(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
In defending his preference of Donald Trump over Ted Cruz as the US Republican Nominee for president despite heavy criticism of the tycoon from the Republican establishment, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani told The Jerusalem Post that “he is a man prone to exaggerate the way that he speaks, which is not necessarily the way he acts.”
Giuliani made the statements in a sit down interview with the Post in Tel Aviv Monday, during his current visit to Greenberg Traurig’s Israel office following his joining the 1,900 lawyer US-based firm to head its cyber security and crisis management practice in January.
The Post pressed Giuliani about a number of statements that Trump has made for which a wide array of the Republican establishment have condemned him, with some even essentially committing to vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.
He said that Trump “had walked back” or clarified many of his more controversial statements and should get some slack as a “first-timer” in politics.
Questioned about whether such a first-timer would be ready to be president, Giuliani responded, “He’ll be ready to do it. I’ve known him for a long time. I know he’s a reasonable man. He won’t like me saying this, but he is a man prone to exaggerate the way that he speaks, which is not necessarily the way he acts.”
“It’s part of being a good negotiator. When he sits down and makes a decision, he is an exceedingly rational man. You need to separate the rhetoric from the reality,” Giuliani continued.
Explaining his case for supporting Trump over Cruz, he said that he likes the tycoon’s “private sector experience,” his projecting strength on foreign policy and that as a practical matter, he is most likely to win at this point.
Some of the explanation was a bit more defensive. Giuliani quoted former US president Reagan as telling him when he worked for him that “my friend 80 percent of the time is not my enemy the other 20%.”
He said that “when you analyze who to support, you don’t look at having perfect agreement on every issue. You look for who you agree with the most. Who is best at the job.”
Asked if he would have supported a different candidate such as Jeb Bush, Giuliani being a big fan of the Bush family, he said that “when it was a much larger race, it would have been a closer question,” and cited Bush and Chris Christie as other candidates who had dropped out who he greatly admired.
However, at this point, he said that “two of [the remaining candidates] have no chance – Kasich and Rubio,” and that Cruz and the presumed Democratic Presidential Nominee Hilary Clinton “don’t have the private sector experience” that Trump has, or his feel for the economy.