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Larry King Live
Rudy Giuliani Discusses His Campaign for the U.S. Senate and the Verdict in the Diallo TrialAired February 28, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the man who wants to beat Hillary Clinton, the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani for the full hour, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening, we're in New York, back. I want to thank Jeff Greenfield for sitting in a few nights last week while we spent a week in South Africa, and that's the reason for these braces. This is the flag of South Africa -- met with Mandela over there, is going to be on this program in June.
Mayor had him at Gracie Mansion, right?
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY: I did. One of the great moments that I always remember as mayor of New York City. He came to Gracie Mansion, visited and I think probably one of the things I'll remember best about it is how he treated my children. I mean, they just had -- immediately ran up to him, he spent a lot of time with them.
KING: Has to be one of the great figures of the 20th century.
GIULIANI: Yes, and it's something they remember really well. He's an exceptional, exceptional man.
KING: Lots to talk about with Mayor Giuliani tonight, as you might imagine. Not only will we talk politics and current events, we're going to talk a little bit about another side, a personal side of Rudy Giuliani. We're going to show you some aspects of Rudy Giuliani the photographer, you may not believe.
But let's start with the thing most in the news, were you surprised at the Diallo verdict?
GIULIANI: No, not ultimately, maybe if you take it back a year ago and given the predispositions and all the publicity and everything else, even though I knew the facts of the case probably a little bit better maybe then I would have been more surprised.
But as I learned the facts and as the trial worked itself out, I suspected the verdict would be that they hadn't proven the case, that they hadn't proved the case of intentional murder, but rather the case of a horrible accident, a horrible mistake that happened in seven split seconds that none of us would ever want to live through either way.
KING: As a man who's -- you're famed as a crime fighter and standing up for victims. The only victim here was Diallo, right? I mean, he died.
GIULIANI: Sure. But I mean that -- and it's tragic and I think -- I feel horrible for Mr. Diallo's family, and when it first happened I called his father and helped his father come to the United States and -- we would do anything to try to reverse the incident, but the reality is that people die as victims in crimes and they die as victims in accidents.
I mean, unfortunately, in a city like New York, we have hundreds and hundreds of people that die every year, thousands really, and somebody dies sometimes in a tragic car accident or somebody dies in a tragic incident like this.
The jury, which was four blacks and eight whites, so it was a racially very mixed jury, came to the conclusion that the police officers had mistakenly believed that he was involved either in a robbery or that he was the rapist that they were searching for.
KING: Now, a lot of the press here today are saying -- I just got back this morning -- that what we should do with this is look at it to prevent it happening tomorrow. Is it preventable?
GIULIANI: You always have to try to prevent any kind of situation like this.
KING: So what would the cops do tomorrow in a Diallo situation?
GIULIANI: You just keep trying to learn better, learn more, train people better. I think the thing that I would have to say, though, about the New York City Police Department is that it's the most restrained large city police department in the country. Police officers last year in New York City used their weapons less often than the year before.
New York City police officers used their weapons less often than police officers in almost every other major city in the country, and I have also been on the other side of that. I have been at the hospital beds of police officers who were killed because they didn't act quickly enough, and have been at their funerals, so this is an enormously complex thing.
KING: This is special unit, right?
GIULIANI: This unit was a special unit and it's a unit that probably has a lot of the credit for the remarkable reduction in crime in New York City.
KING: They roam the streets?
KING: Is that what they do, they sort of like play like Lawrence Taylor?
GIULIANI: What they basically do is try to get guns out of New York City. I mean, their essential mission has been to try to remove guns from the city of New York, and as a result, homicide is down 70 percent and homicide is down more in the neighborhoods that had the most homicide even more than it is in the rest of the city. Some places homicide is down 90 percent. I mean, we used to have over 2,000 murders a year. Last year, we had under 700 and that didn't happen by accident.
KING: Where did it go wrong between Rudy Giuliani -- regarded around the country as a moderate Republican, some people -- you have been endorsed by the liberal party in the state. Where did it go, if the word wrong applies, between you and the black community?
GIULIANI: Well, I don't know that it's gone wrong. I think that, you know, I...
KING: I mean, didn't some black officials say that you're the only mayor that couldn't attend a black -- a major black meeting in this city?
GIULIANI: Well, first of all, the entire political leadership are all Democrats, and very, very partisan Democrats. I happen to be a Republican. I think that, that has a lot more to do with it...
KING: Than color?
GIULIANI: ... than anything else. Sure. And I actually think that some of the things that I have done have helped not only the entire city, but the black community more than my predecessors.
KING: So what do you make of it? Just -- it can't just be a party.
GIULIANI: Crime is at the lowest level that it has been at in 35 years. Everybody benefits from that, including the black community. Jobs -- we have more jobs in New York City now than we have had since the 1950s. The -- I had to turn that around. We were losing jobs in enormous numbers. We now have 380,000 new private sector jobs with job growth in the black community at a par or ahead of the rest of the city. And we have 540,000 fewer people on welfare.
KING: So have you misconnected, Rudy?
KING: Forgive me -- we have known each other a long time, so if I don't say Mr. Mayor all the time, forgive me. Have you misconnected somewhere? Why don't you have more...
GIULIANI: I think this is a question of what are the political bells and whistles that the political leadership establishes? The political bells and whistles are support for welfare -- well, I had a welfare reform program that has turned that around and turned it on its head. I think work is better than welfare independency. Support for quotas, I don't believe in quotas.
