This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," April 29, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: FOX News exclusive now: Former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, has been off the trail, of the spotlight a bit until today. Rudy Giuliani in the studio here tonight.
Good to see you and good evening to you.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: Hi, Bill.
HEMMER: I know you came to talk about John McCain and we will about his health care plan. David Wilhelm is saying this puts the issue behind him now. Does it?
GIULIANI: I don't think so. I mean, I think that the — the fact is that every single thing that the reverend said yesterday he's has been saying on and off for 10, 15, 20 years and the reality is that everything he said yesterday was predictable. It's just a repeat of the things he has said in the past. So, the question is: Why did Senator Obama now come to the conclusion that he has to separate himself, not a year ago, five years ago, eight years ago?
And we're not talking about religious statements here. We're talking about political statements — America's involvement in war, America's involvement in terrorism, America's responsibility for HIV, September 11.
So, we're not talking about the man's religious message. We're talking about specific political statements he's made over the years that I think you would have to say — any fair-minded observer would have to say were seriously, aggressively anti-American. He was a member of the church but beyond that, he borrowed the title of his book from one of Reverend Wright's sermons. This is a man he deeply admired.
HEMMER: It was titled, "The Audacity of Hope." Senator Claire McCaskill, an Obama supporter is going to join us about 15 minutes from Capitol Hill. Let's move away from this right now and talk about John McCain. The senator is talking about healthcare today. He says the problem is not quality to America, it is cost. How would he manage this?
GIULIANI: I think a big difference will emerge in the campaign between government medicine and private medicine. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to take us to government medicine, socialized medicine. Hillary's been wanted to since 1994. And I think her dream is to get us there. And if you look at their proposals, they have big steps in that direction.
John wants to contain costs and he wants to do it by bringing in the principles of the private marketplace, which is the only way in which you contain cost.
HEMMER: Well, he talked about tax refunds today, taking your plan across the state lines, talked about community health centers, walk-in clinics.
GIULIANI: Well, these are the ways we reduce costs in America — through private markets. We never do it with government controls. Government controls — price goes up, quality goes down.
What basically Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to do is bring us Canadian medicine, English medicine, French medicine. I was just in Europe, everybody there wants to come here for medical care. Nobody wants to go there.
HEMMER: You know, Howard Dean jumped - he jumped all over this today. From the DNC stand, "This is more of the same failed policies we've seen for the past eight years." Your reaction on that?
GIULIANI: They haven't done it. They haven't done the tax reductions. President Bush has recommended tax reductions, they haven't happened. The core of the problem, part of the core of the problem is the major deduction that employers get when they give health insurance to their employees.
So, people don't buy their own health insurance. There are no principles of private decision-making taking place. If we gave a major tax deduction to everyone — buy your own health insurance, don't get it through your employer, you'd see the cost of health insurance, I think you'd see it cut in half. I think you see a 50 percent, 60 percent reduction.
HEMMER: Today, how big of a priority is this? If you go down the list of what people are voting on next November, where does it rank?
GIULIANI: Could be. Could be a — right now, right now you have to say it's terrorism, the war, the economy, the price of gasoline.
HEMMER: Probably the economy number one based of course so far.
GIULIANI: Yes. Those have been the cluster of issues that — but I always believed — I put out a major proposal on healthcare as well eight months, seven, eight months ago. I always believed it would become a big issue in September, October, November. I think this will be a big issue in the campaign, and I think John is anticipating that with his proposal, which is similar to one he made earlier but this is in more detail.
HEMMER: Third topic and I'm squeezing this in here. The archbishop of New York has some strong words publicly about you taking communion at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue when the pope was in town here. He said you had an understanding that you, given your abortion position publicly, would not accept communion. Your response to the archbishop?
GIULIANI: I keep those all confidential — conversations with the archbishops, with priests and things about my conscience I keep confidential, nothing more confidential than your relationship with God.
HEMMER: I understand that and I respect that. The archbishop also said he would have a private meeting with you.
GIULIANI: I'd be happy to have him.
HEMMER: Are you taking him up on that offer or?
GIULIANI: I'm happy to have a private meeting with him.
HEMMER: Did you see this as a rub between yourself and the archbishop?
GIULIANI: The archbishop is entitled to his position, I'm entitled to mine and I'm entitled to keep it confidential, which I will.
HEMMER: OK. Rudy Giuliani, thank you for your time tonight. Don't be a stranger, alright?
GIULIANI: I won't.
HEMMER: Come back soon.
GIULIANI: Happy to be back.
HEMMER: Good deal. Thank you, sir. Megyn?
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