Rudy Giuliani in AdWatch 2001-2009

On Homeland Security: AdWatch: “Ready” with executive experience in crises

Q: You have a new commercial out called “Ready,” which says this: “Leaders assassinated, democracy attacked, and Osama bin Laden still making threats. In a world where the next crisis is a moment away, America needs a leader who’s ready.” If it is a choice of which Republican is ready on these issues, why not John McCain?

A: I believe that I’ve been tested in a way that others haven’t. I’ve had to deal with crisis in many different ways as mayor of New York City and have proven that I can and that I’m ready to do that.

Q: But John McCain has been a leading voice on national security for more than a decade now.

A: There’s a difference between being one voice of 100, and then actually being the decision-maker that day in and day out is actually on the line for making those decisions, so you can see the consequences of those decisions. The executive experience that I have is more similar to the kind of background that most of the selections for president have been like.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: AdWatch of 2008 Campaign ad Jan 13, 2008

On Drugs: AdWatch: Got tough on drugs like meth in Massachusetts

Romney TV ad in Iowa: Announcer:
Two pro-life governors. Both support a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage. The difference? Romney got tough on drugs like meth. He never pardoned a single criminal. And Mike Huckabee? He granted 1,033 pardons and commutations, including 12 convicted murderers. Huckabee granted more clemencies than the previous three governors combined. Even reduced penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine. On crime. The difference is judgment.
Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Judgment” Dec 19, 2007

On Drugs: FactCheck: Romney’s tough-on-drugs meth bill never passed

Romney’s TV ad criticizes Mike Huckabee’s record as governor by comparing the Arkansas record to the Massachusetts record. The ad says Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” while governor of Massachusetts, but the legislation he supported never passed, and his state’s laws are much weaker than Arkansas’. Convicted meth dealers face both minimum and maximum prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts.
Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Judgment” Dec 19, 2007

On Crime: FactCheck: crime NOT at record high when Rudy took office

Giuliani often talks about how crime in NYC declined while he was at the city’s helm--and that’s true. But he’s off-base in describing the city as having “record crime” until he took office. Giuliani’s tenure began in 1994, a few years after both violent and property crime in the city had begun to decline. The violent crime rate had peaked in 1990, and the property crime rate hit a high point in 1988. Both types of crime continued to drop, substantially, under Giuliani, but the trend had begun years earlier.

Giuliani’s ad is correct when it claims that crime was cut “in half” in his term, which ended in 2001. Furthermore, crime declined in the city at a faster rate than it did across the nation. During his time in office violent crime fell 56% in NYC but only 33% nationally.

Giuliani would have been correct to say the city was experiencing “NEAR record crime,” but a “record” is “an unsurpassed statistic.” This ad is simply false when it says the city experienced “record crime ... until Rudy.”

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Challenges” Nov 27, 2007

On Principles & Values: AdWatch: NYC was “most successful turn-around in 50 years”

[Giuliani television advertisement, released in N.H. & Boston, Nov. 21]:That was New York. Until Rudy.In America’s most liberal city, Rudy delivered. And he can do it again, in a place called Washington.
Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Challenges” Nov 27, 2007

On Tax Reform: FactCheck: Cut NYC taxes by $5.4B, not $9B as claimed

Giuliani boasts in his TV ad that “He cut taxes $9 billion.” But to arrive at the $9 billion figure Giuliani takes credit for the passage of 23 tax cuts. We found, however, that 8 of those were state tax cuts, and a 9th was a tax reduction Giuliani vociferously opposed before agreeing to side with the City Council on the matter. Taking away those tax cuts, Giuliani can justifiably claim credit for lowering taxes by $5.4 billion, or $8 billion if he’s credited for the big cut he lobbied against.
Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Challenges” Nov 27, 2007

On Health Care: AdWatch:Cancer survival rate 82% in US; 44% in socialized UK

[Giuliani radio ad]:

GIULIANI: I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the US, 82%. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England, only 44% under socialized medicine. You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat. What we need to do is to give people a $15,000 deduction for a family, a $7500 deduction for an individual so they can go out & by their own health insurance. If we do that, and we end up with a market of 50, 60 million Americans buying their own health insurance, without a mandate, the cost of health insurance will come down and the quality will come up. Government has never been able to reduce costs. Government never increases quality. We have the best health care system in the world. We just have to make it better.

