Rudy Giuliani has been an adamant Trump supporter throughout the now-Republican presidential nominee’s campaign. With his credentials as a well-respected GOP figure, the former New York mayor’s endorsement for Trump and frequent condemnation of the Obama administration has been valuable for the Republican nominee. His contempt for the nuclear agreement with Iran and calls for surveillance on America’s Muslim population have effectively validated Trump’s extreme rhetoric, as many see Giuliani as a less polarizing figure in politics. That positive effect on Trump’s campaign may have seen its last days, however, after Giuliani’s latest remarks.
“Under those 8 years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office,” said Giuliani at a Trump rally in Ohio yesterday. The media has attacked Giuliani in the past 24 hours for this comment, as it sounds as though he neglected the travesty of 9/11 altogether. However, the comment must be placed in context of the statement he made immediately prior, in which he praised the Patriot Act for keeping the United States safe for the eight years leading up to then Obama presidency. The Patriot Act was signed in October of 2001, after the 9/11 terror attacks, and Obama was sworn into office in January of 2009. While Giuliani may have been a few months off from the eight year figure he gave, surely he did not simply forget about 9/11.
Regardless of this contextualizing piece, however, the American people are upset. “SO angry right now,” tweeted one woman who lived directly across the street from the World Trade Center when the attacks took place. “And as a 9/11 survivor I feel I can say this describes Rudy Giuliani pretty well,” she furthered.
Some have speculated that Giuliani made the controversial remark in an attempt to divert attention away from the other clouds hovering above the Trump campaign. Earlier this week it was revealed that Trump’s campaign manager was listed as having received cash from the Ukranian pro-Russian party. While Manafort has denied receiving any under-the-table cash from the party, the Ukranian anti-corruption probe finds that he likely “received millions in illegal payments from Ukraine's former pro-Russian ruling party.” As such, it might make sense that Giuliani pulled attention away from this crippling scandal by making a slightly controversial comment in Ohio – a comment that he can very easily explain with the true context of his praise for the Patriot Act.
What do you think about the remarks? Do you think this comment will hurt Trump’s campaign?