Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani implied today that the murder of two NYPD officers last year would not have happened if he were running the city at the time.
The remarks came at a rally for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, a Republican running for Congress with Mr. Giuliani’s support.
“It was our police officers whose families had to suffer when they got shot … an assassination of Officer Liu and Officer Ramos that did not have to take place, it never should have happened,” Mr. Giuliani, a Republican, said at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island. “The man came all the way from Baltimore here to assassinate two of our police officers.”
Mr. Giuliani then asked: “You don’t think the turmoil that was going on in New York didn’t help draw him in?”
“Absolutely!” a woman in the crowd shouted back.
“You think he would have shown up here when I was mayor?”
“No way, Rudy baby!” the same woman replied.
Mr. Giuliani was a leading critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, in the months following the death of Eric Garner, a black Staten Islander, in police custody. Several weeks after anti-police brutality protests rocked New York City last December, a mentally ill man who had been angry at police shot and killed two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in Brooklyn. Conservatives and police union leaders blamed Mr. de Blasio for tolerating the protests and creating an environment that encouraged the murder, a claim that the mayor rejected.
Mr. Giuliani today continued his attacks on Mr. de Blasio and President Barack Obama as the conservative crowd, more than a hundred strong, applauded. He charged that Mr. de Blasio is moving the city in “exactly” the wrong direction “in almost every respect.” “That’s a big mistake and the city’s gonna suffer for it,” he said.
“Let’s not feel the way we felt the day after de Blasio was elected,” he continued. “Let’s not have that feeling and, by the way, he turned out to be worse than we thought, right? Same thing with Obama.” (Mr. de Blasio has said Mr. Giulani “lives in the past.”)
The former mayor is still very popular in the right-leaning Staten Island and Brooklyn-based congressional district. He headlined the rally for Mr. Donovan and drew praise from all of the other Staten Island elected officials who attended.
Mr. Donovan is facing a Democrat, Councilman Vincent Gentile, in the special election. The election is set for May 5.