Giuliani: Late Again, But With an Excuse

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When Rudy Giuliani was 50 minutes late for a speech last Wednesday in Des Moines , he was chewed out on the blog of Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen.

“Giuliani and his campaign need to learn some things about campaigning in Iowa ,” Yepsen wrote. “Like not being tardy.”

Yepsen reported that neither Giuliani nor his campaign workers gave an explanation  as to why the speech, which was to begin at 10:30 a.m., began at 11:20. Some members of the audience were so agitated that they left early.

Last night in suburban Washington , D.C. , Giuliani repeated his tardy performance, only this time with more class.

The former New York City mayor, arriving again about 50 minutes late, immediately apologized to his audience at the B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville , Md. , and explained the cause of the delay: Lightning had held up his plane in Norfolk , Va.

“I was coming from Regent University , which is Pat Robertson’s university, to a Jewish house of worship,” Giuliani said. “Now if I hit a Catholic church tonight, I’m all set.”

Apparently Washingtonians aren’t as feisty as Iowans, as Giuliani was well received by the predominantly Jewish audience and received rousing applause for his support of Israel .

“I view Israel with great affection because of Israel ’s steadfast friendship with the United States , and I think Israelis view Americans that way because of our friendship with Israel ,” Giuliani said. “Countries are friends like people are friends.”

Giuliani primarily focused on terrorism and the Middle East , calling the Clinton-ruled ’90s the “decade of denial” for that administration’s lack of focus on terrorism. He also brought up his handling of 9/11 more than a dozen times during his 53-minute speech.

--Nikki Schwab