Middle East studies in the News
Giuliani Wary of Polls, Maintains Faith in McCain-Palin [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 28, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Dow today makes history, good history, finally. The stock market was a bargain basement today, great prices, closing up 889 points. Now, that's the second largest single-day gain ever.
Joining us live is the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. Nice to see you, Mayor. And Mayor, I guess that New York City's a happy place today with -- the country is, with the Dow jumping up.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Yes, it is pretty amazing. Things were a lot happier tonight in the restaurant I was in and the people I was talking to. Sure. Unfortunately, it has an impact on everything. But this was a good day and let's hope we have more of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, you say it's an impact on everything. One of the things people think is that it has an impact on the economy, that if it's -- that if the economy is going well, that might inure to the benefit of the Republican candidate, as opposed to the economy doing poorly, that the Democratic candidate -- any thoughts on that connection?
GIULIANI: I think that was true. I think that changed. I think that changed with this whole emphasis on redistribution of wealth, sharing the wealth, spreading the wealth. I think that that will be seen, when we look at the history of this campaign, as one of the biggest mistakes a presidential candidate ever made, the statement that Barack Obama made to "Joe the Plumber."
And it's a statement that comes out of Barack Obama's history. It's not just some thing he dropped. He's been in favor of, I think he calls it, redistributive justice for over -- for his whole life. And these associations that he has with Ayers, the associations with Reverend Wright, the associations with this fellow Rashid Khalidi -- these are all associations that suggest someone who does believe in something like redistribution of wealth. Ayers is on record being in favor of it. Wright has spoken about it. So this is a consistent view.
What Barack Obama wants to do, in a very aggressive way, is to take money from one group of people and hand it out to another. That is not the concept of taxation that I think works in our economy or the concept of taxation that most Americans have.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You mentioned Khalidi. Now, that's -- that's just sort of surfaced in the last couple days. I guess it's The LA Times has a videotape, and they say they wrote about it last spring, but it's sort of hitting the headlines today. What do you know about Khalidi? And what do you know about any sort of connection that Senator Obama might have?
GIULIANI: Well, I don't -- what I do know is that Khalidi has made very incendiary remarks about Israel, about Israel being racist. He has a connection with the PLO. He worked for an organization called WAFA -- I think it's W-A-F-A. He was their spokesman. I believe Khalidi's wife was the translator for that organization, which was affiliated with the PLO. And he has been -- I think you could -- I don't think there could be any dispute about the fact that he has a very hostile view to the state of Israel.
And he was -- he was given a party, I guess it was sometime in the early 2000s, and Senator Obama appeared at that party and said laudatory things about him. Also, Senator Obama and Ayers, sitting on the Woods board, gave something like $70,000 or $80,000 to Khalidi's organizations that participated in giving -- doing these exhibits which would, I think, tell just one side of the story in terms of the Middle East. That's all that I know about it. But -- and all that is available from public record.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And we're going to talking about it in a few moments, so let me go back to this race. Pennsylvania -- all right, now, I'm suspicious. The polls, we have been told, place Senator McCain behind Senator Obama there, but -- but I cannot believe that the polls are right because today, Senator Obama was there, Senator McCain was there and Governor Palin was there. Are there internal polls, do you know, in the McCain campaign, that shows a much different race? Because the three of them wouldn't be wasting their time there if that's the story.
GIULIANI: If I talk about internal polls, the campaign has to give them out.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And shoot me, right, and shoot you, too.
GIULIANI: Well, what I can tell you is, I'll tell you my sense. I know Pennsylvania pretty well. I've done a lot of campaigning there, going way back to when Dick Thornburgh was the governor, and I campaigned for Arlen Specter. It's going to be a very close state. John McCain has a good chance to win the state of Pennsylvania. You know, last time, I think George Bush got to within 2 or 3 points of winning Pennsylvania. And on election day, even at FOX, you had him behind by 15 percent. And Bush lost by 2 percent.
So these polls, you've got to be very careful about them. On Election Day 2004, if you believed the polls, Kerry was going to win by 6 to 8 percent. Every network had them, FOX and every other network. Bush won by 3 percent, and that was on Election Day. So you -- some of this, you've got to go on your own gut instinct.
