Giuliani at Drake University

Texas Governor Rick Perry is warming up the crowd, bragging about his seven-year record of governing a "rather large state" where he says they reduced a budget deficit and turned it into a surplus.  (His twang gave the word "surplus" a strange twist for this Iowa audience.)

Perry bragged about being "arguably the most pro-life governor in Texas history."  He told the crowd, "some of my friends on the social conservative side say, ‘Wait a minute: how can you get comfortable with a person who is in his personal life prochoice?’  I said….Mayor Giuliani is not our enemy.  He is a cultural warrior, I will suggest to you."

Perry described Giuliani as an "old-school conservative" and told the crowd he (Perry) had given "prayerful thought" to his decision to endorse Giuliani today (that happened this morning in Washington, D.C.).  Perry said Giuliani’s promise to appoint "strict constructionist judges" to the Supreme Court "makes my heart warm."

Finally, with a verbal flourish, Perry introduces "America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani."  The crowd applauds and Giuliani enters the room which is crowded with about 400 people.

"I try not to stay in Washington too long because I think it does something to your brain," Giuliani begins, as he references the infamous lawsuit against the tiny dry cleaners that lost the pants.  This is a seque into a story about the need for limits on civil lawsuits like the $54 million lawsuit over the lost pants.  Now, Giuliani is praising Perry and the Texas law which caps damage awards. 

"You know what happened the first year after they passed it?  The number of doctors applying to practice in Texas went up by 9 percent.  The next year it went up by 30 percent," Giuliani said. 

Giuliani is speaking without notes, gesturing with his hands as he talks about the "four" big things we should care about in our economy (which are, according to Giuliani, over-spending, over-regulating, over-taxing and over-suing).  "You do all of those things too much…and your economy shrinks….It literally puts a lid on your economy."

The "quintessential thing" about the US is that it’s a "private enterprise country," according to Giuliani.  "So, here’s what I would do….lower taxes….It’s a mistake to raise taxes in the present economy that we have, a big mistake…It’s going to hurt poor people," according to Giuliani  "….I lowered taxes in New York City.  No mayor before me had ever lowered taxes in a systematic way like I did….I lowered taxes 23 times….income tax by 24 percent….I was collecting billions of dollars more from the lower taxes than the higher taxes."

"…Some people who don’t understand private sector economics, they think this is impossible….because more people are working, because more people are making more money, by a lot," Giuliani says.

He continues:  "If we want our economy to grow…we’ve got to keep the income tax rate low….capital gains…..I’d give the death penalty to the death tax….these are all things that hold our economy down in the name of wanting to redistribute weatlh….There’s no device for wanting to save money in govt…in the private sector it’s called profit…that’s why the worst thing we could do for health care is to add more people to the rolls….If you want to give access…the last thing in the world you do is to create a govt mandate….The minute the govt mandates something, it becomes more expensive….and the quality goes down."

Giuliani is doing what we used to call the "Dole stroll" — he’s wearing a lav mic and he’s strolling from one end of the raised stage to the other.  Elizabeth Dole used to do this in her incredibly high-heeled shoes both in 1996 when she did a lot of her husband’s campaigning in Iowa as he was tied up in the budget showdown in Washington and again in 2000 when she ran for president herself.

Now, Giuliani is asking for an iPhone.  "I’m not going to talk on the cell phone.  I’m just going to show it to you," Giuliani quips. The crowd laughs, meaning some may have heard of Giuliani’s call from "Judith" while he was speaking to the NRA.

Giuliani is relating the story of talking to two kids about the iPhone — to the kid who had one Giuliani told him he’d be a great computer programmer, while the other kid who said he was waiting for an iPhone to be halfprice, Giuliani claims that kid will be a billionaire.

The "American Way" to save health care is to make more Americans buy private insurance, according to Giuliani, who relates it back to the iPhone story in a complicated way I can’t keep typing fast enough to explain.

"The difference between me and the Democratic candidates is I’ve actually run something," Giuliani says.  "They’ve never run a city like I did…They’ve never had to meet payroll….They’ve never had to do budgets (or) think about the practical applications of what they’re saying….You learn you can’t promise all things to all people."

