Last night, former mayor Rudy Giuliani got a huge round of applause after tearing another candidate a new one about September 11. The Republican presidential candidates were participating in a Fox News Channel-sponsored debate in South Carolina, and the moment came when Representative Ron Paul of Texas discussed September 11. The video is above (the pertinent part comes at about 1:40 in) and here's how the NY Times described it:
At one point, one of Mr. Giuliani’s lesser-known opponents, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, gave what turned out to be a big platform to Mr. Giuliani when he appeared to suggest that the United States invited the attacks of Sept. 11 by having originally invaded Iraq.
“May I comment on that?” Mr. Giuliani said, looking grim. “That’s really an extraordinary statement. That’s an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11.”
Mr. Giuliani was interrupted by cheers and applause. “And I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that,” he said.
The Post's account is a little more melodramatic -"Giuliani unloaded both barrels at Texas Rep. Ron Paul..." - but it's definitely a dramatic moment, regardless of whom you believe. Given the wariness of conservatives toward Giuliani's more-liberal views on other issues, like abortion, it certainly sounds like Paul gave Giuliani the best gift ever. The Politico says Giuliani came out on top while the Daily News' Michael Goodwin notes how Giuliani succeeded in bringing back the talk to terror.
Here's a transcript of the debate. Don't miss former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's crack about Congressional spending and John Edwards's hair.