I think actually what we have done in America is hold back the poorer communities in America by dependency, victimization. I stand against that, and the political leadership -- some of the political -- a large percentage of it gets very angry at me because I am talking about things that I think ultimately are much more liberating and actually allow the genius of America to work in the poorer areas of America that the policies of many of the people that I replaced were absolutely prevented.
KING: So you're saying the people are affected by their leadership and go like sheep?
GIULIANI: I'm saying that when you have a political leadership that largely sees things in a very, very partisan way, it's very difficult to convey a politically incorrect message, but it may be absolutely the right message.
When you talk about welfare reform, when you talk about work rather than dependency, you get large numbers of people in the political leadership who try to say that's very mean, that's very cruel. In my view, the way I was brought up, it's much more compassionate to lead somebody toward self-sufficiency and work than it is to have a million people dependent on welfare.
KING: Then this is frustrating to you, has to be?
GIULIANI: I guess in a way, but it really isn't. I mean, I understand it. I understand what's going on. I grew up in this city all of my life. And the thing that I guess I don't allow to happen is I don't allow other people to determine my view of myself. I have a pretty solid idea of what I am doing and why I am doing it.
KING: So you don't walk around brooding if...
GIULIANI: No. And I look at vast change that's occurred in the African-American community in New York City and I say, I haven't done it perfectly and I have made mistakes, but things are a lot better now than they were under my predecessors in terms of jobs, reduced crime, safety, opportunities for people, and I am proud of that and I would like to see it even get better.
KING: More on that and lots of other things with the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.
By the way, Wednesday and Thursday of this week we'll be on at 10:00 Eastern instead of 9:00, following two debates, the Democratic debate on Wednesday, the Republican debate on Thursday.
Right back with the mayor of New York right after this.
KING: Before we talk about Hillary, a couple of other quick things. Then Hillary, and then lots of other things. Honestly, if four black cops had shot a white man in Albany and there was a white citizen protest and lots of anger, would it have been moved to, say, Westchester County, sort of racially like Albany?
GIULIANI: Sure, if you had had days and days of massive publicity, editorials saying...
KING: That's what I mean. It would have been moved.
GIULIANI: ... the police officers were guilty, they should be convicted, an absolutely extraordinary paid advertisement by the ACLU demanding the conviction of the police officers.
KING: So that would have happened in reverse?
GIULIANI: I think you -- I mean, you look at the level of prejudicial pre-trial publicity was described by a unanimous appellate division as "carnival like," with people getting themselves arrested demanding the conviction of the police officers.
KING: The U.S. Attorney is looking -- and you were the former U.S. Attorney for this cities, right? Southern district?
KING: The U.S. Attorney is looking into, questioning, whether to file a civil trial against these cops on civil rights basis, the denial of their civil rights. You can bring a federal criminal trial. You encourage that, as in the Rodney King case?
GIULIANI: Well, the Justice Department has to look at, but this is different from the Rodney King case. This was not an all-white jury, this was four blacks, eight whites. The forelady of the jury was an African-American, who found the police officers to be entirely innocent. And the general impression of the people who watched the case, including everyone on Court TV, was that it was an eminently fair trial in which everyone got to present their side of the case to a racially mixed jury. So -- and the district attorney who lost the case -- so you would expect some degree of bitterness or anger in losing it -- said, you know, I don't agree with the verdict, but I believe it was a very fair trial.
KING: Should U.S. Attorney look into it, though?
GIULIANI: The U.S. Attorney has to look into it. That's an obligation of the U.S. Attorney.
KING: So you would if you were U.S. Attorney.
GIULIANI: I'd have to. But I think that from what I know of the criteria, did they receive a fair trial? Yes. Was it a racially mixed jury? Yes, even beyond the percentages in New York. And a general impression by all of the legal experts who watched the case, it was very fair. You don't meet the criteria...
KING: All right, before we talk about the criteria... GIULIANI: ... in essence to do something unusual, which is to try someone for a second time for a crime for which they were acquitted.
KING: But there is the law, because we know that it...
GIULIANI: Happens very -- it happens very little.
KING: It happened with Rodney King.
GIULIANI: Yes, but there they found it was an all-white jury...
GIULIANI: ... and there was a substantial degree of prejudice.
KING: Are you wavering a little? I know John McCain is a good friend of yours, an old friend. You're closing to him than you are to George Bush. You've endorsed George Bush. Bush now writes a letter to your Cardinal O'Connor saying he's sorry about the Bob Jones incident. Are you wavering?
GIULIANI: I believe that George W. Bush should be the nominee of the party, and I do think he's going to win the primary. I do have a personal relationship with both. I know John very, very well. I have great respect for him. And I'd like to see the primary in New York become, like, a positive campaign of what both of them believe that they can do. And I think that -- I think that George W. Bush has apologized and made clear that whatever happened with Bob Jones University, he's not a man that has any kind of prejudice, any kind of, you know, animosity to other people.
KING: Was that a mistake? A political mistake?
GIULIANI: Yes, I said it at the time. I said I thought it was a mistake for him to go there, and I thought that if it he -- I thought it was a mistake to go in the first place. I thought, secondly, if he went, as he said now, he should have -- actually, it would have been an excellent opportunity for him to take on...
KING: He didn't do...
GIULIANI: ... take on what he believed was wrong.
