Giuliani: Trump Has Tapped Into Frustration of Americans
Former NYC Mayor Praises Controversial Candidate on Eve of Super Tuesday
Throughout his campaign to secure the Republican Party nomination for U.S. president, Donald Trump has gained many detractors for his politically incorrect remarks about illegal immigration, national security and the use of torture, among other cases of public faux pas, with some Republican leaders and none other than Pope Francis among the latest to criticize the real-estate mogul and reality-TV star.
Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani is not part of that club. The former New York City mayor and pre-candidate for the GOP’s 2008 presidential nomination was recently in San Juan giving a keynote speech at the latest Puerto Rico Investment Summit, and talked exclusively to Caribbean Business about what has made “the Donald” such an irresistible force among conservative voters in the U.S. mainland.
“Trump is an exceptionally talented guy, a brilliant developer, a doer, he gets things done,” Giuliani said. “Politically, he has probably tapped into an anger and frustration that the American people are feeling, the same way that Bernie Sanders is also doing, although Sanders has tapped into those emotions from the left side of the political spectrum and Trump has kind of tapped them from the right.”
Sure enough, as the Republican and Democratic primaries head into Super Tuesday on March 1, Trump and Sanders are carrying a lot of momentum in their respective parties. Sanders, a longtime senator from Vermont and self-declared democratic socialist, recently came out of the New Hampshire primaries with a landslide win against Hillary Clinton, who was once considered a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination, but since then has seen her poll numbers take a hit against the advance of “the Bern.”
By the same token, Trump has transcended previous perceptions regarding his campaign as a sideshow attraction, instead becoming a frontrunner in almost all of the previous Republican contests. As of late February, it appears that only Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio stand a chance of prevailing against Trump during Super Tuesday, a landmark event in which 11 states will hold simultaneous primaries for both parties.
“Trump and Sanders are both a reflection of American frustration with the government not working because both want to fundamentally change government, although each in different directions,” Giuliani said.
The former politician, who has remained in the business sector during the past couple of years and makes the rounds mostly as a public speaker, gave a salient example of what sets Trump apart from the rest of the Republican pack. “When Trump is saying ‘we made stupid deals’ [under the Obama administration, mostly with regard to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal], nobody else would say it that way, but he’s right,” Giuliani noted.
“They have killed thousands of our troops and want to kill us, and we’re giving them billions of dollars and getting nothing in return. If I’m going to let them get nuclear material, I want to get something back: give me all those prisoners back, stop saying you’re in favor of destroying America and stop threatening our strongest ally Israel; otherwise, we have no deal,” he said.
“Ordinary politicians say ‘I agree with that deal,’ like John Kerry, or ‘I disagree with it,’ like John McCain,” Giuliani added. “When Trump says ‘that’s stupid,’ he is pointing out that we have a history in the past few years of making these kinds of deals.”
Another instance in which the Obama administration has failed on foreign policy, according to Giuliani, is when it scuttled plans to build a long-range missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, a former source of contention between Russia and the U.S. during the George W. Bush administration.
“Hillary Clinton was the secretary of State at the time, and I consider that action as the downfall of that administration,” he said. “You have an amoral but smart guy called Vladimir Putin sitting in Russia, and he realizes he can basically take our pants off and we’re not going to say a thing.
“Putin got from us what Gorbachev couldn’t get from Reagan, which is giving up nuclear defense,” Giuliani went on. “You don’t think that played a big role in his army moving into the Ukraine? Putin, a former KGB head and strategic thinker, is up against a community organizer [referring to Obama]. What Trump is saying is if these guys were running our business, we would be bankrupt. And he’s making a very powerful point.”
Finally, echoing words from prominent Republican leaders such as John Boehner and John McCain, Giuliani made a clear statement about the one person he does not want on the party ballot. “I should note for the record that I like all the other Republican candidates,” he said. “That is, except Ted Cruz.”