Former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani engaged in a lively conversation with attendees of a town hall meeting in a crowded Great Hall of the Memorial Union at Iowa State University on Thursday night.
Giuliani expounded upon the positions he believes to be important to the current state of America and its future, as detailed in what he calls his "12 Commitments to the American People," which encompasses an offensive national defense strategy, lessening governmental regulations on the economy, eliminating governmental waste, lowering taxes, providing health care reforms, lessening industry's impact on the environment by reinforcing pollution laws and tort, or frivolous lawsuit, reform.
Giuliani's first talking point was on terrorism, of which he said we must win the war in Iraq and "we are safer when we are on the offense."
"My first commitment I believe is that this country must go on the offense when it comes to Islamic terrorism," he said. "If we go back to what we learned in the 1990s, we go back to being on defense, the terrorist war on us will be extended, and it will be more difficult for us. The nature of the enemy that we face takes advantage of weakness."
Another one of Giuliani's large talking points was the economy. He said "America has an ingenious economy," because it is a private economy and the government should be in the business of assisting it, and not regulating it.
He pointed out government's overspending, overtaxing, over-regulation and too many people who are suing each other as primary factors that have "put a lid on the economy."
"If you have those things [as in current conditions] going on, you can have a very decent economy," he said. "But ultimately, we should lower a number of taxes."
Giuliani's plan for cutting back the government involved not rehiring half the governmental positions that will be opening up in the next five to 20 years as a remedy of sorts to that fact that there are "too many government jobs."
He also pointed out that by lowering corporate taxes and income taxes, getting rid of the inheritance tax and lowering the capital gains taxes will help to put money back into the hands of the American people, where it belongs. Giuliani said Democrats who want to cut the corporate gains tax and "tax[ing] the rich" will definitely not spur the economy.
"Did you know the last time that we raised the capital gains tax, we lost money? You want to know by how much?" he said. "We lost $45 million. There aren't enough rich around to tax."
After the main portion of his speech, he fielded questions from audience members, most of whom were wearing red "Rudy 2008" stickers on their person.
One question that hit an area of interest was Giuliani's health care plan. He pointed out that personal choice in health care options will alleviate strains on corporate and governmental health care programs.
"This is America, right? Why can't you do that?" he said.
Some attendees of Giuliani's speech seemed to come away with reinforced attitudes about him and what exactly he stood for.
"I agreed with most of it. I feel that we have been fiscally irresponsible, and that we need to be on the offensive," said Grant Ubben, freshman in mechanical engineering.
© 2007 Iowa State Daily via U-WIRE