KING: He didn't.
GIULIANI: He did it afterwards, not there. He's apologized for it.
KING: At a press conference, yes.
GIULIANI: And I think we should really move beyond it.
KING: McCain going to -- is he ahead in New York? You helped get McCain on the ballot here. Is he ahead in the polls? One poll says that... GIULIANI: One poll says that he is.
KING: You think he could win New York?
GIULIANI: I mean, John McCain said something very interesting today that I think would apply even to George W. Bush. He said that we really should try to guide our politics without being influenced too much by the extremists of the left, like Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, or the extremists of the right, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. And I think that we should put that all out of the way, and now the two men should debate the issues and who would be the better leader of the party. I think George W. Bush would be the better one...
KING: Would it...
GIULIANI: ... but John McCain is one of my heroes.
KING: Would it surprise you if McCain won New York?
GIULIANI: At this point, nothing would surprise me. But I think George W. Bush will win.
KING: We'll talk about the first lady of the United States and this gentleman. They've kind of been linked. Now you can't say one's name without the other.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Do you have to announce, by the way?
GIULIANI: No, you just have to run.
KING: Don't you have to formally say one day, I am a candidate?
KING: You don't?
GIULIANI: I have to -- yes, I have to sign an affidavit...
GIULIANI: ... sometime in May or June. But when I ran in 1989 for mayor, first time I ran, I had a big announcement, a big, fancy announcement.
GIULIANI: Not quite as fancy as Mrs. Clinton's, but a fancy announcement. And I lost. I got ripped apart. It was terrible. And I lost by 2 percent. Then I ran against, and I actually never announced when I ran in '93, and I won. And then in -- by '97, I decided for fun I wouldn't announce at all. I just ran, and I won big. So...
KING: So you're not going to announce?
GIULIANI: I don't know.
KING: I mean, why don't you gather in front of Bishop Laughlin (ph) High School...
GIULIANI: I might do that in the middle of the night. You remember how John Kennedy...
GIULIANI: ... announced that Bobby was going to be his attorney general because he was worried about what the reaction is? He said, I'm just going to open my door of my house in Georgetown in the middle of the night and tell the press, it's Bobby, and then close the door.
KING: What do you make of this race, you and her?
GIULIANI: I think it's going to be -- it'll be terrific. It's two very different philosophies.
KING: Most centered Senate race in the history of this country, the most covered, the most unusual?
KING: I mean, don't you feel in the middle of...
GIULIANI: It isn't so unusual. I think it's two...
KING: The first lady running against a mayor?
GIULIANI: Oh, that -- now, first lady, mayor of New York City, sure. But I think it's pretty much quintessential American division in politics today. I think that we have two very different approaches to the way to look at government. I mean...
KING: You agree in some major areas.
GIULIANI: Yes, we do. But I think we have a generally different approach. I think that essentially you have the quintessential more Democratic approach, which is government solutions to problems. And what I've done as mayor of New York City is the quintessential Republican solution, which is...
KING: And do you think it will be argued...
GIULIANI: ... private solutions to problems.
KING: Do you think it will be argued that way? Do you think it's going to be an issue-oriented, lots of debates -- will the two of you be sitting here with me discussing issues... GIULIANI: I hope.
KING: ... and not personalities?
GIULIANI: I hope. I'd like to discuss my record. I mean, I would like to -- I guess if I could define what the debate is about, I'd like to have the debate about an actual record of many, many years in public service and now holding what is considered by many people the second toughest job in America and the record that I've had and the reality that I've put into practice, the realities and the thinking that I have, and then compare that to whatever Mrs. Clinton's ideas are, which, after all, do not come from a record of public service. They come more from whatever it is that's going to be said now.
KING: But there have been many who've said in the past that maybe ordinary citizens, businessmen, ought to run for office. Maybe they can do better than politicians do. And maybe if you like her ideas you should vote for her, if you like your ideas you should vote for you.
GIULIANI: I think if people like her ideas better than mine, they should vote for her. And if they like my ideas better than hers, they should vote for me. The difference between the two of us is my ideas have been put into practice in probably one of the toughest areas and arenas that you can possibly put them into practice.
If you like the sort of approach of improving the quality of life, massive reductions in crime, massive reductions in welfare, tremendous turnaround in the economy, growth in jobs that comes out of a philosophy that I have, then those are the reasons you should vote for me. There are people who have different viewpoints, different ways of looking at things. So I think that's also an issue.
I think the issue of connection to the state is a valid issue. I've lived in New York all of my life. My advocacy for New York in the United States Senate is going to be based on not just my public service, but lifetime of being a New Yorker, rather than having arrived here a few months ago and reading histories of New York and polls about New York. There's a big difference in the authenticity of that, when you get to argue it on behalf of your state and the Senate.
KING: Those who say, you're not the Senate person, you're not one of a hundred, you're not going to sit -- you're not going to be there -- now the last questioner is Senator Giuliani and Ways and Means. You now go; you're be the 17th person to ask questions. That's not you?
GIULIANI: That's what they say about John McCain -- too tough, too outspoken, stands on his own, accomplish...
KING: A lot of the Senate doesn't like him.
GIULIANI: He's accomplish a lot, and he's been able to lead a lot of reforms. And maybe if you don't like the way things are in Washington and you don't like what we're accomplishing in Washington, maybe you should send somebody a little different there rather than somebody who is very much part of the Beltway.
