Serial Exaggerator Rudy Strikes Again...And Again
by Todd Beeton, Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:11:19 PM EDT
First Read's Matthew Berger has a good catch noting that during this afternoon's GOP debate, Rudy Giuliani may have been exaggerating (ya think!?) when he cited a total of 23 thwarted terrorist plots against the U.S.
Giuliani said the United States has disrupted 23 terrorist attacks against the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. That number seems high. Even if you count attacks that were disrupted in their infancy, there have not been more than a dozen that were targeting the United States.
Berger does some factchecking...
A quick check of homeland security experts found some bafflement at the 23 number. Maybe Giuliani knows some things we don't, which would be surprising considering he has not held a public sector job since 2001. [...]
Another terrorism expert, speaking on anonymity, also said he was not confident in the idea of 23 thwarted terrorist attacks. He points out that President Bush declassified aspects of several thwarted terrorist plots in May, but mentioned only about a dozen. He notes that it would have been in the White House's best interest to discuss more if there were so many others.
The Giuliani campaign responds:
The Giuliani campaign responded and annunciated 14 domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11, and an additional 10 international plots. The attacks include plots against ships in the Arabian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, as well as Westerns in Karachi, Pakistan.
That seems to fall more in line with reality but assuming Berger relates Giuliani's original statement correctly, that's not what he said during the debate. Rudy's tendency to exaggerate the truth is becoming downright pathological.
A close examination of the tax-slashing claims from a list provided by his campaign show that in at least four cases, the former mayor is seizing credit for cuts initiated by others and, in one case, for a tax reduction he fought.
And at least one cut he counts twice.
Democrats.org joined the fun in August, on adoptions:
Giuliani may have put a special emphasis on increasing adoptions during his 8 years as mayor, but...A review of an official New York City document conducted by Factcheck.org looking at adoptions over a ten-year span shows that although Giuliani increased adoptions at a rate higher than his predecessor David Dinkins, adoptions under Giuliani declined five out of the last six years he was in office.
And on the New York City crime rate:
Giuliani actually said before he became mayor of New York, people were afraid to go outside, or even buy groceries. What?? I am a native New Yorker and can tell you, I was never afraid to buy groceries. True, crime went down under Giuliani, the subways became safer, but afraid to buy groceries? That's a stretch -- one Giuliani, I suppose, hopes middle America will buy.
And this just posted today at FactCheck.org on the number of police he put on the street as mayor:
On his Web site, Rudy Giuliani claims that he grew New York City's police force by 12,000 officers between his inauguration as mayor in January 1994 and mid-2000. That's just not true. Most of the cops he's counting - 7,100 to be exact - were already housing or transit police who were simply folded into the New York Police Department. The merger of the departments didn't increase the number of police in the city at all.
The actual increase in the size of the force was about 3,660, or about 10 percent, during the period Giuliani pinpoints. And Giuliani doesn't mention that the cost of hiring about 3,500 of the officers was partially covered by the federal government under President Bill Clinton.
Reality is not Giuliani's friend, therefore he has to invent his own, appropriate for a guy who has capitalized on a wholly fictional 9/11 persona. But the scary thing is, he seems to believe his own hype; scarier still, so does the media. We all recall the 2000 campaign during which the media painted Al Gore as a serial exaggerator and it stuck. I have to second kos when he wonders when the media will pin the same moniker on Giuliani (a perfect fit by any measure, unlike in Gore's case.) Any day now, no doubt...