Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani held two town hall forums in Iowa Thursday to tout his experience as a prosecutor, but the potential prosecution of a former Giuliani aide was the focus of a news conference Giuliani held in Dubuque.
Bernard Kerik served as Giuliani’s police commissioner while Giuliani was New York’s mayor, but Kerik has been under investigation for tax fraud, corruption and conspiracy. Back in 2004, Giuliani recommended that President Bush appoint Kerik as the nation’s Homeland Security Director, a recommendation Giuliani now calls a mistake. "I made a mistake in not clearing him effectively enough," Giuliani told reporters. "I take responsibility for that."
But Giuliani pointed to his time mayor and a prosecutor and asked that voters judge him on the entire record. "If (I make) the same balance of right decisions and incorrect decisions as president, the country’d be in pretty good shape," Giuliani said.
Giuliani refused to speculate about Kerik’s case. "A lot of public comment about it is inconsistent to getting this resolved in the right way," Giuliani said, adding it was up to the courts now to make the final determination.
Giuliani’s first town hall meeting Thursday was in Cedar Falls. "This is the way I think a political campaign should be run: I should tell you what I believe should be the future of the country; I should try to show you why I can get these things done…and then you have to decide whether you agree with this," Giuliani said.
Chris Heyers of Cedar Falls was in the crowd and described Giuliani as "the guy" he’ll vote for. "I like lookin’ a guy in the eye and having him talk about his record, just like he’s interviewing for a job with you," Heyers said after the forum. "He talks about what he (did) in New York, he applies it to the national stage and that gives you confidence that you just don’t get when you hear somebody on television make you all a promise."
Giuliani spoke in Ames Thursday afternoon, then flew out to make an evening campaign appearance in the state of Nevada.