Giuliani: 'Media opinion' that Iraq War 'a big mistake'
When CNN's Kyra Phillips spoke on Wednesday with former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who is now a supporter of Senator John McCain, she asked him about the feeling among leading Republicans that "McCain has got to disassociate himself from President Bush."
"President Bush has ruined the image of the Republican Party," Phillips suggested, but Giuliani simply laughed.
"I think President Bush has not been treated as fairly as he should be," Giuliani explained. "He has protected us against terrorism when nobody thought it could be done."
"The media opinion is the Iraq War is some kind of big mistake," Giuliani continued. "My opinion is we wouldn't be safe against terrorism if we hadn't taken the action we took in Afghanistan and Iraq."
"We need a president who can handle terrorism," concluded Giuliani. "There's nothing in the background of Barack Obama that suggests ... that he would be able to handle this problem. ... John McCain is a proven commodity. We know he can handle terrorism"
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast May 21, 2008.
Partial Transcript via closed captions
PHILLIPS: you have republicans leading republicans in the party saying mccain has got to disassociate himself from president bush. president bush has ruined the image of the republican party, taken the republican party down into the tank. you don't agree with that?
GIULIANI: i think president bush has been -- has not been treated as fairly as he should be, and i think president bush is going to be a very different president when we look at him from historical purns purposes.
PHILLIPS: how will he go down in history? you don't think it will be the iraq war?
GIULIANI: i think it will be he has protected us against terrorism when nobody thought it could be done.
PHILLIPS: but iraq war is not about protecting us against terrorism.
GIULIANI: you say that.
PHILLIPS: no, no, i'm voicing what's out there. i'm voicing the realities.
GIULIANI: that's your opinion is the iraq war is some kind of big mistake. my opinion is we wouldn't be safe against terrorism if we hadn't taken the action we took in afghanistan and in iraq, and now that we're having success against al qaeda and the other elements in iraq, john mccain looks a lot better than he did a year ago. but in any event, the reality is we need a president who can habitual terrorism. there's nothing in the background of barack obama that suggests he may by instinct be able to do it, i don't see it. nothing in his background to suggest he would be able to handle this problem, at least he doesn't have the experience for it. maybe he can, maybe he can't. john mccain is a proven commodity. we know he can handle terrorism.
PHILLIPS: 68% of the people in the u.s. oppose the war in iraq.