ANNOUNCER: Rudy Giuliani. Leadership. Principle. Results

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Chances” Oct 30, 2007

On Health Care: FactCheck:Cancer survival rate 74% in UK; not 44% as claimed

In his radio ad, Rudy Giuliani falsely claims that under England’s “socialized medicine” system only 44% of men with prostate cancer survive. That number turns out to be the result of bad math by a Giuliani campaign adviser, who admits that his figure isn’t “technically” a survival rate at all. Furthermore, the co-author of the study on which Giuliani’s man based his calculations tells us his work is being misused, and that the 44% figure is both wrong and “misleading.”

It’s true that official survival rates for prostate cancer are higher in the US than in England, but the difference is not nearly as high as Giuliani claims. And even so, the higher survival rates in the US may simply reflect more aggressive diagnosing of non-lethal cancers.

With the wealth of research available, Giuliani may well find other evidence to support his opposition to expanded federal health insurance programs. But that’s no excuse for feeding a false statistic to the public.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Chances” Oct 30, 2007

On Crime: FactCheck: Hired 3,660 new cops, but took credit for 12,000

On his campaign Web site, Giuliani claims to have increased NYC’s police force by 12,000 officers--from 28,000 to 40,000--between 1/1/1994 & 2000.

The number Giuliani uses as his starting point in 1994 includes only NYPD officers. He doesn’t count transit police or housing police. But Giuliani DOES add the housing and transit police to his later tally--that added close to 7,100 officers to the NYPD’s rolls. It’s misleading for Giuliani to leave the transit and housing cops out of the starting count.

Even the figure Giuliani uses for the number of NYPD officers when he took office--28,000--is inaccurate. The NYPD numbered 29,450 when Giuliani took office. So we’re left with an increase of 3,660, or about 10%. That’s perfectly respectable, bu it’s not 12,000. Under the auspices of the Bill Clinton’s COPS program, NYC was given enough money to cover the first $25,000 of the salaries of about 3,500 new officers from 1997 to 2000 [i.e. almost all of the new NYPD hires were paid for federally].

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign websites Oct 9, 2007

On Immigration: AdWatch: New citizens must read, write, & speak English

[Giuliani’s radio ad was released Aug. 15, airing in NH, IA, and DC]:

GIULIANI: People that come in illegally we gotta stop. You stop illegal immigration by building a fence, a physical fence and then a technological fence. You then hire enough Border Patrol so they can respond in a timely way. And then, if anybody becomes a citizen, we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English, because this is an English speaking country.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” Aug 20, 2007

On Immigration: AdWatch: Deport convicted criminals who are illegal aliens

[Giuliani’s radio ad was released Aug. 15, airing in NH, IA, & SC]:

GIULIANI: It frustrates me that if someone comes here illegally, in addition to everything else that’s involved in that, if they commit a crime, we don’t throw them out of the country As the mayor of NYC I wanted to get the Immigration Service to get rid of the drug dealers who are coming out of jail. It makes no sense--after they have been in jail for selling drugs--we now have to keep them in the US. They couldn’t do it because they had other people lined up to throw out. They had like a professor who over-stayed his visa. I had a drug dealer who had maybe killed people. A person who comes here illegally and commits a crime should be thrown out of the country.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” Aug 20, 2007

On Immigration: FactCheck: English literacy already required for citizenship

The most questionable of Giuliani’s pronouncements [in his latest radio ad on immigration] is his call that “we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English.” The federal government agrees. Speaking, reading and writing basic English is ALREADY a requirement for those applying for naturalization.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language,“ with some exceptions.

When we asked the Giuliani campaign what exactly he was calling for, they said they wanted ”more strenuous“ requirements to prove that applicants truly understood the language.

