Rudy Giuliani

Rudolph William Louis Giuliani / b. 1944 / New York, New York, USA / Lawyer, US Associate Attorney General, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mayor of New York City, Political Commentator and Activist, Author, Podcaster

Note: Sources of quotations are provided where known; otherwise, quotes may be assumed to derive from Giuliani’s extremely prolific public statements, both in print and online, over many years


The attacks of September 11 were intended to break our spirit, instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law, and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.

Remarks, Dedication for the exhibit, “After September 11: Images from Ground Zero,” December 31, 2001.

I don’t need Michael Moore to tell me about September 11.

Press conference, July 29, 2004.

In the 9/11 Commission Report, one of the things they point out is that firefighters saved just about everybody below the fire. I don’t think they realize how proud the fire department is of that. Because, conceivably, that’s all they could have done. They could not have gotten above that fire.

The lesson of 9/11 is that America is truly exceptional. We withstood the worst attack of our history, intended by our enemies to destroy us. Instead, it drew us closer and made us more united. Our love for freedom and one another has given us a strength that surprised even ourselves.

2020 Election

To all those patriots challenging the fraudulent election . . . You are on the right side of the law and history.

Tweet, January 6, 2021.

America First Movement

The idea of “America First” is back and stronger than ever.


We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for thirty or forty or fifty years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

Cited in the New York Times, March 20, 1994.

COVID-19 Restrictions

America is about freedom. We should respect that freedom, even if it means taking risks to defend it.

Interview, Fox News, May, 2021.

The way you deal with these situations is to be honest with the American people. Let them know what you know and what you don’t know.

Interview, “Meet the Press,” NBC, April, 2020.

Criminal Justice System

You know, as a lawyer, I’ve defended an awful lot of people. And I know how easy it is, even for innocent people, to get into a jam.

Interview, ABC News, April, 2018.

It’s about time law enforcement got as organized as organized crime.

Cited in TIME magazine, October 15, 1984


Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. . . . History demonstrates that democracy usually follows good governance, not the reverse.

Cited in “”Giuliani: Too much stress on two-state plan,” Jewish Telegraph Agency, August 15, 2007.

We can determine America’s future. After all, that’s what an election is all about. So, let’s decide for optimism, not pessimism; for hope, not despair; for strength, not weakness; for victory, not defeat.

December 15, 2007.


Schools exist in America and have always existed to train responsible citizens of the United States of America. If they don’t do that, it’s very hard to hold us together as a country, because it’s shared values that hold us together.

When I was mayor of New York, my views changed. I began as mayor of New York City thinking that I could reform the New York City school system. After two or three years, four years, I became an advocate of choice, of scholarships, and vouchers, and parental choice, because I thought that was the only way to really change the school system.

Equality Under the Law

I think the president has to be treated like everyone else. ‘Cause I think under the criminal law everybody should be treated the same. I know there are people who would say that the president should be treated stricter. We used to have an era in which the president was treated much more leniently. But I think the right answer is: the president should be treated the same; as far as the criminal law is concerned the president is a citizen.

Interview, “Charlie Rose,” PBS, July, 1998.


The idea of freedom and liberty and democracy is very contagious.

Interview, CNN, April, 2005.

Giuliani on Giuliani

I don’t sit around thinking about me and my legacy.

Interview, New Yorker, October 2019.

The reality is, I’m a lawyer. I’m not an investigator. I’m not a special agent.

Interview, Fox News, May, 2018.

I’m the mayor of New York City. I’ve got a job to do. I’ve got to protect the people of the city. And I’ve got to do something about the crime problem.

Speech, National Press Club, January, 1995.

Re: 9/11

I’m not a hero, I just did my job.

Interview, “Larry King Live,” CNN, October, 2001.

I have been in the eye of the storm from September 11 forward. And I have never left the eye of the storm.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York, August 30, 2004.

I’ve always been a Republican. But I’ve always been a Republican because the Republican Party stood for individual freedom.

Interview, CNN, May, 2021.

I don’t back down. I don’t cave under pressure.

Interview, CNN, November, 2020.

I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was there guiding things. I was there bringing people there. But I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So, in that sense, I’m one of them.

Cited in the New York Times, August 11, 2007.

The most important lesson my dad taught me was how to manage fear. Early on, he taught me that in a time of emergency, you’ve got to become deliberately calm.

You never begin a new life. It’s a mistake to think that you end one part of your life and start another as if there’s no continuity.

I was very serious about being a priest, twice in my life. Almost joined the Montfort Seminary after I graduated from high school. Almost went back in the seminary during college.

You have to keep a strong sense of who you really are—and I have a pretty strong sense of myself. It gets me in trouble when I say this, but I don’t think of myself as a politician. I’ve always tried to be honest when communicating with people.

