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Interview With Rudy Giuliani

Aired November 5, 2002 - 23:50   ET


KING: We had quite a night, and we continue in that mold, when we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE's portion of election night coverage the former GOP mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, author of the number one best selling book, "Leadership." Congratulations on being number one, and with the resignation tonight of Harvey Pitt as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, everyone is saying, what about you? So what about you?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Well, I'm not thinking about that at all tonight. I'm thinking about all these victories for the Republican Party and for President Bush. It's quite a historic night for us.

KING: Would you be interested in that job at SEC?

GIULIANI: I don't have an interest in another job right now. Tonight, I...

KING: We'll get to the politics in a minute, but if the president called you and said, "Rudy, I'd love you to head the SEC," would you consider it?

GIULIANI: I'm not looking for a job, Larry. I'm not. Honestly.

KING: So you would say no?

GIULIANI: I'm not looking for a job.


GIULIANI: I -- I was -- I just came back from, like, a 12-state tour, and I'm feeling the excitement of all of these victories for the president, and we're really remarkable tonight. Usually presidents lose big time, you know, after two years in office, and President Bush went out, went to the people. It was a really gutsy thing to do, and I think the people spoke tonight, and they spoke very resoundingly.

KING: In the past couple of days, you went to Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, Arkansas, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. You won in Massachusetts, the governorship, you won in New Hampshire, the Senate, you won in Maryland the governorship, you won in Florida the governorship...

GIULIANI: I -- I didn't...

KING: ... you won in Georgia the Senate...

GIULIANI: You mean our party won.

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all those people. Yeah, party won, but you went out and you were in demand.


GIULIANI: Yeah, and the president, the president went to all of those places, and there were a lot of people who criticized it, thought it was a very risky strategy, that it would backfire on him, and the reality is that what the president did is he went to the American people and he said, you know, give me a chance to have a Department of Homeland Security that makes sense, that isn't bogged down in all kinds of bureaucratic rules. Give me a chance to get some of judges through, and stop, you know, stop obstructing it. And I think that it worked, and it was a very coherent and a very, very strong message, and that's the reason why you have the resounding victories that you have all throughout the country tonight.

KING: Anything tonight surprise you?

GIULIANI: Some of the margins of victory were larger than I thought they would be. You know in a number of the races that at least I was looking at, it seemed to me they were maybe two, three points more than I thought they would be.

KING: And why do you think -- obviously, the Democrats could still retain control of the Senate, because we are still out in Minnesota and Missouri and South Dakota; we don't know the ball game there. We might have to wait for Louisiana to do a runoff election on December 7 to find out who has the majority in the Senate, right?

GIULIANI: Yeah, but I think, you know, when you look at what historically happens -- there will almost definitely be gains in the House. There is a really good chance that the Republicans will get control of the Senate, and I mean, that's the -- that's -- that's the real vote of confidence in the president. And I think there is some underlying messages. I mean, it was the president that went to the people with a message, and he created the referendum in this election, and he's prevailed, and his strategy has worked, and I think it's worked because he is a president that people have confidence in.

KING: There are two million more Democrats in the state of New York than Republicans. Why did George Pataki do so well?

GIULIANI: Because he's been an excellent governor. I mean, this is really a vote on his record as governor. I mean, it was exemplified by the way he led the state after September 11, but the reality is, he's been a very, very good governor. People have tremendous confidence in him, and he won a very big -- very big victory. And he campaigned very hard. He didn't take it for granted. I mean, George is a very good friend of mien, and I was out on the campaign trail with him. He was campaigning, you know, a year and a half ago. He did not take it for granted the way some people might a reelection for a popular governor. KING: Carl McCall is a very competent guy, isn't he? Successful controller, well liked throughout the state?

GIULIANI: It was hard to make the case against George Pataki, though. It isn't about Carl McCall. I think it would have been true -- it would have been true if Andrew Cuomo had been the candidate, or somebody else from the Democratic Party. The governor has done a good job; the people of the state liked him. He's enormously popular. And I don't think any Democrat, no matter what kind of campaign they ran, would have been able to win that race.

KING: Was it thrilling for you to be asked by so many candidates to come to their state for them? I mean, they say next to Bush and Cheney, you were number three in demand of the party.

GIULIANI: A lot of them -- a lot of them are good friends. I mean, Jeb Bush came and campaigned for me when I ran for mayor of New York and raised money for me. And Elizabeth Dole did. And Norm Coleman is a friend.

I met Norm when he was the Democratic mayor of St. Paul, and he and I were campaigning for the crime bill together. And he comes from Brooklyn, Larry.

KING: He does?

GIULIANI: We're going to have a senator, I think, from Minnesota who comes from Brooklyn. Isn't that something?

KING: Were you ever a Democrat?

GIULIANI: Sure, I was. That's why Norm and I understand each other. And so was Ronald Reagan once a Democrat. It's the old -- it's the old Churchill thing, you know, if you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain.

KING: What are the next two years going to be like, do you think, assuming that the Republicans, obviously, have control of the House and maybe control of the Senate?

GIULIANI: I think it's going to be a chance for the president to be able to get a lot of his people appointed, particularly judges, which have been stalled, you know, for quite some time. I think he's going to be able to get what he wants in terms of Department of Homeland Defense. So, I think, you know, in that sense, I think it's going to be a real opportunity for the rest of the Bush agenda to get accomplished.

KING: And on a personal note, the last time you were with us, you told us a marriage was in the offing. Have we got a date yet, Rudy, because we all want to -- you know, I want to attend this?

GIULIANI: Larry, I'm going to call you first one, even before I tell Judith or Judith and I decide the date, we're going to call you. OK. KING: Can we say it's fairly imminent?

GIULIANI: We can say that. Absolutely.

KING: OK. Fairly imminent marriage, and again, I'll go back to the hypothetic. If asked, would you -- all right, let me put it this way...

GIULIANI: You're going to ask me to marry you now?

KING: Anything goes in New York. If asked, would you consider a government post? Simply asked.

GIULIANI: I am not considering a government post. Asked or not asked, I am not considering a government post right now. All right?

KING: OK. Who wants to be a millionaire, that's your final answer.

Thank you so much, Rudy, and continue...

GIULIANI: And you're invited. Consider yourself invited.


KING: Thank you. Thank you. I will be there.


KING: Imminently.

The former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, the author of the book, "Leadership."

We have been doing inserts all night long in this excellent coverage tonight by the CNN crew. We have one more insert coming. It will come at 10 minutes before the next hour, and it will be with Bill Maher. That should give us an interesting wrap-up of the night.

Right now, stay tuned for more election coverage.


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