We think Giuliani’s ad falsely suggests there is no English-speaking requirement for naturalized citizens. What he should have said is that he wants to make certain those applying for US citizenship can read, write and speak English BETTER than the law now requires.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Fences” Aug 20, 2007

On Tax Reform: AdWatch: Cut or eliminated 23 NYC taxes; and created surplus

[Giuliani Radio Ad]:

GIULIANI: Every promise I’ve made, running as mayor of NYC, they said couldn’t be done. They said I couldn’t cut crime, NYC was the crime capital of America. Couldn’t be done. NARRATOR: Under Rudy Giuliani’s leadership, crime in NYC drops 56%.

GIULIANI: NYC was the welfare capital of America, 1.1 million people on welfare. You can’t cut welfare, can’t be done.

Narrator: Welfare rolls went down by a staggering 58%.

GIULIANI: They said we couldn’t reduce taxes. They said you couldn’t get control of spending. That’s impossible.

NARRATOR: Rudy Giuliani turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion-dollar surplus and cut or eliminated 23 taxes.

GIULIANI: My focus when I ran for mayor was on the future, and it will be in this campaign. Leadership is about what we can do, never taking no for an answer. This is all about how America can grow, how America can get stronger, how America can be the country that realizes all the potential that we know we have.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Out of Control” Jul 27, 2007

On Tax Reform: FactCheck: Cut 14 NYC taxes, not 23 as claimed

A new radio ad boasts that Rudy Giuliani “cut or eliminated 23 taxes” while mayor of NYC, a boast he’s repeated many times on the campaign trail. We find that to be an overstatement. Giuliani can properly claim credit for initiating only 14 of those cuts

In fact, he strongly opposed one of the largest cuts for which he claims credit, reversing himself only after a 5-month standoff with the city council. In addition, the ad’s claim that Giuliani turned the budget deficit he inherited into a surplus, while true enough, ignores the fact that he also left a multibillion-dollar deficit for his successor, not including costs associated with 9/11.

We don’t dispute that all 23 cuts happened while Giuliani was mayor. But by saying “I lowered them,” he takes personal credit for 8 cuts that were initiated not by him but by the state, After our initial article appeared, in an interview posted on YouTube, the mayor said he deserves credit for tax cuts he supported, whether he initiated them or not.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Out of Control” Jul 27, 2007

On Homeland Security: AdWatch: Firefighters Union blames Giuliani for 9/11 deaths

[Excerpt from anti-Giuliani IAFF video, “Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend”. The IAFF is the Firefighter’s Union].

NARRATOR: At 9:32 am on Sept. 11th, Chief Callan ordered all FDNY members in the North Tower to the lobby. He repeated the command, but not a single company answered. At 9:59 the South Tower collapsed. FDNY’s Chief Pfeifer then repeated the order for all units to evacuate the North Tower. Firefighters had 56 minutes after the first call and 29 minutes after the second order to get out. While all police officers left the building, 121 firefighters never made it out.

FDNY DEPUTY CHIEF JIM RICHES: That day my son was working, and they didn’t hear the call, 121 guys didn’t hear the call in the North Tower to get out, and they, and the police officers heard it, ‘cause their radios worked, and ours didn’t.

[The IAFF video logged more than 173,000 viewings on YouTube and was the subject of wide news coverage. It has been compared to ads run by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.]

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “IAFF Video” Jul 18, 2007

On Homeland Security: FactCheck: Radio failure PARTLY responsible for 9/11 deaths

The IAFF union representing New York City firefighters is running a misleading video blaming former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the deaths of more than 100 firefighters at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

We agree that Giuliani bears some responsibility for the widely documented failings of the fire department’s radio communications on 9/11. It is true that the effective functioning of the fire department is a major responsibility of any mayor, and Giuliani had been in office since 1994. However, the video goes too far when it implies that bad radio communication was the ONLY reason that 121 firefighters failed to clear the North Tower of the Trade Center after the first tower collapsed. To the contrary, the 9/11 Commission stated in its final report that the technical failure of fire department radios “was not the primary cause of the many firefighter fatalities in the North Tower.”

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “IAFF Video” Jul 18, 2007

The above quotations are from 2001-2009 campaign advertisements.
Click here for other excerpts from 2001-2009 campaign advertisements.
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Page last updated: May 20, 2019