12:13 pm Aug. 30, 2012
"Was last night fabulous or what?" he asked, after showing up about an hour late.
Four years ago, after ending his own short-lived presidential bid and rallying behind John McCain, Giuliani was granted a primetime speaking slot introducing the vice presidential nominee, which turned out to be more high-profile than anyone would have imagined, when John McCain picked the unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who made her big debut on the convention stage.
Giuliani, who doesn't have a speaking slot this year, didn't mention Palin nor his introductory speech this morning, but he did call Ryan's speech "one of the best I ever heard."
"They tried so hard on MSNBC to criticize it," he said. "I was wondering how are they going to criticize this? And they really couldn't it."
He said Condoleezza Rice, in her first big partisan speech on the national stage, was "fabulous."
"It was a powerful one and, delivered in a nice way, it was an angry one," he said. Rice didn't so much as mention Obama, but did implicitly criticize what conservatives and neo-cons cite as a lack of support for the Arab Spring and similar pro-democracy movements.
Rice's national roll-out—which has already led to speculation about her plans for 2016, or the 2014 governor's race in California—was stunted somewhat by the timing. She started shortly before 10 p.m., the hour when most of the major networks clicked over to convention coverage, which inspired some on-air grumbling from NBC's Brian Williams, that viewers had missed some of the most inspired rhetoric of the convention thus far.
But it was the relatively unnoticed speech by his old rival McCain that Giuliani said was "maybe the one we have to think about the most."
Giuliani said McCain's concern about the country made him concerned too.
"John McCain is not just a partisan, he's not just someone interested in winning this election," said Giuliani.
Giuliani focused most of his remarks on foreign policy and what he said was President Obama's inability to inspire sufficient, Reagan-like fear in countries like Iran.
"They look at President Obama and say, 'Yeah, we know what you're all about.'"
He paraphrased the decision by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appear at a summit in Tehran this week, over the objections of the administration, as telling Obama, "in a nice way, go to hell."
And he reiterated the Republican criticism of Obama that he was too eager to claim credit for his killing of Osama bin Laden, and added that he was unwise to tout the intelligence the mission had gathered.
"I've been in law enforcement for more of my life than politics," he said. "The last thing you want people to know is how much information you just got ... How about you have the discipline and the professionalism to keep your damn mouth shut."
He ended by stressing the importance of the state in keeping its one lever of local power.
"We have got to keep control of the State Senate," he told the crowd to cheers, saying it had helped him stave off "crazy" liberal "cave-ins."
"As a former mayor of New York City, many many times it was the fact we had the State Senate that helped me get things done that we needed to get done."