Report on the OCGOP Flag Day Salute with "America’s Mayor" Rudy Giuliani

The Republican Party of Orange County hosted a “sold out” Flag Day Salute at the Hyatt Regency Irvine tonight that was attended by 1,000 Republicans eager to see and hear Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s position on key policy issues.

As I approached the hotel parking lot I followed a large truck covered with banners protesting the Mayor’s appearance. For a few minutes the driver effectively tied up traffic but eventually was asked to leave the area and parked across the street. Before entering the hotel I did see, and photographed, two groups of protesters totaling around 45 men and woman carrying signs some of which read: “no amnesty, no McCain, no Giuliani” and “Free Ramos & Campeon.” Several others read “Tancredo for President” to “no amnesty” and “amnesty= treason.”

Let me preface the Mayor’s comments by stating that, to date, I have not made my personal candidate selection from the current Republican field.

Bill Simon, former candidate for governor of California, introduced his old boss, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with whom he was meeting when the terrorists attacked the Twin Towers.

The Mayor’s major presentation focus was the significance of the American flag and what it represents around the globe. His thrust was on public safety, which should be “job one” for any elected official. Obviously his calming the fears in New York City after 9-11 is a hard act to follow by the other candidates.

In his brief comments about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan the Mayor stated that you never set a timeframe for troop removal and leave our sons and daughters in the war zone vulnerable. This Democratic solution for an “exit strategy” is simply dumb. That’s my words, not Rudy’s.

“America should never show weakness with tyrants.” His assessment of the two Democratic debates is that the other party candidates are “in denial over terrorism.” Some “people do not see past 9-11.”
He commented that he felt like home when seeing the protesters as he arrived. He even joked that perhaps they said “no amnesty” in referring to Scooter Libby.

Let me take a few points out of sequence. “Republicans in Washington lost the 2006 election because we became like Democrats” a reference to our expanded government.
The Mayor gave his thoughts about the current amnesty impasse. Recognizing that the immigration issue is a major policy concern he went on to confirm that “our borders are not secure.”

He stated that “any hope of a real solution was lost last week. The compromise was making the Bill worse.” He went on to say that “we can end illegal immigration–it’s not impossible.”

Later in his prepared remarks Rudy said that “we can end it in a very short period of time–we don’t need new legislation.” Amen to that.
His plan calls for having a “single tamper proof ID card–everyone must have one–put into a data base” just like any business. “We don’t have the will power–build the fence that’s already authorized–both visible and technological fence.”
He than refereed to the “Comstat program” that he and the chief of police enacted in New York City where they measured crime daily as to location.” He reminded us that during his tenure as mayor they:
reduced crime 57%
Reduced homicide by 68%
Reduced auto theft 70%

He added that in NYC “felonies were cut from 10,000 per week to now under 3,000.”
This was accomplished by tracking their patterns.” He is suggesting the same concept for illegal immigration –“redeploy Border Patrol to stop emerging patterns in a relatively short period of time. Could hit around 90% reduction.”
He went on to tell us what we already expect. We are “absolutely entitled to have a secure border.” He followed by saying that “if we ended illegal immigration wouldn’t we be able to solve the problem once the border is secure” which to me indicates his future objective to deal with those who are already here illegally. He reiterated that first we need to “end illegal immigration” and second to “secure our borders” two arguments that he knows are key to winning conservative Republican support in southern CA.

He shared that when he ran for mayor in New York with a platform “to reduce crime, welfare and the deficit” they told him that “he was crazy.”
He shared with the audience that “NYC loved his results but not his policies.
” Rudy informed us that while serving as mayor “he cut taxes 23 times, cut government spending, reduced taxes by $ nine billion, turned their deficit into a surplus.”

Preaching to the choir he stated that we “need to get Washington spending under control” but did not indicate how that would be accomplished.

I will agree with him when he stated that “Republicans in Washington lost in 2006 because we became like Democrats.”

An example of what’s on the horizon which he pointed out was the Democrat’s plan to restore the Death Tax. In 2009 the rate drops from 55% to 40%. In 2010 it goes to zero. Than in 2011 it reverts back to 55%” go figure! He joked about the tax incentive to die in 2010.
“We need someone outside Washington–we need to restore hope. Nothing is impossible to the American people.” He closed by saying that “we need someone who knows how to get things done.”

Gilbert commentary. Having worked in NYC before Rudy became mayor I can attest to the remarks of KFI’s John Kobylt of the Ken and Bob show. The city was riddled with crime, prostitution and drugs. It was not safe to walk the streets around Times Square. Having returned to Manhattan a few years ago I have seen the result of Rudy’s efforts to clean up that Borough.

Missing from his speech was any mention of another “A” word. Abortion. Should Rudy become the standard bearer of our party in the Primary you know that his position on this issue will be questioned.

All in all he looked very comfortable in his efforts to gain the support of those in attendance.

Note: Fellow Orange Juice blogger Ryan Trabuco, wearing a Rudy sticker, was in attendance and may have a different read than this report.
As always your comments and questions are welcome.

About Larry Gilbert