One of the principal flaws in Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign is that he's running, counter intuitively, on a platform based on subjects he knows nothing about -- foreign policy and national security.
But just as importantly, Giuliani keeps undermining his own credibility on all
policy issues by exaggerating to the point of comedy. He can't just say he spent time at Ground Zero; he has to exaggerate
to say he spent as much time (if not more) than the rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers who spent a year sifting through human remains and rubble. He can't just say he's interested in counter-terrorism; he has to exaggerate
to say he's been "studying Islamic terrorism for 30 years." He can't just say he's committed to promoting adoption over abortion; he has to exaggerate
his record as mayor. He can't just he cut taxes in NYC; he has to exaggerate
his record to include tax cuts he opposed (he even counted one cut twice). The guy can't even release a list of congressional endorsements without exaggerating
When it comes to Giuliani's record on budget surpluses, it's more of the same
Rudolph W. Giuliani has been broadcasting radio advertisements in Iowa and other states far from the city he once led stating that as mayor of New York, he "turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion dollar surplus."
The assertion, which Mr. Giuliani has repeated on the trail as he has promoted his fiscal conservatism, is somewhat misleading, independent fiscal monitors said. In fact, Mr. Giuliani left his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, with a bigger deficit than the one Mr. Giuliani had to deal with when he arrived in 1994. And that deficit would have been large even if the city had not been attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
"He inherited a gap, and he left a gap for his successor," Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the city's Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that monitors the city budget, said of Mr. Giuliani. "The city was budgeting as though the good times were not going to end, but sooner or later they always do."
In an amusing response, the Giuliani campaign told the NYT
that the former mayor's claims are technically true because he claims to have created
a surplus, not that he was able to maintain
Reporters labeled Al Gore a "serial exaggerator
" in 2000 on a whole lot less than this.