KING: You want to be in meetings, you want to be where you have to give and take. As a mayor you're, hey, I want this, and...
GIULIANI: That's an oversimplification.
GIULIANI: Sure. I am the mayor of the most complex city in the United States. For me to accomplish what I've accomplished, I've to get legislation through city counsels, state legislatures, Congress.
KING: You can't do it alone?
GIULIANI: Absolutely. How can I pass the fourth largest budget in America without having figuring out, in a very, very effective way, how to compromise when you have to compromise, but not to compromise about principle? I don't use as my guide public opinion polls and political spinning. I use as my guide the sense that I have of the right principles that you should advocate for.
And maybe a little bit of leadership in Washington for New York wouldn't be a bad idea. New York sends $15 billion more to Washington than we get back from Washington. Maybe you need somebody who can be a somewhat of a fighter for New York.
KING: So you want to be in the Senate? Your guts wants to be in the Senate?
GIULIANI: Well, my guts want -- I'd like to be there, too, not just my guts, the whole thing.
KING: That's a New Yorker answer. I mean, like as some would say, you're a governor type, you know, you're an executive type, rather than a senatorial type.
GIULIANI: They used to say before I became the mayor, wasn't cut out to be mayor, right?
KING: Do you think Clinton has been a bad president?
GIULIANI: I don't know that I'd want to pronounce that judgment at this point. I think history is going to decide that. I think we need a big change from the Clinton era. I think it's about time that America got the Clinton era over, and we moved to something different.
KING: Because of character?
GIULIANI: No, I think because of a lot of things. I think the whole focus of foreign policy is off. I think the heating oil and gasoline crisis is a great example of that. We have the price of heating oil going up enormously over the last six months to a year. We have people spending $400, $500, $600 more than they can afford. New York City is spending $25 million more on heating oil and gasoline today, and president of the United States doesn't want to stand up to OPEC. OPEC, back in March of last year, held back 8 percent of its oil production. It is causing catastrophe for people in my state.
KING: But he's trying, isn't he?
GIULIANI: What's he doing? What's he doing with OPEC. What has he done with Kuwait? What has he done with Saudi Arabia? Where's our president when we need a -- we fought a war in Kuwait in order to avoid precisely this happening, and now when we need a president to stand down Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, and maybe to call on the moral- suasion that we have in having put our lives at risk for them, he's not doing that.
KING: By the way, should personal...
GIULIANI: Those are areas where the personal strength of the president becomes enormously important to people who are being bankrupted by the price of heating oil and by the price of gasoline at the tank.
KING: Should the personal lives of you, or Hillary or anyone be examined in a Senate race?
GIULIANI: Not unless someone can honestly show that it affects your job performance, and by and large, most often, people can't show that. They just act as voyeurs.
KING: So it has no place, in other words?
GIULIANI: I don't believe it does, unless again, you have someone who acts like a significant -- they don't show up for work, they're not able. Then obviously, it has a significant...
KING: Any private think that affects work is our business?
GIULIANI: But it doesn't apply in most of these situations.
KING: Back with more of Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York. I'm going to show you an aspect of his you may not know, But there's more about Hillary, too.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Mayor Giuliani.
Hillary Clinton is angry about a fund-raising letter that you sent to supporters. And in it, you called her a left-wing activist, who -- quote -- revealed her hostility toward America's religious traditions.
Here is how she responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEBRUARY 9) HILLARY CLINTON, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It is outrageous that the mayor has injected religion into this race. As a person of faith, I am appalled that he would make false statements about me and my respect for religion in order to raise money for his campaign. You know, I have said that I want to run a campaign on the issues and ideas that will make life better for New Yorkers. I do not want to divide people. I want to bring people together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What hostility toward religious traditions?
GIULIANI: We all want to bring people together, Larry. That letter goes back to October of last year, and it relates to the Brooklyn Museum dispute, in which I took the position that public money should not be used to support an exhibit in which they had pornography, animals dissected, but one in particular, in which they had a portrait of the Virgin Mary and dung, cow dung, was splattered over her, and pornographic pictures had been taken out of various parts of a woman's body and placed all around it. I said that although in America people have a right to do that, even though it's abhorrent, the public doesn't have to pay for that. It's inappropriate for $7 million to be going to this museum.
Mrs. Clinton attacked me, and said that she believed that it was appropriate for public money to be used for that. And that letter was contrasting our viewpoints about that. And...
KING: You think it was hostility, though, to religious tradition by...
GIULIANI: Yes. I thought it was total insensitivity.
KING: In other words, disagree with you , it meant that she was not...
GIULIANI: Not disagree with me. I think it showed total insensitivity to how many Catholics, Christians and others relate to the Virgin Mary. I think if you were to substitute some other religious symbol for that, and somebody threw dung at it, or somebody put pornographic things all around it, and then -- remember, the public is paying for this, it's not in some private museum.
KING: Yes. You laughed at her statement when we played it about bringing religion into the campaign. You...
GIULIANI: No, no, no, the part about, I want to reunite. We all want to unite. Everybody wants to unite.
KING: Do you think, though, religion is coming into McCain-Bush, religion is going to come into this campaign, too, do you think? Do you think religion has a part in the Clinton debate -- race with Giuliani? But you used the word "religion."
