you don't do as well as maybe predicted in New Hampshire or South Carolina, do you feel that the other candidates gain momentum you could have had?

GIULIANI: Well, I think, you know, we've got to fight it out in all of these and try to do as well as we can and then have a good organization in each one of these places so you can deal with whatever comes your way. I think that the Republican Party is looking for a leader. They're looking for someone who can be bold about the future, somebody who can keep up our growth, keep us on offense against Islamic terrorism and someone who's faced challenges before. And I've been tested. They know the kind of results that I've gotten in the past and what I'm promising for the future. And you know, we'll get that message out. I think that we've got a lot of primaries in which to get that message out that are coming up.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, I guess the other big surprise of the evening certainly is the story of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She — there was supposed to be a coronation. At least, we were being told that by many people. It may end up being a third-place finish by the time the night's over. What are your thoughts on that?

GIULIANI: Well, you know, I can't really handicap the Democratic field. I'm so concentrated on the Republican field. Again, you know, you would have to congratulate Senator Obama. It looks like he had a big win, similar to the kind of win that Mike Huckabee had. And Iowa is a state in which a number of them contested it. And in the case of Mike Huckabee, he didn't spend very much money and he was able to get a win. It really is to his credit.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: All right. Mr. Mayor, it's Alan Colmes. Welcome to...

GIULIANI: Alan, how are you?

COLMES: Nice to see you. Look, in terms of the polling — and I know everybody is looking at numbers these days. A Pew nationwide survey now has McCain at 22, with you at 20, Huckabee at 17. That could all change after tonight. But you've also — it's gotten mighty closer, even in Florida, where you say you need to win in order to stay viable. Why do you think this is happening?

GIULIANI: Well, I think it always happens in a race like this. Look what happened on the Democratic side. You get near — you get near the end, it gets very, very close. And I think in each one of these races, you're going to see that, and then we'll figure out who comes out on top. But I expect that this thing is going to be very close, you know, going through the next 28 primaries and caucuses.

COLMES: Have you been hurt by the stories about Bernard Kerik, by the stories about your relationship with Judi Nathan...

GIULIANI: Oh, I — you know...

COLMES: ... using police cars and — when you were dating her?

GIULIANI: I think...

COLMES: That's definitely had to hurt you, sir.

GIULIANI: I believe that that story was put to bed by The New York Times when they pointed out that it was inaccurate and that everything was done appropriately and that everything was done on the up and up and that these were decisions made by the police department and paid for by the police department, something I said from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the correction doesn't get the same attention as the story.

But the reality is, it's much bigger than all that, and there's so much more going on that I think the American people are looking for a leader and they're looking for someone who can bring us into the future, you know, with a sense of optimism. And I have that and I have that ability to do that.

COLMES: You put an ad out just in the last day or so which is quite graphic in terms of scenes of Usama bin Laden firing a rifle and segueing that into a smoking wreckage picture of the World Trade Center. If had you been president on 9/11, would you have captured bin Laden by now?

GIULIANI: Well, all I can tell you is that if I am the president, I will devote a tremendous amount of attention to trying to capture him. And I'm sure we have, and I think we have to keep redoubling our efforts. I think it's important. It's more than symbolic, it's something that has to be done even from a strategic point of view.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: I want to know if your focus would have been different. If you'd been president then, would you have been focused on bin Laden? And would a Rudy Giuliani presidency have already been taken care of that problem?

GIULIANI: I believe the president and the administration have been focused on bin Laden. Could I have done it differently? Could I have done it in a different way? I really can't say that. I can tell you that if I am the president, I will put a tremendous amount of attention behind catching him, if he hasn't been caught already, because I think that there's a strategic goal there, as well as justice, as well as symbolism.

COLMES: You've been talking recently also in the last day or so about doubling the size of troops in Afghanistan. And you said you would make that effective right now. But where would you get the troops from? You'd need 25,000 to 50,000. You'd have to take them out of Iraq...

GIULIANI: No, no...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: What would you do?

GIULIANI: What I was talking about with the troops that are under American command — there are 10,000 troops under American command. That's the group that I would increase. I would aim for double, and I would try to do some increases immediately.

COLMES: Where would they come from?

GIULIANI: We're talking about — we're talking about 10,000 troops. We've got a — we've got a huge army. And I would increase the Army. I would increase the Army by 10 combat brigades as quickly as I could.

COLMES: But you'd have to get the troops from someplace. You'd have to take them either out of Iraq, you'd have to increase recruitment somehow. People are not joining up...

GIULIANI: I would...

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: And what I would be doing right now is increasing the size of our Army by 10 combat brigades, so that we have more flexibility to deal with whatever the terrorists throw our way, or you know, to deal with any of the other possibilities that could come about. The peace dividend was a terrible hit on our military, and we've never quite made up for it, the peace dividend in the 1990s that happened during the Clinton administration. It was a 20 to 25 percent hit on our military. We haven't quite made up for that, and we really have to.

COLMES: Mr. Mayor, we thank you very much for coming on with us tonight. We'll certainly be watching and see...

GIULIANI: Thank you.

COLMES: ...how things evolve from here. We thank you very much for your time.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

COLMES: Thank you very much.

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