- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Rudy Giuliani put the wood to a “partisan” Republican official in Montgomery County yesterday.

Mr. Giuliani, ex-mayor of New York, was about to be escorted out of a jam-packed Potomac, Md., restaurant yesterday by aides to Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, after stumping for Mr. Steele’s U.S. Senate campaign when he was asked if Sen. Hillary Clinton’s call for withdrawing troops from Iraq was a form of appeasement.

Mr. Giuliani, considered a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2008, said he would not criticize the former first lady, a fellow New Yorker and potential White House opponent.

Mr. Giuliani said that troops should leave when the United States achieves its objectives: removing Saddam Hussein from power and setting up “accountable government to act as a counter against terrorism.”

“The root causes of terrorism basically are oppressive governments that demagogue, and blame and project their problems other places, and do nothing about the problems of their own people,” Mr. Giuliani said.

A man standing nearby shouted: “Sounds like Democrats.”

It was Tom Reinheimer, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party.

An aide then stepped in to cut off questions, and Mr. Guiliani and Mr. Steele turned to leave.

But then Mr. Giuliani did something peculiar. He grabbed Mr. Steele’s forearm and pulled him back to the front of the crowd for one last comment:

“The other thing we have to learn is that we can’t get into this partisan bickering,” Mr. Giuliani said. “The fact is that Republicans and Democrats have the same objective. We really do. Maybe we have different means of getting there, but they get very angry at us and we get very angry at them, and somehow we’ve got to put that aside and figure out what’s best for the country.”

“Democrats are loyal Americans. Republicans are loyal Americans. I think we have better answers, but we have to respect each other,” Mr. Giuliani said.

And then he walked off with Mr. Steele.

Mr. Reinheimer laughed.

“How’d ya like that?” he asked a bystander. “I hope he’s not mad at me.”

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