GIULIANI: The point that I was making is, that very often, an attack on the Catholic religion is disregarded. For some reason, there's sort of a sense that it's OK to do that. And the point I was making back in October is that I would have the same view if that attack was an attack on any religion, if it was an attack on the Jewish religion, the Muslim religion, the Protestant religion, or Catholic Religion.
GIULIANI: Absolutely correct. And so what she essentially did was -- six months later -- she wasn't even living in New York when that letter was written. Six months later, because on that particular day, it was revealed that her campaign hadn't paid for something like $300,000 in flights that she had taken that the taxpayers were paying for, they needed a hit on me, so they resurrected the letter from six months ago. That's why I was laughing. It's the amazing ability that the Clintons have to spin an attack on their opponent when there's a legitimate question about a great ethical lapse on their part.
KING: By the way, do you respect that ability?
GIULIANI: Sure, but you've got to stay on top of them.
KING: Does it tell you it's going to be a tough year?
GIULIANI: Yes, but you know, this is New York. You get ready for it.
KING: You mean, you're not worried?
KING: We'll be back with more of Mayor Giuliani on LARRY KING LIVE right after this.
KING: You mean, you're not worried?
KING: We'll be back with more of Mayor Giuliani on LARRY KING LIVE right after this.
KING: We're back with Mayor Giuliani, we'll take some phone calls and other things to talk about as well.
A couple of things about the first lady, isn't it -- do you feel kind of -- what's the word -- weird? I mean, can you -- no, I mean, can you sit next to a first lady and attack her? I mean, she's...
GIULIANI: You get arrested if you attack the first lady.
KING: That's right, OK. She's the first -- I mean, don't -- you can't run a normal campaign, can you, against someone like that? I'm guessing now. Don't you say -- isn't this going to be weird? GIULIANI: No.
GIULIANI: I mean, everything's weird in New York.
KING: I mean, you don't look at this as sort of like -- how are we going to deal with this? You're going to be sitting there and Secret Service people are going to be standing around.
GIULIANI: Well, it's a great opportunity to have a platform on which you can get out the ideas that you think work. I mean, look, I've -- I haven't been actual -- I haven't been sitting in an ivory tower for the last six or seven years and before that I was the United States attorney. I have -- I mean, I have been in very, very tough and difficult situations before. So this, you know -- this isn't -- this...
KING: So it's not off-putting to you? It's not sort of aweing?
GIULIANI: No, not in the slightest. I think that the arguments and the claim that I have of being the senator from my native state that I have served for many, many years as the mayor of New York City and as United States attorney is a pretty darn strong claim, so I am more than willing to put that, you know, to the test.
KING: And, strategically, Mayor, how do you win this? She's going to win the city of New York, the question is by how much, right? I mean, Democrats win the city.
KING: You're an exception in that case, but in a national election for the Senate...
GIULIANI: Yes. No question...
KING: ... she will win the city. The question is by how much does she win it by and where do you beat her, right?
GIULIANI: Suburbs, upstate New York and run better in the city than a Republican usually does. I have run three times for mayor of New York City. The first time that I lost I had 49 percent of the vote, second time when I won I had 58 -- 51 percent, and the third time 58 percent. So I have to keep some portion of that.
And I think I can say to my fellow New Yorkers, you compare the job that I did to my predecessors and that kind of dedication, that kind of work, that kind of conscientiousness is what I am going to bring to the United States Senate, and then I can say that to the people around the state. You're not going to have to guess at what I might do in the United States Senate. You can look at a record, a philosophy that has been put into practice and that is widely regarded as having turned the city of New York around. I would like to do that for the rest of the state, and to some extent I would like to participate in doing that for the country. KING: Expect it to be close?
GIULIANI: Absolutely. A race between a Republican and a Democrat in New York, we have a Republican governor -- a fine governor, great governor, we have two Democratic senators, so we can go in either direction.
KING: You supported your Republican governor's opponent, so...
GIULIANI: First time.
KING: First time. You're known as kind of a loner, you go your way, right? There's a McCain-ish quality about you, agreed?
GIULIANI: Well, I guess, maverick.
KING: Well, you get the liberal party's support -- maverick. You may not get the conservative party's support.
KING: You get the liberal party's support. Do you think Rick Lazio might come in?
GIULIANI: Who knows? He's welcome. I mean, you know...
KING: I mean, but you are...
GIULIANI: ... the more the merrier.
KING: Would you admit that you're a maverick?
GIULIANI: I would admit that I am a maverick, yes, and I am an independent, a reformer.
KING: You were also as a U.S. attorney, and people you know -- a lot of other nations...
GIULIANI: You got me to confess. I don't believe this, after all of these years as United States -- getting all of those people to confess, you actually got me to confess that I am a maverick.
KING: Tonight on this program, it happens here, right? I thought you were going to say, OK, I am not going to run.
GIULIANI: All of these lights!
KING: OK, I am not going to run.
KING: All right. You also were a pretty rough U.S. attorney, weren't you? I mean, mob hits, you made -- not mob hits. I mean, you convicted mob members, you went out after them. (LAUGHTER)
KING: Mob hits? You were an anti-mob guy.
GIULIANI: I was going to say, you're doing that Italian stereotype now, mob hits.
KING: No, but you were like the tough Italian U.S. attorney moving against fellow Italians. Was that ever rough? Were you -- Columbo, right?
GIULIANI: Did they ever threaten to kill me? Yes.
KING: Were you ever in fear?
