CUOMO: Do you have it in you to be attorney general? Do you feel that you have the energy?GIULIANI: Oh my God.CUOMO: Do you feel that you have the desire?GIULIANI: I certainly have the energy, and there's probably nobody that knows the Justice Department better than me.CUOMO: So, nobody's better than you. You just said — hold on. I got you. I finally got you. It took me 35 years. You just said, "If I couldn't point to three other people who are as good as me, then yes, if it's just me." You just said, "Nobody knows it better than I do."GIULIANI: Well, I was an assistant U.S. attorney. I was the associate attorney general of the United States, third-ranking official under Ronald Reagan. I've argued in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. I've argued in almost every circuit. And I tried, as a personal lawyer and U.S. attorney, over 50 cases.CUOMO: It's a good résumé.GIULIANI: So I know the bottom of the Justice Department, and I know the top.
Nice stump speech, eh?
To be fair, Giuliani was simply answering Cuomo's questions. But he could have deflected them the way politicians so often do — the way another possible attorney general, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, did when he was on NBC's "Today" show around the same time.
MATT LAUER: Would you want to be chief of staff? Would you want to be attorney general?CHRISTIE: You really don't think I'm answering any of these questions, do you? You know me better than that. The answer is I am not committed to doing anything in a new administration or not. The bottom line is that I have a job to do to help get the new administration ready. If there's some role for me that I want to do and the president-elect wants me to do — we've known each other 14 years. We'll talk about it.
That's the standard response. Diplomatic. Noncommittal. Free of lobbying. That's, um, not the approach Giuliani took.