MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A Democratic president would raise taxes and ravage the economy, Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday.
The former New York City mayor said he would lower taxes, make permanent President Bush’s tax cuts and eliminate inheritance taxes.
“The Democrats believe in government when they have a choice. Republicans believe in people when we have a choice. … The Republican Party is the party of the people. The Democratic Party is the party of the government,” Mr. Giuliani said at a town hall meeting. He appeared with former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who is a campaign adviser, and former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci.
In his speech, Mr. Giuliani paid little attention to his Republican rivals while taking on the Democratic candidates.
“If you’ve never run anything, you sometimes have unrealistic ideas,” he said, noting none of the leading Democratic contenders has served as an executive. “This is not a place for on-the-job training.”
Mr. Giuliani criticized Democrats who want to repeal Mr. Bush’s tax cuts.
“When it’s working, let’s change it. That’s a brilliant philosophy. It sounds little bit like Iraq,” he said to laughter.
Democrats took issue with Mr. Giuliani’s approach.
“Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the Republican candidates seem to be the last people in America who think the voters are looking for more of the same failed Bush agenda,” said Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.
The cornerstone of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign has been tax cuts, greater freedom over spending and less government. He said people would face $3 trillion in tax increases over the next decade unless Mr. Bush’s tax cuts are made permanent.
Mr. Giuliani told his audience that he is the best option to help them have more control over their own money. As part of his standard stump speech, he routinely reminds voters that he cut taxes 23 times.
“New York City’s taxes were way too high,” Mr. Giuliani said. “We were taxing people out of the city. We were making the choice for them.”
However, his tax-cut record has come into question.
Mr. Giuliani initiated only 15 cuts and opposed one of the largest, accepting it only after a five-month negotiation with the city council. Seven cuts started at the state level. One was initiated by the council.