When I became mayor of New York City, I had a $2.4 billion deficit. And everybody wanted me to raise taxes. I said, “If I raise taxes, I’ll drive people out of New York City, and then I’ll be raising taxes again.” So, what I did was, I cut expenses by 15 percent.

There are terrible, terrible memories of September 11th, things that I saw, people that I lost, the devastation, the identification of bodies. I mean, all these memories come back to you at different times. And then the other side of it this tremendous response with the firefighters and the police officers saving people, the rescue workers.

I’ll tell you what makes me feel worthwhile: organizing and solving other people’s problems. It makes me feel good to go to Mexico City and figure out theories on how you can reorganize and reduce crime. To me, it’s one of the more fulfilling ways to spend a day.

You never agree with any one candidate 100 percent. I don’t agree with myself 100 percent.

Immigration Policy

If you’re not in favor of border security, I don’t see how you can call yourself a citizen of the United States of America.

Interview, Fox News, June, 2018.


Leadership is not about being popular. It’s about being right and being strong.

Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York, August 30, 2004.

There are many qualities that make a great leader but having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York, August 30, 2004.

Leaders must be optimists. Their vision was beyond the present and set on a future of real peace and true freedom.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York, August 30, 2004.

In choosing a president, we really don’t choose a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal. We choose a leader.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York. August 30, 2004.

When you confront a problem, you begin to solve it.

Cited in RFID Journal, February 28, 2005.

. . . the sky’s the limit for all Americans if we have the right kind of leadership.

Republican debate, Univision, December 9, 2007.

When I said the city would be stronger, I didn’t know that. I just hoped it. There are parts of you that say, “Maybe we’re not going to get through this.” You don’t listen to them.

When you’re in a crisis of, you know, tremendous proportions, it’s beyond any human capability to control, you just make the best decisions you can, and you just hope that your intuition is correct.


Change is not a destination as hope is not a strategy.

Speech, Republican National Convention, 2008.

I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Cited by Darren Samuelsohn in “Rudy Giuliani: President Obama doesn’t love America,” Politico, February 18, 2015.


Blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society. If I had put all of my police officers on Park Avenue and none in Harlem, thousands and thousands more blacks would’ve been killed during the eight years that I was mayor.


The rule is, you can protest all you want. Make all the noise you want. Carry all the signs you want. The minute you throw a rock, you get arrested. The minute you break a window, you get arrested. The minute you break into a store, you get arrested.

Public Opinion Polls

We have too many politicians who are poll-driven to excess. Polls are important. You’ve got to know what the public is thinking, but you can’t let them drive you completely.


There’s no room for intolerance or racism in the Republican Party or in America. That’s not what I believe, that’s not what I practiced, that’s not what I taught when I was mayor of New York City.


I do not believe that any President has accomplished as much as this one in the first two and a half years of his presidency.

The spirit of America has revived because of President Trump.

Interview, Fox News, October, 2020.

I do not believe that any president . . . has had as much respect for religious freedom and for the role of religious institutions in our society as this president.

Speech, National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, September, 2020.

I was one of the first people to support Trump. I supported him when there was no one else around him.

Interview, Wall Street Journal, June, 2018.

I believe the Democrats do not want this president to have a fair trial. I believe they want a political trial.

Interview, Fox News, December, 2019.

When you say “interfere,” it’s a very vague word. I want to know what you mean by “interfere.” It’s not a crime to talk to the Russians.”

Interview, “State of the Union,” CNN, July 2018.

I think people are tired of politicians who dither around and don’t get things done.

Interview, Fox News, June, 2018.

I have known Donald Trump for almost 30 years. And he has created and accomplished great things. But beyond that, this is a man with a big heart.

Every time New York City suffered a tragedy, Donald Trump was there to help. And he did it anonymously.

There is no more time for us left to revive our great country. No more time to repeat our mistakes of the past. Washington needs a complete turnaround, and Donald Trump is the agent of change, and he will be the leader of the change we need.

It’s time to make America safe again. It’s time to make America one again. I know it can be done because I did it by changing New York City from “the crime capital of America” to—according to the FBI—the safest large city in America. What I did for New York City, Donald Trump will do for America.


Truth will always come out. It will always find a way to make itself known. The truth always eventually emerges, no matter how many people try to hide it.

Speech, Republican National Convention, New York, August 30, 2004.


I think one of the biggest mistakes that America has made—and maybe the world because this is, sort of, the core of communism and socialism—is that you can have perfect solutions to social problems like poverty, like crime. You’re not going to eliminate all crime. Maybe you’ll never eliminate all poverty.