Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said Mitt Romney's record as a businessman makes the former Massachusetts governor a much more qualified candidate to repair the country's economy than President Obama, whom he derided as community organizer who "never really had a payroll to meet."
Mr. Obama's economic experience, when he ran for the White House, was "theoretical," Mr. Giuliani said in an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," while Mr. Romney started and led one of the country's most successful companies, Bain Capital, and salvaged the Salt Lake City Olympics.
"He's the perfect choice," Mr. Giuliani said.
The former New York mayor, who criticized Mr. Romney when both men were rivals for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, said the former Massachusetts governor's record of job creation is far superior to Mr. Obama's — though not, as Mr. Giuliani pointedly noted, as good as his own.
"Well, I mean, there's a certain amount of personal ego in that. At that point, I was probably comparing his record to my record, and maybe it was circumstances or whatever, but I had a massive reduction in unemployment. He had a reduction in unemployment of about 8 percent, 10 percent — I think it was 15 percent. I had a reduction in unemployment of 50 percent. I was comparing what I thought was my far-superior record to his otherwise decent record."
Mr. Obama, according to Mr. Giuliani, is the one who should be worried about his record.
"No matter how much President Obama tries to make it about Romney ... it's going to be Obama's record," he told host Candy Crowley.
The former mayor, who has campaigned alongside Mr. Romney in recent weeks, pushed back against the Obama campaign's strategy of questioning whether Mr. Romney's Bain Capital experience qualifies him for the presidency.
"What does qualify you to be president? Does being a community activist for a Saul Alinsky group, and then a member of a state legislature for a few years and kind of arriving in the Senate and running for president on Day One, does that qualify you to be president?" Mr. Giuliani said.
"I would take Romney's background for an America that has to turn around its economy way over Obama's background which has basically been a theoretical kind of background ... virtually no success before, just community organizer, state Senate, never really had a payroll to meet or any responsibilities."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, appearing on the same program, defended the Obama administration and hailed his record on job creation.
"Let me also just quickly take issue with what Mayor Giuliani is saying. We are running on President Obama's incredible record of job growth. We've got a long way to go, but 26 straight months of job growth in the private sector, a resurgence in the manufacturing sector, an opportunity to rescue and thankfully rescue the American automobile industry when Mitt Romney would have let them go bankrupt," the Florida Democrat said. "So we have a record that we're proud to run on."
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