Now, he’s ridiculing Hillary’s "Baby Bonds" money:  "This isn’t Hillary’s money.  It’s yours….I’m losing track now of all the promises of spending your money….The problem with all kinds of money coming from Washington is it’s your money…and our whole economy gets pushed in the tank."

Now, he’s touting the book by the new president of France.  Giuliani isn’t calling him by name, just referring to him as "the new president of France." 

"The whole world is going in the other direction (from HRC, Obama and Edwards)….If we’re not careful.  If you don’t elect me, this country could be to the left of France," Giuliani tells the crowd.  "These policies (advocated by the three leading Democratic candidates) sound good and they are extremely damaging."

Now, finally, he mentions "being on offense" against terrorists.  Now, after about 20 minutes of commentary, Giuliani opens it up to questions. 

The first comes from a man who asks about the Armenian resolution that passed a congressional committee.  Not the right time to do it now, according to RG.

Next question from a man about electricity and coal in general.  RG says carbon sequestration techology has real promise so coal can be used cleanly.  The govt should help that industry emerge, according to Giuliani, because the US has more coal reserves than Saudi Arabia has oil reserves, so it’s a national security issue.  (Giuliani often tells the crowd he’ll make three points, and he holds up his hand with three of his digits extended.  He’s making a three-fer point right now.)

China needs clean coal "four times more than we do," according to Giuliani, who says the US should be building the new nuclear power plants in China.  "There’s no magic solution to energy independence…Each one of these things helps," according to RG.

"…Had we done this 30 years, I’m not sure we’d be in this predicament with Islamic terrorism," according to RG. 

Next question from a man in the front row…making a plea for Giuliani to go to AARP’s forum in Sioux City next week.  "I’ve been invited to like a dozen debates, sometimes on the same day….We tried to have a rule of one a month…because if I go to all the debates, I can’t run my campaign…and you can’t be in the places you want to be to make the political points you want to make…Maybe we’ll stretch it to two a month."

Now, RG is recommending another book, the one written by Alan Greenspan (the former Fed chair)…"and I’m not going to get a royalty from that."

Now, Dr. Alan Koslow a frequent questioner at campaign events in Iowa is asking the crowd a question, asking how many in the room consider health care an important issue.  A few hands go up.   Now, Koslow is saying just tax credits won’t fix what’s wrong with healthcare and Koslow asks Giuliani to promise health care "for all."

"If govt guarantees health care for all…." Giuliani begins, but Koslow interrupts Giuliani.  RG continues:  "Let me finish the thought, because it’s a complex thought.  that is a nice promise to make…but it will be leading (the American people) into a (diminished) health care system."  Now, Giuliani is talking about how people afford a TV or a cell phone — because they’ve become so cheap…."You’ve got to get those forces working in our health care economy or it’s doomed," RG says.  "…The people who can’t afford health care right now are not the poorest people…so you’ve got these people in the gap….these people are not the poorest.  all of these people are consumers.  They’re not incapable of buying things….(but they don’t buy health insurance for two reason:  it’s too expensive and they don’t see the benefit of buying it, according to Giuliani.) 

Now, some disembodied female voice interrupts.  "Excuse me, Mr. Mayor, but you only have time for one more question."

The next question comes from a woman in the crowd, who asks about curbing HIV/AIDS in Africa.

"This is one of the things that President Bush has been very good at….maybe it is the media biases, but President Bush doesn’t get credit…I would look for ways to be more supportive…as a matter of conscience it’s something we have to do….It shows what the American soul and the American heart is really all about," RG says.  .Now, RG is praising the One campaign for doing "terrific work" because they’ve gotten Republicans and Democrats to agree on something, and he leads some applause. 

"I have very strong views on the economy and taxes, but I don’t get personally angry at somebody who disagrees with me on taxes," Giuliani tells the crowd.  "…You are bridging a gap and I don’t think there’s any disagreement…that we should be in a constructive way funding treatment, a cure."

Now, he’s touting the idea of boosting trade with Africa, Middle East, South America to improve relations with other countries.  "The more we trade with Panama, Peru and Columbia, the more we keep them away from Chavez…"

"Thank you very, very much," he concludes. The crowd applauds; event lasted about 45 minutes.

Print Friendly
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.