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October 22, 2008

Rudy Giuliani doing robocalls accusing Senator Obama of being soft on crime

Earlier this month there were reports that Senator McCain was going to resort to old-school "soft-on-crime" attacks as part of his strategy to get back his mojo in the final month of the 2008 campaign.  Thanks to reporting by Politico, we now are starting to see the specifics of the Big Mac attack on the crime front. 

First, as detailed here and here, the Republican Party of Florida has paid for a flier that alleges in various ways that Senator Obama would be soft on crime.  And now, as reported here and here, everyone's old pal and favorite mayor is getting into the act: "Rudy Giuliani is portraying Barack Obama as soft on crime in robocalls being blasted out to swing states by the RNC and the McCain campaign."

You can here this new robocall at this link, and here is the heart of Rudy's message to voters:

Hi, this is Rudy Giuliani, and I'm calling for John McCain and the Republican National Committee because you need to know that Barack Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers.

It's true, I read Obama's words myself. And recently, Congressional liberals introduced a bill to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for violent criminals -- trying to give liberal judges the power to decide whether criminals are sent to jail or set free.  With priorities like these, we just can't trust the inexperience and judgment of Barack Obama and his liberal allies.

Candidly, I am not especially surprised that Senator McCain is playing this old-school "soft-on-crime" card in an effort to make up ground in the polls.  Indeed, I am a bit surprised that it took the McCain camp this long to try to beat up Senator Obama for putting responsible policy-positions ahead of inflammatory rhetoric in the sentencing arena.

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October 22, 2008 at 04:50 PM | Permalink


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Obama would love to loose juvenile predators onto Chicago streets--how do we know? He praised Ayers' initiatives on juvenile justice.

Obama IS soft on crime. Whether he will give rein to that softness (other than appointing a lot of judges who will favor criminals) is an open question. But we know where his sympathies lie--just look at his response to the Jena Six case.

Posted by: | Oct 22, 2008 6:02:39 PM

I'd be very interested to learn if there is any documentation for the claim that "opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers." Does anybody know what the hell he's talking about, or is it just a lie?

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Oct 22, 2008 6:50:11 PM

I would also add, Doug, as Radley Balko pointed out in a piece you linked to earlier, that Obama has not always put "responsible policy-positions ahead of inflammatory rhetoric." As far as I can tell, there's very little difference between the two candidates on crime except that Obama supports law enforcement pork to the states (Byrne and COPS grants) and McCain voted against them, which was IMO the right call.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Oct 22, 2008 6:55:32 PM

Well, does Obama oppose mandatory prison terms for murder? According to a CNN story on the subject, his campaign had no immediate comment, and I would expect them to immediately say it is not true if it is not.

While there are many mandatory minimums that should be reexamined and possibly repealed, I think that most people agree that murder is not one of them. If that is Obama's position, it is a perfectly legitimate issue to raise.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Oct 22, 2008 6:57:33 PM

I am sure without seeing the proof that it is a classic half-truth, given what time of year it is.

Posted by: Da Man | Oct 22, 2008 7:11:10 PM

Something you guys missed - Rudy's late climbing on board may indicate McCain's chances are better than the published polls show. He wouldn't jump on a sinking ship. I'm an engineer working military jet engine development. I got the link from Instapundit.

Posted by: Jim M | Oct 22, 2008 8:30:46 PM

Grits, do you really think Obama's "positions" reflect his true beliefs? He lauded terrorist Ayers' book on juvenile justice, which basically said that young predators should simply be let go. He made a reference to the "just us" system, which betrays a certain hostility to a system which keeps us all safe. Obama would appoint judges who would be much more likely to toss state convictions and death sentences. Obama leapt to the defense of the Jena Six thugs.

Do you really expect us to believe that there is little difference between McCain and Obama on crime? Now it may be that Obama just isn't willing to give rein to his sympathies towards criminals because he doesn't want to risk the negative publicity, but make no mistake, Obama is soft on crime.

Posted by: | Oct 23, 2008 12:25:56 AM

TalkLeft says it well.

'Soft On Crime' Makes a Comeback

The Obama campaign issued a statement Wednesday from Tom Nee, president of the National Association of Police Organizations, denouncing the mailer as the most dishonest attack "from an increasingly dishonest, dishonorable campaign."

"It's clear that Sen. McCain and his agents would rather distort facts and scare people than talk about his disastrous public safety and economic policies that offer no change from the last eight years," Nee said.

Posted by: | Oct 23, 2008 3:15:07 AM

This is just silly political rhetoric. It is meant for the lay people only. If it was meant to be taken seriously, it would have included specific citations. But it did not. This is just for the “stupid people” (as many call them).

And even someone that opposes mandatory minimums for any murder might have good reasons for doing so. But that is beyond the scope of a discussion in involving the “stupid people.”

(By the way “stupid people” is what a member of Rudy's campaign called the “lay people” in the “flyover.”)

Posted by: S.cotus | Oct 23, 2008 6:21:37 AM

Rudi wouldn't jump on a sinking ship?

How to explain his attempts to get now-indicted Bernie Kerrick

Posted by: Da Man | Oct 24, 2008 11:29:05 AM

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