Rudy Giuliani Reacts to NH Debate; Talks About Immigration

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," September 5, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: And joining us now is the former New York City Mayor, now presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani.

Mr. Mayor, good to see you. Welcome back to New Hampshire.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you doing, Sean? Alan, how are you? Good to see you. It's nice to be back here.

HANNITY: All right. So there is a debate, one of the things that came out tonight, you are the front-runner right now, so a few people coming at you on some of the positions. You answered this issue about New York sanctuary city.

GIULIANI: New York City reported every single person who was suspected of a crime, every single person who was convicted of a crime. Our problem was the immigration service would not deport any of them.

In fact, there was a time under my predecessor, Mayor Dinkins, when the immigration service told the New York Police Department not to give it any names. I reversed that. I gave them names. I even tried to get them to put the drug dealers at the top of the list.

And the reality is, I had to deal with a situation of very high crime. You remember when I came in to office. We were the crime capital of America. And I think the answer to how I dealt with it is a lot better than just about anybody else.

Because I took crime from being a major problem in New York City to making New York City safer than most even some small cities in the country. And so I must have dealt with the issue of illegal immigration in a pretty intelligent way to accomplish that.

HANNITY: One of the things that struck me in this debate, it seemed more than the other debates that this was the first time that we really saw some of the candidates really going after each other and some of their positions here.

But I see a lot of similarities in the positions with distinction. But yet, there are vast distinctions when it comes to the three major Democratic candidates.

GIULIANI: Well, I tried very, very hard to do that. I tried very hard to put the focus on the differences that we have with the Democratic candidates. The reality is they are much greater than the differences that the Republicans have among each other, with the exception of Ron Paul. I suggested...

HANNITY: You say that with a smile.

GIULIANI: I suggested to Chris and to Brit and to Wendell that maybe they should have a Ron Paul-Mike Gravel debate. That might be like its own — and I think there would be a lot of applause and a lot of booing at that debate and very exciting.

HANNITY: Yes. Let's talk a little bit about the Virginia Tech question here, because this now became an issue. By my count, you had Mitt Romney going after you on immigration, Fred Thompson on the issue of guns, and Senator McCain...

GIULIANI: Well, Fred was not here.

HANNITY: Fred wasn't here. That's true.

GIULIANI: So you know, I don't consider that one...

HANNITY: But they brought up a quote that he had said he did not feel safe in New York.

GIULIANI: Right. When he comes to a debate, then he can go after me and I will answer it. But I thought I handled it pretty well by saying I think he does a good job of playing my part on "Law & Order."

HANNITY: Is that the role as being the front-runner that...

GIULIANI: Sure. Absolutely. You know, and the reality is — the answer to that is that in New York I used the gun laws very effectively. I prosecuted people who had guns to the full extent of the law. I did it to such a great extent that we reduced shootings by 74 percent.

HANNITY: The murder rate went from like 2,500 to 500 a year.

GIULIANI: Yes. The calculation that somebody once made is that if murder had continued at the rate before I came into office, something like 9,000 more people would have died during that period of time. So I am pretty proud of what we did and what we accomplished. And shootings we brought down by three-quarters. I mean, that's a remarkable...


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: But you said — pardon me, what happened was the Brady Bill. Crime was down nationally. New York was a beneficiary.

GIULIANI: No, crime...

COLMES: Get a good police chief in Bill Bratton.

GIULIANI: No. Crime wasn't down nationally. The reality is New York City is the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994. In Boston, for example, I went back and looked at the 2000 statistics, there was a 60 percent greater chance you could be the victim of a crime. In most other cities it was 100 percent.

New York City went from being the crime capital of America to the city number 191 for crime.

COLMES: But crime went down nationally after the Brady Bill was passed, the crime rate went down all over the United States.

GIULIANI: But it didn't stay down all over the United States the way it did in New York. In fact, during a debate between President Clinton and Bob Dole, President Clinton talked about the crime decline in New York, in America, and Senator Dole made the point that were it not for the decline in America, the statistics in New York would not have led to a decline in crime.

COLMES: But the Brady Bill did lead to a decline in crime. You have to acknowledge that.

GIULIANI: The Brady Bill was part of the crime bill. The crime bill overall helped. I am not saying it did not help. But the reality is that what we did in New York was nothing short of totally unexpected. Nobody thought it was possible.

COLMES: Immigration came up early in the debate tonight. You were quoted as saying in 1994, "If you come here," meaning New York, "if you work hard and happened to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people we want in this city. You are somebody that we want to protect. You want to get out from under a life being like a fugitive, which is really unfair."

Which puts you in the camp of really being pro-illegal immigration. Welcoming them to New York City.

GIULIANI: I was opposed to illegal immigration. There was nothing I could do about illegal immigration.

COLMES: But you welcomed them when you made that statement.

GIULIANI: The reality is that I wanted to make sure that illegal aliens in my city reported crimes and put their children in school and felt comfortable to do that. And the reality is that I reported every single illegal immigrant that committed a crime. Because I wanted them thrown out of my city.

So I had to make a distinction. Because the federal government was supporting only 759 illegal immigrants out of 400,000. I had to distinguish between those who were not doing anything wrong, who were not going to commit any crimes, I wanted them to report crimes, I wanted them to put their children in school, otherwise I would have had more violence. And what I also wanted to do is to get the immigration ...

COLMES: But you said if you're undocumented we want you here in New York City.

GIULIANI: If you're not committing any crimes. If you're not committing a crime. If you're committing a crime I want you thrown out of the city.

COLMES: Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for coming on.

GIULIANI: Thank you very much.

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