Thursday, June 19, 2008

The smears of Rudy Giuliani, "a man with zero national security and foreign policy experience"

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Rudy Giuliani -- shameless exploiter of 9/11, would-be torturer-in-chief, and neo-fascist thug, not to mention presidential campaign failure -- is back.

As TPM Election Central's Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld reported yesterday, "Rudy is now officially John McCain's lead crooner when it comes to singing the GOP's Dems-are-weak-on-terror golden oldie." And he went right (way right) to work during a conference call with reporters, assaulting Obama and the Democrats, much the way he did when he was fearmongering his way through the Republican primaries, with all the usual smears.

And yet:

Rudy's emergence begs a serious question: How much authority will the national press accord Rudy as a voice on terrorism during the general election? Rudy has no foreign policy experience whatsoever. His aura of national security experience comes solely from having been photographed walking through the smoke and dust on 9/11.

When Rudy ran for president it took the press corps many months to realize that Rudy has absolutely no authority to speak on this topic. Now that he's popped up again as McCain's front man it may take the press many more months to awaken to this reality again -- unless perhaps Team Obama makes sure to stress this obvious point as often as possible.

Which I think it will, given Obama's obvious readiness to hit back -- and to hit back hard -- when confronted with such smears.

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For more on McCain and Giuliani, make sure to check out these follow-up posts from Sargent:

-- Flashback: Rudy Said The Law Was A "Far Greater Weapon" Against Terror Than Violence

-- Joe Biden Rips Rudy For Having "Zero National Security And Foreign Policy Experience"

-- Flashback: McCain Adviser Said That Rudy Totally Botched City's Defenses

-- Flashback: McCain Said That Rudy, His Chief National Security Surrogate, Had No National Security Experience

So Rudy was "soft" on terrorism before he wasn't. And McCain was against Rudy before he wasn't. And Rudy has no national security and foreign policy experience.

But he's now McCain's "lead crooner" in the smear campaign against Obama?

Here's what McCain said about him last September: "I don't think [Rudy's leadership after 9/11] translates, necessarily, into foreign policy or national security expertise. I know of nothing in his background that indicates that he has any experience in it."

And here's Biden -- who once referred to Rudy as "a noun, a verb, and 9/11" -- telling is like it is: "It's no surprise that it takes a man with zero national security and foreign policy experience to defend the policies of John McCain and President Bush."

Hilarious. And spot on.

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