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Thursday, May 24, 2007
GOP opponent assigns Giuliani homework

Paul said Giuliani is not qualified to be president unless he reads certain books.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Texas Rep. Ron Paul questioned former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's qualifications to be president Thursday, suggesting he would not support him unless he'd read several specific books and "report back to me."

"No, I don't think he's qualified to be president mainly because of his views," Paul said of his fellow Republican presidential contender during a press conference he called "Educating Rudy." "And no, unless he would read the books and report back to me and say, you know, you've changed my mind -- then I would reconsider."

Paul said he thinks Giuliani is simply misinformed about foreign policy and terrorism. He suggested that the former mayor read four books: "Imperial Hubris" by Michael Scheuer, "Dying to Win" by Robert Pape, "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson and the 9/11 Commission Report. Paul was joined by Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit.

Maria Comella, Giuliani's Deputy Communications Director, criticized Paul for saying that Giuliani needs to be better educated about terrorism and September 11th.

"Mayor Giuliani said it best -- it is extraordinary and reckless to claim that the United States invited the attacks on September 11th," Comella said. "And to further declare Rudy Giuliani needs to be educated on September 11th when millions of people around the world saw him dealing with these terrorist attacks firsthand is just as absurd."

Giuliani and Paul got into a spat at the last Republican presidential debate, after Paul said America's foreign policy in the Middle East directly led to the September 11 attacks -- comments that Giuliani called "absurd."

-- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
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