GIULIANI: I guess, but you know, you don't admit it. You don't say to yourself that -- you do your job, yes, I mean, sure, there were -- we -- I prosecuted the commission of the Mafia. We prosecuted a couple of hundred organized crime figures, so sure, some of them got pretty angry about it and put out contracts on you, threatened to kill you, stuff like that.
KING: What philosophy did you bring to that office? Were you the crime -- the Dewey tradition?
GIULIANI: Tom Dewey was a hero, I mean, somebody I read about.
KING: When you were a kid, you liked him?
GIULIANI: Yes, I knew his background. I knew his biography.
KING: Because you were a McGovern supporter, you were a Democrat, right?
GIULIANI: I was a -- I began -- I came from a family that was largely a Democratic family with a few Republicans. We'd have arguments back and forth. But I was a big, big supporter of John Kennedy, and I began changing my political views in the 1970s, and I started to think that the Democratic Party had become from the point of view of its foreign policy much too unfocused, not enough strength with regard to dealing with the Soviet Union.
I started to see in the 1970s a lot of the things I eventually did as mayor, that the entitlement programs that had a decent motivation were beginning to trap people into dependency and that they were a terrible mistake. I then worked for President Reagan. I was part of the Reagan administration and have to this day enormous respect for President Reagan. I think he was a president that uplifted the office.
KING: I'll see his wife next week and I'll extend your best to her.
GIULIANI: And I gave the lecture last year at the Ronald Reagan Library...
KING: Yes, great library.
GIULIANI: ... spent time with Mrs. Reagan, and it's one of the things that I'll remember forever. I mean, I worked for him for two and a half years, and it did a lot to form my political thinking and also the way that I manage and run things.
KING: So even though -- but Dewey was a hero of yours? GIULIANI: Yes, absolutely.
KING: Dewey was the famed crime busting D.A.
GIULIANI: Right, and almost president of the United States.
GIULIANI: And a great governor.
KING: We'll be back with the admitted maverick and we'll talk some other aspects. We'll show you another aspect of Rudy Giuliani's life you may not know and we'll take your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: The commissioner of the Mafia has been convicted. A number of the organized crime families, their highest level members are now spending 50 and 100 years in prison, not the five and 10 years they used to get in the past. We seized over a hundred million dollars in assets from organized crime families, and it's really going way above that now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we take your phone calls, another aspect of the life and times of maverick Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani the photographer. Here's a picture of the former Yankee Cecil Fielder batting against the Orioles --that's Cal Ripken there at third.
When did you get into photography?
GIULIANI: Oh, years ago, 25, 30 years ago.
KING: As a kid?
GIULIANI: Sure, I used to do weddings.
KING: You're kidding.
GIULIANI: Yes, for fun.
KING: For fun? GIULIANI: Right.
KING: Bar Mitzvahs or just weddings?
GIULIANI: I may still do one. Maybe I'll do one for charities and do a wedding.
KING: Why don't you publish some of these?
GIULIANI: I did an exhibit at the Likeca (ph) Gallery, and we sold about $40,000, $50,000 worth for charity.
KING: Look at this one.
GIULIANI: That's my -- that's one of my favorites.
KING: Where did you shoot this from?
GIULIANI: I shot that from a boat. And that was used by Amtrak as an ad for about a year and a half on the Metroliner for New York City.
KING: What a -- that's a great shot of the city. It's in your eye. That's where the photographer...
GIULIANI: Yes, and the lighting in that was the thing that we were very fortunate with.
KING: And this one.
GIULIANI: That was a...
KING: Tell us this one.
GIULIANI: that was a subway derailment in the Bronx that I went up to late at night. I had my...
KING: As mayor?
GIULIANI: As the mayor. And I had my camera with me.
KING: You carry your camera as mayor?
GIULIANI: Uh-huh, yes.
KING: OK, maverick, maverick -- go ahead. And you took that incredible picture?
GIULIANI: If you look at one of our firefighters, it's the force of the water that's keeping the subway car up there so that they can eventually stabilize it.
KING: When did you want to be mayor?
GIULIANI: First time I started thinking about it, I was trying a case in New Haven.
GIULIANI: Prosecuting a case of corruption involving a number of the Democratic leaders in New York City. And it was corruption during the Koch administration. And I started to think then that maybe, although I'd never thought of running for mayor of New York City, never thought of being mayor of New York City really, that maybe it was something I should think about. Maybe it was something where I could make a contribution. Maybe this is a thing that I should do. I thought about running for the Senate, and then finally in 1989 decided to do it, even though, I would say -- and this is what's kind of funny about running for the Senate -- and people would tell me, you can't do it. You shouldn't do it. A Republican can't possibly win. It's five to one Democratic. There hadn't been a Republican mayor since John Lindsay -- and John Lindsay became a Democrat during the time he was the mayor of New York City.
So when I made the decision I would say that three-quarters of my friends and advisers advised me not to do it. And I just had a feeling that this was the right time, the right thing to do, that I could reform things, I could change things, I could put a lot more emphasis on reducing crime because I understood it from my background.
KING: You need a lot of help in doing that, though, right?
GIULIANI: A lot more help than I ever realized when I started. I thought it -- believe me, when I first decided to run for mayor, I thought it was a lot easier to do this. And I have a lot more respect for the people who do it than I ever had before after having gone through this now three times.
KING: Did you want to be attorney general of the United States at one time?
GIULIANI: Did I want to be attorney general?
