NEW YORK – Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed President Obama’s foreign policy as one of “provocative weakness” as he arrived here Monday night for a private gala dinner honoring Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s biggest donors.
Giuliani, who as mayor led New York’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was especially critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. He said the president had been “a real failure in the Middle East.”
“You look at the disaster in Libya, you look at all the contradictory stories of this administration – this is a scandal,” Giuliani told a handful of reporters outside the Romney finance event. “It’s not, unfortunately, being uniformly covered that way, but all of their misrepresentation about what happened in Libya is astounding. And it betrays a policy of provocative weakness on the part of President Obama.”
When a reporter asked what he would advise Romney to say about the situation in Libya in Tuesday night’s debate with Obama, Giuliani urged him to declare that under a Romney administration he would “tell the truth to the American people.”
“There’s no reason for 10 days of what appeared to be total misrepresentations,” Giuliani said. “It creates a situation where America looks weak. It creates a situation where the American people don’t have confidence. And it emboldens our enemies when they see that we’re not able to face reality… You’ve got to be truthful from the very, very beginning. You can’t participate in all of these cover-ups, all of these misrepresentations.”
Giuliani was a special guest at the reception and dinner at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum honoring a few hundred of the Romney campaign’s biggest donors. Other speakers included Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), as well as real estate mogul Donald Trump. The dinner was closed to reporters, but one attendee said a video played in which Trump says of Obama, “You’re fired!,” a reference to Trump’s starring role in the reality television series “The Apprentice.”
As he arrived at the Intrepid, Trump said of Romney’s $170 million fundraising haul in the month of September: “Big numbers. They are big numbers.”
Asked to handicap Tuesday night’s debate, Trump said, “There’s no reason to think that Obama should do better.” And he added some advice for Romney. “Just be the way he is,” Trump said. “He’ll do fine.”
Hundreds of prominent donors filed onto buses at the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria hotel to ride through the rain in Midtown Manhattan to the Intrepid, an old ship docked in the Hudson River. The guests included New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and members of the Romney family, including the candidate’s older brother, Scott. In addition, a full array of senior campaign officials descended on New York to entertain and brief the donors. Among them were campaign manager Matt Rhoades, national finance chairman Spencer Zwick, pollster Neil Newhouse, deputy campaign manager Katie Packer Gage, national political director Rich Beeson and digital director Zac Moffatt.