Giuliani Suffers From "9/11 Tourette's"

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

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About a month ago, at one of the debates for Republican presidential candidates, Rudy Giuliani said, "The reality is that I'm not running on what I did on September 11th." He managed to say it with a straight face.

It seemed like an amusing comment, of course, given how often the former mayor cites the 9/11 attacks, seemingly in response to every question. Jon Stewart recently described it as "9/11 Tourette's." But is it really as bad as Giuliani's critics suggest? The New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy took a look at how the candidate has incorporated the attacks into various unrelated matters. And when I say "various," I mean "every."

* Explaining his flip-flop on gun control: "There are some major intervening events - Sept. 11 - which cast somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment."

* Explaining why he interrupts speeches to take calls from his wife: "Since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other."

* Defending his support for a wall along the Mexican border: "I support security at the borders. I think security is enormously important in the post-Sept. 11 period. I think we have to know who's coming into this country."

* Explaining why he wears an American flag lapel pin: "Each time I wear it, it reminds me of Sept. 11."

* Responding to a question about funding AIDS drugs: "I don't want to promise you the federal government will take over the role. My general experience has been that the federal government works best when it helps and assists and encourages and sets guidelines on a state-by-state, locality-by-locality basis. It's no different from the way I look at homeland security. Maybe having been mayor of the city, I know that your first defense against terrorist attack is that local police station, or that local firehouse."

* Responding to a question about his religiosity: "I need God's help for everything, and I probably feel that the most when I'm in crisis and under pressure, like Sept. 11, when I was dealing with prostate cancer, or when I'm trying to explain death to people."

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