Rudy attacks Democrat response to terrorism

AP:

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday accused former President Clinton of not responding forcefully enough to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing or later terrorist attacks.

The former New York mayor criticized Democrats, accusing them of weakness and naivete in dealing with terrorism. Giuliani made the comments to about 650 business, corporate and political leaders at Regent University, the conservative Christian college founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

"Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before Sept. 11. Many people think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993," said the former New York mayor.

Giuliani argued that Clinton treated the World Trade Center bombing as a criminal act instead of a terrorist attack, calling it "a big mistake" that emboldened other strikes on the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia, in Kenya and Tanzania and later on the USS Cole while docked in Yemen in 2000.

"The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond," Giuliani said. "(Osama) bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it."

In hindsight, Giuliani said, maybe it's all clearer now, "but now is now, and there is no reason to go back into denial, and that is essentially what the Democratic candidates for president want to do: they want to go back, to put the country in reverse to the 1990s.

"I'm not blaming anybody back then," Giuliani said later in the day at a campaign stop at a Jewish temple in Rockville, Md. "What I am saying is, I do blame people after Sept. 11. Now you have to get it."

...

Democrats were quick to criticize Giuliani.

"Rudy's arrogance has gotten the best of him," the Democratic National Committee said in a one-paragraph response. "How can a man who failed to prepare New York City for a second attack after the first one, who sent firefighters and emergency workers into Ground Zero without respirators and quit the Iraq Study Group to raise money keep America safe?"

...

The Democrat response is awful weak. The respirator argument makes no sense. If they were not available, were they supposed to stop trying to save victims? It is a lot like the bogus body armor argument they have used in Iraq. In the Democrats' the lack of equipment is always an excuse for inaction. they also give too much weight to the Iraq Surrender Group. Their proposal to cut a deal with Syria and Iran is just preposterous. But, the bottom line is they construct these weak counter attacks in order to avoid responding to the serious deficiencies in their own policies that Giuliani makes clear.

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