Rudy Giuliani on Ground Zero Flyover

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, you might have heard this once or twice on the network, but Arlen Specter’s switch giving Democrats possibly a filibuster-proof majority, possibly for the first time since the Carter administration, though that didn’t work out well for Jimmy Carter, did it?

Reaction now from former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Mayor, good to see you.


CAVUTO: All right. I know you’re a little under the weather.

GIULIANI: A little bit of a laryngitis, but I am doing OK.


GIULIANI: Some people prefer when I’m like this.




CAVUTO: Most of my viewers prefer it when I get...


CAVUTO: Let me ask you about this Specter switch.

He was arguing, in so many words: "I didn’t leave the Republican Party. It left me."


GIULIANI: No, he left the Republican Party.

I am very disappointed. I campaigned for Arlen many, many times, including his — his last very close race in the Republican primary, where the White House...

CAVUTO: Right.

GIULIANI: ... where the White House went way out for him, and I went way out for him, and so did many others.

So, I am very disappointed. Now, Arlen has to make his own decisions. He is a friend of mine. And, in many ways, he has had problems in terms of the thinking of the Republican Party for quite some time, even the economic conservative part.

CAVUTO: All right, now, many had the same kind of rap about you, this maverick Republican, who, on the core economic, you know, security issues was a Republican, but, on social issues, was not.

And that caused some...


CAVUTO: ... agita in the party, right?

GIULIANI: It did. I think they interpreted me incorrectly.

I am a Republican, for what I consider to be the two main reasons, the economy, national security. I made a deliberate choice to become a Republican before I was ever in elected office. And I made it because I thought the Democratic Party had become too weak on national defense.


CAVUTO: And you became a Republican, what, in the first years of the Reagan administration.

GIULIANI: I did. And I was very impressed with President Reagan.

CAVUTO: Right.

GIULIANI: And it was basically over strong or weak national defense, and realistic economic policies or unrealistic economic policies.

And when I look at what the Obama administration is doing, it convinces me more that I should be a Republican, because these are terrible mistakes they are making in handling our domestic economy.

CAVUTO: So, what do you make of Specter’s argument that the Republican Party is now dominated by the extreme right, and they’re marginalizing themselves?

GIULIANI: Well, if people like Arlen leave, that doesn’t help.

The reality is, the Republican Party is made up of a lot of people. There is a very strong contingent that has a very right-wing view on a lot of social issues. That is where I have disagreements, consider myself a moderate on social issues.

But, on economic policy and on national security, I am very comfortable being a Republican, and I am very comfortable being a conservative.


I knew you were coming, Mayor, so I wanted to talk to you about this Air Force One dustup. They were doing this P.R. picture-taking thing over the streets of Manhattan.

I’m sure you have seen since, but let’s take a look at this. This was yesterday in New York.








CAVUTO: OK, so that was yesterday in New York, an area very familiar with planes getting really close to buildings. What did you think of this?

GIULIANI: I thought it was a terrible mistake. That is the nicest way I can put it, I guess. I can’t imagine what anybody would think that they should do that around New York.

CAVUTO: Are there not enough pictures of Air Force One?

GIULIANI: Even — yes, and I think, originally, they put out the word that it was some kind of security thing they were doing. Then they changed their explanation to taking some kind of pictures, publicity pictures or whatever.

I mean, in reality, you would think there would be enough common sense not to do that at all in that area, where the worst attack in the history of this country took place.

Second, you would think, if they were going to do it, there would be all kinds of public announcements that it’s going to take place, although I question why you would do it at all. Why, at a time like this, are we spending money on that? I mean, we got all this criticism of the use of private planes. Imagine if some executive was flying around in his G4.


CAVUTO: President Obama said today, Mayor, it was a mistake, he had nothing personally to do with it, but that it was a mistake. Does it just die there?

GIULIANI: Well, yes, it’s a mistake. It just dies there.

You know, with all this self-righteous criticism of the use of private planes, I think this — gosh almighty, this costs a lot more than some guy flying to Washington in his private plane.

CAVUTO: That’s scary stuff.

And you know what it got me thinking, Mayor? And, of course, you were familiar with 9/11 more than anyone. How open a wound it remains.

GIULIANI: You know, it’s in the back of people’s memory.

CAVUTO: I mean, they cleared out buildings...


GIULIANI: Yes, it’s amazing.

When people — most people believe, well, people have forgotten about September 11.

CAVUTO: No way.

GIULIANI: You lived through it, you remember it every day of your life.

And, sure, when things happen, it comes up more. But it’s always there. I think about it every day. And had I been there, I probably would have had a similar reaction.


