Rudy Giuliani on Election and Future Plans

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Sept. 1, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, a chat with the aforementioned Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Is John Kerry (search) really that bad?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: No, he's not that bad. I mean, John Kerry, I think is a nice guy. I think John Kerry is a patriotic man. I think he's a decent man. John Kerry has a record, however, of being very inconsistent, which may come from questioning himself too much. I do a lot of work with different corporations. I've run a lot of different organizations. There are people that are decisive and there are people that are indecisive.

O'REILLY: All right, so you're a decisive guy.

GIULIANI: And maybe it's he's never had executive responsibility. He's never been the CEO of a company. He's never run a major agency. He's never been in charge.

O'REILLY: Now his proponents would say, though, because he's deliberate and because he mulls it over, like President Clinton (search) used to do, remember? Clinton mulled it over every which way and all of that, that he wouldn't have perhaps made some of the mistakes in the aftermath of Iraq or things like that.

GIULIANI: He changes his mind to the point of this being a real difficulty. On the war, he's been for it, against it, for it again, and for it with qualifications. That's in the space of a year and a half on maybe the most important issue facing America at the time, the war in Iraq.

Contrast it with people in his own party. You haven't seen that same inconsistency in Teddy Kennedy (search). He's in his position, left-wing, but in his position. Or on our side, one of our Republican senators, Senator Specter, Senator Lugar.

So there is a level of inconsistency here that is a very dangerous characteristic if somebody wants to be a chief executive, whether it was a company or president of the United States. At a time of war, it's very, very dangerous, because public opinion shifts very quickly.

O'REILLY: Sure, it does.

GIULIANI: All of a sudden public opinion starts slapping you around. And you know, you were for NAFTA, now you're against NAFTA. You were for The Patriot Act, now you're against The Patriot Act.

O'REILLY: Yes, I got it. I got it.

GIULIANI: You were for the war, now you're against the war. That's a lot.

O'REILLY: When you were mayor of New York City, you were very deliberate in what you did. And you stood your ground. But you got criticized all the time — every day, right?


O'REILLY: Every day?


O'REILLY: How did you digest the criticism? Did you listen to it?

GIULIANI: Sure, I did, absolutely. Of course.

O'REILLY: You did?

GIULIANI: Of course, listen, you set goals for yourself. I worked for Ronald Reagan for two years. He was kind of a role model. Ronald Reagan had certain core principles. And he set those core principles as his goal, destroying communism, defeating communism, reducing taxes. There were some things that he would compromise about, others things that he wouldn't.

My major goal when I was mayor is I had to reduce crime. We had 2,000 murders a year.

O'REILLY: We had to get them out of there, right.

GIULIANI: We had 10,000 major crimes a week. We had people fleeing the city, jobs gone. So that's something about which I would not have compromised.

O'REILLY: No matter what they said?

GIULIANI: No, we had to have a big police budget. We had to have 41,000 police officers. No matter what the city council said, I was going to fight for that.

O'REILLY: All right.

GIULIANI: Because my mayoralty largely turned on that.

O'REILLY: So you believe that Bush's one-dimensional war on terror, evil doers, I'm going to get them, is more effective than a nuanced approach that perhaps France, Germany and those countries would approve?

GIULIANI: France, Germany, a lot of those countries, had their chance with terrorism for 30 years and failed. What they did was they made terrorism more successful. During my speech the other night, I pointed out the Munich appeasers...

O'REILLY: Right.

GIULIANI: ...the compromisers. They do the same thing with terrorism they did with Nazism.

O'REILLY: All right.

GIULIANI: The same thing they did with communism.

O'REILLY: Hey, [you] could be [president] in four years, you know?

GIULIANI: I don't look that far ahead.

O'REILLY: Oh, come on. Everybody I know who knows you...

GIULIANI: It's hard to look at a month in politics, much less four years.

O'REILLY: Yes, but you know, it could be. It's conceivable.

GIULIANI: It could be a lot of people.

O'REILLY: You've known me a long time. I've known you a long time.


O'REILLY: I know a lot of guys who know you.


O'REILLY: Every guy I know who knows you, and when I say guys, I mean women too, thinks you're going to run for president. I just want everybody to know that. How much campaigning are you going to do for President Bush this year?

GIULIANI: As much as they want. 2004 I was in 34 states for the Republican Party. The last weekend I was in 13.

O'REILLY: All right, so in the next two months, you're going to make yourself available to whatever they want?

GIULIANI: The next two months, I go wherever they want. Actually, it'll be more concentrated, you know, quite obviously, because there are states that are in play and states...

O'REILLY: Yes, but you're their big gun. You and McCain are big guns because Schwarzenegger I don't think's going to do that much.

GIULIANI: Any place they want me to go. I spent the last weekend before the 2000 election in Palm Beach and Broward County...

O'REILLY: Right.

GIULIANI: ...and doing the rally in the Cuban community in Miami with the president's camp.

O'REILLY: My secret sources tell me you're not going to run for governor of New York in '06. Is that true?

GIULIANI: Your secret sources haven't told me that yet.

O'REILLY: They haven't? Oh, man, you're so cagey, you're not even going to tell me anything.

GIULIANI: I wish I had an answer. I would give it to you. I don't know what it is yet.

O'REILLY: Yes, OK. But I mean, if you were ever ran for president, it would be really interesting, because it would help my ratings. Because you'll say stuff...

GIULIANI: Nothing can help your ratings, they're through the roof.

O'REILLY: You'll say stuff that other people won't say. You know, to me too.

GIULIANI: Right. Well, your ratings are through the roof.

O'REILLY: Well...

GIULIANI: And do much - they probably are going to do better.

O'REILLY: Mayor, I appreciate you coming on. And...

GIULIANI: It's a great show. It really is.

O'REILLY: And yes check in...

GIULIANI: A great contribution, too.

O'REILLY: I appreciate that, but check in with us throughout the campaign, OK?

GIULIANI: We will. Good luck.

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