KING: Yes, in other words, was that a goal? Like, I mean, you seem -- you know, when you run for U.S. Attorney...
GIULIANI: You know what the biggest ambition of my life was? It was being United States Attorney in the southern district of New York. I began my legal career as a -- first as a law clerk to Judge Lloyd McNabb (ph), and then as an assistant United States Attorney. And I was involved in an enormous number of very, very interesting cases. One of the groups of cases I was involved in was portrayed in the movie "Prince of the City," from way, way, way, way, back...
KING: Oh, really? That was a great movie.
GIULIANI: ... when I was a young assistant...
KING: Treat Williams.
GIULIANI: Yes, Treat Williams played Detective Bob Worcester (ph). KING: Yes.
GIULIANI: So my real ambition was someday to be United States attorney in the southern district of New York.
KING: You attained that.
GIULIANI: Which I finally attained. And it was a job that I really enjoyed very much. So everything I do after that is now extra added to whatever it is that I've achieved in the past. So I'm very happy.
KING: We're going to take some calls for the mayor, but you wanted to tell me a mob story?
GIULIANI: Oh, I was going to tell you about hits and contracts. When I came into office, my first big mob case, one of the people involved in it put out a contract to kill me for $400,000. And it was serious. And they caught the person who was involved in it, they prosecuted him, and it got all resolved. Then in the last year I was in office, the same -- one of the same groups put out a contract on my life for only $200,000.
KING: You had diminished.
GIULIANI: Jeez, thanks a lot, guys.
KING: ... would say that
GIULIANI: I'm worth at least $800,000, come on.
GIULIANI: As we go to break, here is Mayor Giuliani in another role.
We'll take your calls in a moment.
Giuliani, the maverick being maverick on "Saturday Night Live."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
GIULIANI: Joe, I didn't say you were naked. I'm just saying that you're such a talented actor. I would love to see you play a heroic Italian American like Joe DiMaggio.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Like Joe DiMaggio. Oh, so is that what I am? I'm some sort of Fellini fettucini poster boy, huh, Rudy? You want a jolt? Hey, I'll give you a jolt. How about Joltin' Joe. Let's see if Joe DiMaggio, Rudy, can extend his hitting streak.
GIULIANI: Security, security.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, you got to call your boys. Get away from me. Get away.
GIULIANI: Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it. I think people forgot that I come from Brooklyn.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, yeah?
GIULIANI: Baseball bats are for kids from Jersey. Where I come from, we play stickball.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Uh-oh.
GIULIANI: That's for "Good Fellas." This is for "Casino." And this is for the $8.50 I had to spend on "Goin' Fishing."
Turn off that camera. I said turn it off. This is my city. When I say off, I mean off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: What we're going to do now is we're going to put you up on the jumbo-tron screen in Times Square for all of New York City, and then you just announce -- you read the new tourism slogan for 1995. Put him up there. There he is right there.
GIULIANI: We can kick your city's ass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: So what are you, a tough guy? A guy who's going to be brutal? It's going to be a vicious race? Or are you the "Saturday Night Live" beating Joe Pesci's imitator over the head and doing Letterman on the jumbo screen? Who is the real Rudy?
GIULIANI: That last one you showed, that got me into almost as much trouble as when I wore a dress. When I wore a dress, my political adviser and close friend and pollster told me my political career was ruined. He may be right. Maybe it is.
KING: Where did you get -- which image is correct? I mean, there's the image that this is Rudy the tough guy...
GIULIANI: I have no idea. I'm not into images.
KING: ... and people around the country say, wait until you see this Giuliani, boy, it's going to be rough. It's going to be a vicious race.
GIULIANI: It's hard to believe, but I'm not into images. That's everybody else's talk.
KING: How do you see yourself? GIULIANI: I see myself as me. I mean, I'm a direct person, I tell you what I think, I'm an honest person. And I just see myself as me, and then everybody else has to figure out what my image is.
KING: And you share one...
GIULIANI: And I enjoy myself, I enjoy life. I love comedy, I love opera, I love music, I love baseball....
KING: You share that one great thing with Hillary...
GIULIANI: I'm a passionate and alive human being.
KING: You and Hillary are both...
GIULIANI: Yankee fans.
KING: Yankee fans.
KING: And did you know...
GIULIANI: And we both became Yankee fans in rather odd places. I became a Yankee fan in Brooklyn, which is hard to believe, right?
GIULIANI: And she became a Yankee fan in Chicago, which is also hard to believe.
KING: Are you thinking forward to this fall? By that I mean, you know, sometimes you...
GIULIANI: Yes, of course.
KING: ... could have -- sometimes you could say, this is going to be rough. Are there times you ever say, maybe I don't need this, really?
GIULIANI: I mean -- are there times when you say that about the job?
KING: Yes, the Senate job.
GIULIANI: The whole -- no, no, no.
KING: You never have doubted running?
GIULIANI: Not yet. I haven't run -- I mean, it hasn't really happened yet...
KING: Let me...
GIULIANI: There are times in which in the past when I was in tough campaigns. There are some mornings you wake up and you say, what did I get myself into? And there are times when you're mayor of New York City, when you go through a day, and you say -- you just sort of pray to God to be able to get through it, sure, there are always times like that. But right now, I don't feel that way. I'm sure there will be days like that.
KING: Are there moments where you ever say...
GIULIANI: Is it worth it? Sure.
KING: Yes. I may not run? The Senate.