CAVUTO: ... loved a phone call, if it came to you, Mayor, we are going to do this Air Force One...


CAVUTO: Well, it would have been...

GIULIANI: Having been from Brooklyn...


GIULIANI: ... the language might not have been...


CAVUTO: Laryngitis or not, you would have gotten through.

GIULIANI: I would have gotten laryngitis from doing it. I think Mike is a little more restrained than I am.

CAVUTO: Yes, a little, yes, right, right.


GIULIANI: ... from Brooklyn, they would have...

CAVUTO: It would have been over.

GIULIANI: They would never have done it again.

CAVUTO: I would not have liked to have been on the other end of that call.


CAVUTO: Let me ask you this, another incident, the New York City health commissioner saying, potentially, hundreds of swine flu cases among kids in New York. I don’t know how they got that, thought that, whether they have even confirmed that.

We could have a big crisis on our hands here.

GIULIANI: We could, but let’s not talk ourselves into it.

Let’s deal with it very carefully. This city has the best public health available, the best department of public health, the biggest one in the country. They have handled West Nile virus. Remember, when I was mayor, back in the late ‘90s, we went through three years of West Nile virus, helped to discover it, actually, with the CDC, and I think helped prevent...


CAVUTO: Well, do you know what I remember about that, Mayor? You were always before the folks, the cameras, updating them.

GIULIANI: Yes, and I had to do spraying, which was very controversial.

CAVUTO: I remember that.


GIULIANI: But I did it because I didn’t want it to get beyond where it was.

CAVUTO: But do you risk, if you don’t constantly go before the public and update them or calm them, these things do fester?

GIULIANI: You have to talk to them about it all the time. You have got to give them all the information.


CAVUTO: So, if they don’t, the cynic in me says, maybe they know something they don’t want us to know.

GIULIANI: No. Some people communicate better than others. Some people run better systems of communication.

I think the health department here will handle this really, really well. I can’t speak for the rest of the country. I don’t know their health services. And a lot of cities don’t have health departments like we do.

But the health department in New York City really helped to identify West Nile virus and made a great contribution in doing that, and then they also handled anthrax, remember?

CAVUTO: That’s right.

GIULIANI: We had the whole anthrax thing with...

CAVUTO: What if it does — I don’t know you want to say hypothetically...


GIULIANI: The building that I’m in — the Ernst & Young building is my office, is located — when I came in this morning, there was a radio crew there. A woman in that building, her child was infected, so they were taking all kinds of precautions in my building.


If it is a pandemic, and if it is getting out of control, and if we get confirmations that these are swine flu—related deaths in California, and that it has sort of hopped from country to country, as it appears, in some countries in Europe, they’re saying mutated over there — big ifs, a lot of hypotheses — how do you lead through that?

GIULIANI: Right. Right.

Well, I think you have got to give people the facts. You have to tell them what they can do in order to be properly dealt with, how to use Tamiflu, how to use some of the antidotes that exist.

CAVUTO: Well, now we are told you can’t get Tamiflu.

GIULIANI: Well, you would — we should make sure that it’s being produced very, very quickly.

If I were the president, I would be on the phone with people and make sure that plenty of it is being stockpiled right now, because you have time. It has not gotten to that stage yet.


GIULIANI: Do that quietly.

CAVUTO: But you have a very good view of history, Mayor. And this city of course was hit hard in 1918 with a bad, bad pandemic that killed millions worldwide.

I am not saying then is now.


CAVUTO: And I am not saying this is like the 1976 flu crisis, but are we ready for something of that magnitude?

GIULIANI: Yes, we are ready for it. I mean, we have been through — I know we are in New York City ready for it.

The problem for New York City is, it has to rely, when things get very, very large, on the federal government. And I don’t know how ready the federal government is for it.

I know that the department of health, through my administration, through Mike Bloomberg’s administration, is kind of at that lead in all of this. So, I think New York City will be pretty well-prepared for this.


GIULIANI: Finally, you’re running for governor of New York?


GIULIANI: I don’t know.


CAVUTO: See how I stuck that in there?


GIULIANI: Too far away. Too far away.

CAVUTO: I stuck that in there.

GIULIANI: I lost my voice...


CAVUTO: You lost your voice at the Yankee game.


CAVUTO: That was the game they were way up, and then they tumbled, right?


CAVUTO: All right. All right.

GIULIANI: Come on.


CAVUTO: What happens at Yankee Stadium stays at Yankee Stadium.


GIULIANI: You are picking on a guy with laryngitis.


CAVUTO: All right, Mayor, always good seeing you. Feel better. Very good seeing you. Thank you very much. All right.

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