When I was listening to those polls back last Election Day, I knew that Bush was going to win Ohio. I knew he was going to win Miami by having been there. So I think Pennsylvania is a state that we can turn. And I think the Republican states that looked like they were in jeopardy, even the public polls are now showing they're coming back. They're coming back to McCain.
And I believe it's this redistribution of income that is doing it. This is a concept that is alien to the American people. And it would be particularly damaging with our economy going through what it's going through, if we all of a sudden invoke some kind of an aggressive redistribution of income. We would destroy our economy.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, it makes a big difference come Election Day, the ground game. It seems from the outside that Senator Obama has a terrific ground game because he's had an unbelievable Internet -- sophisticated Internet fund-raising. He draws huge crowds. What's the ground game like on Tuesday for Senator McCain getting people to the polls? How good is it?
GIULIANI: Well, every place I've been -- and I've been -- the states I've been recently are Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. I'm very, very impressed with the volunteers and wit the professionals that are working there. It's largely the same group that worked for President Bush, but then with the addition of the McCain people, the Romney people, the Giuliani people, the Huckabee people. They're all -- I see people there that were working on my campaign, that were working against me.
And the Republicans have all come together, and I think what you're seeing is a very, very intense Republican effort because there's real fear about this election. I mean, the differences are so great that Republicans are very energized by this. So I'm not minimizing -- I'm not minimizing their ground game. I'm sure it's very, very good. But I think the Republican ground game will be very effective. It has been in the past. I see no reason why it wouldn't be in this election.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Tomorrow night, something very unique. Senator Obama has purchased a half hour on many of the networks. I might add not the Disney Channel, we learned last night from Mrs. Obama because it would make the kids -- the kids wouldn't like that. But there has been some criticism that he -- you know, that he's not taking questions. It's not a press conference, but that he's speaking to the nation. What's your thought? Is this going to backfire on him Thursday morning, or not?
GIULIANI: I don't know, but I think somebody should put a trailer right below this that the only reason he's able to do this is because he broke his promise. He broke his promise to comply with campaign finance, which used to be one of the tenets of liberal faith.
VAN SUSTEREN: He outsmarted the Republicans!
GIULIANI: Well, OK. You can call it outsmarting it. I call it breaking your word. And when somebody who's a candidate for president breaks their word even before they get in the White House, which is where he thinks he's going, I think the American people -- the American people take that very seriously. If you can't trust him...
VAN SUSTEREN: Was there anything to prevent Senator McCain, though, from not taking public financing at the point that Senator Obama was not taking it?
GIULIANI: How about being a man of his word and a man of honor and somebody we can trust? So when Senator Obama tells you, I'm only going to raise taxes on people $250,000 and above, excuse me if I don't believe him. And when I look at his numbers and I analyze his numbers -- if you believe that, you've never looked at the Obama program. He is going to raise taxes, I guarantee you this, on everybody who's paying taxes.
And the program has become a Welfare program. If he's going to -- if he's going to lower taxes for 95 percent of the American people, and 40 percent are not paying taxes, then how do you lower it for the 40 percent? You send them a check. That is no longer taxation, that is a Welfare payment. We're going to have a whole new Welfare program. I thought we had already done Welfare reform, and Barack Obama's going to bring it back.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We have literally 10 seconds, so this is -- this is an easy question. Where are you going to be election night?
GIULIANI: I'm going to be voting, and then I'm going to be, hopefully, at a victory rally with the senator.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right Is that going to be in Arizona?
GIULIANI: But I don't know -- I don't think it's going to cost anywhere near the $3 million or $4 million that they already are putting up for the -- for the Obama crowning...
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well...
GIULIANI: ... Which I think will -- which I think will include the Greek columns. I'm not sure.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, I was just putting sort of a verbal GPS on you so the bookers know where to find you election night, when we need to talk to you. Thank...
GIULIANI: Well, if I don't make it there, I'll be here.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Mayor. Thank you.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
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