GIULIANI: The Senate, no.
KING: Never say it?
GIULIANI: But I'm sure that will happen. It hasn't gotten tense or difficult, but having been through three really difficult campaigns, actually two really difficult ones, there are times you wake up in the morning, everything is going wrong, you're down by 10 percent in the polls, everybody has -- all of your advisers are telling you, say it this way, be tougher, be nicer, be the -- smile more -- don't smile as much, do this, do that, by the time you walk out on the LARRY KING show, you're like, what am I going to do?
KING: OK, you shook hands with the fellow from Austria. Did you know who he was?
GIULIANI: No, I didn't. I didn't. I was at a big dinner. There were a hundred people on the dais.
KING: A hundred people on the dais?
GIULIANI: There were a hundred people on dais, or 70 people, whatever, large numbers, shook hands with him, took pictures with all the people, and when he was introduced to me, he was introduced to me as a guy who had been in the marathon and had been in the Olympics, and I did not make the connection with the right-wing guy in Austria.
When I found out who he was, I made clear that my views are completely different than his. We have a very different view on immigration, and he shouldn't be part of the government of Austria. And lo and behold, I think he's out of the government now, which is a really good thing.
KING: Well, he quit the head of the party, but he's...
GIULIANI: Does that take him out of the government?
KING: I don't think so, I think just head of the party. I don't think he's out of the government. I am not sure about it.
GIULIANI: I think he's out of the government, but he's still going to be the governor of the province, but he's not part of the national government, which is a good thing.
KING: Yes, he'll remain a strong figure there. Do you worry, going into the Senate, of the growth of fascism again in Europe?
GIULIANI: Sure. I worry about that viewpoint, which is a very, very heavily nationalistic viewpoint, a very anti-immigration viewpoint. I have a very strong, favorable attitude toward immigration. I was probably one of the national leaders that turned around a lot of the anti-immigration attitude about three years ago. President Clinton signed the anti-immigration bill, the bill that put tremendous burdens on immigrants, including legal immigrants, and I set up a conference of mayors and other leaders. We lobbied Washington very, very heavily and got a lot of changes in those laws.
KING: Is that what drew you to George Bush, one of the things? He's very pro-immigration.
GIULIANI: Yes, that's a message that has to get out. I mean, George Bush stood up against that whole anti-immigrant feeling that was going on...
KING: In the conservative crowd mostly.
GIULIANI: And in the Republican party. And also the president. The president signed the bill. And George W. Bush went in a very different direction, and a very courageous direction, and that's a message that he really has to get out, particularly in New York.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Mayor Rudy Giuliani right after this.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Rudy Giuliani.
God, the hour went. When you've got a maverick on, the hour goes fast.
KING: What -- you said "worst moments." Was TWA 800 one of them? Was that the worst?
GIULIANI: It wasn't a moment. It was a week, a week and a half more of -- you know, it was a terrible, terrible situation. And you feel helpless, and you try to help as much as you can, and also, the whole thing was mishandled so badly in the first day.
GIULIANI: I was, and I think the fact I was helped straighten it out to some extent. And you -- the worst moments -- John Lindsay told me what the worst moments would be as mayor of New York City. He had lunch with me right after I was elected. He hadn't endorsed me. He was a Democrat at that point. He had endorsed David Dinkins, but he invited me to lunch after I had been elected and before I became mayor, and he told me that the worst moments of being mayor of New York City is when the phone rings in the middle of the night. and I understand exactly what he meant by that, and I realize now...
KING: There's no good news, right?
GIULIANI: You got it right, exactly -- a police officer's been shot, a firefighter has been burned, some terrible tragedy has occurred, a plane has crashed.
KING: How many times has this happened to you?
GIULIANI: Way more often than I would like.
KING: And the mayor's role in a tragedy is dealing with the tragedy, consoling, all of the above?
GIULIANI: The mayor -- what I've learned is, if the mayor shows up, everything happens much more efficiently. Everybody pays a lot more attention. Everything gets much better organized. I -- there are times in which when I go to the hospital, I can literally make sure that there's better treatment, that there's better attention that's being paid, including to the family. So part of it is, if it's an emergency, trying to get focus to the handling of the emergency so that everything is coordinated in the right way, and then part of it is to say to people, this is really important. And I have found that it's comforting to families because they feel that their loved one is getting the attention that their loved one deserves. And you feel about the people who've worked for New York City in some way like you just absolutely owe them this. And you keep asking yourself, could it have been avoided? Is there something that could have been done?
KING: We hope to see lots of you throughout this year.
GIULIANI: You will. And thank you. Thank you very much, Larry.
KING: Thank you.
Will there be a lot of debates?
GIULIANI: I hope so.
KING: I mean, do you anticipate -- will there be -- should the two of you meet a lot?
GIULIANI: I think we should debate a lot, I don't know about meet, but should debate.
KING: I mean, let the audience, let the voters of New York State see the both of you. This has national interest.
GIULIANI: I think that you will find a lot of subjects about which there will be a lot of differences, and a lot of different philosophy and a lot of different approach, and probably some subjects in which there is probably remarkable agreement.
KING: Thanks. GIULIANI: Thank you.
KING: Mayor Rudy Giuliani, you'll be seeing lots of him on LARRY KING LIVE. We thank him very much for joining us.
Stay tuned for CNN "NEWSSTAND."
See you tomorrow night. Good night.
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