2007_05_rudysmile.JPGAs if former Mayor Rudy Giuliani were giving a perfect example of his shiny, accessible campaign demeanor, which is decidedly different from his mayoral behavior, none was better than the Tuesday confrontation between the presidential candidate and some protesters. You can see a video on WNBC 4 where a two people separately ask Giuliani why he let first responders go into the World Trade Center, if he knew that the towers would fall down. From WNBC:

Giuliani replied by saying, "I didn't realize the towers would collapse." He later added, "No one that I know of had any idea they would implode. That was a complete surprise."

WNBC has obtained the transcript of Giuliani's appearance with Jennings, from the Giuliani 2008 campaign. This is the verbatim of the issue in question:

"I--I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the police commissioner, the fire commissioner, the head of emergency management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out, walked north, and took a lot of people with us."

The hecklers followed him to various events earlier this week, which were party of his birthday fund-raising push. As FDNY deputy chief Jim Riches, whose son died in the WTC, told the Observer, “If somebody can tell me what he did on 9/11 that was so good, I’d love to hear it. All he did was give information on the TV. He did nothing. He stood there with a TV reporter and told everyone what was going on. And he got it from everybody else down at the site.”

And if you watch the video, Giuliani remains poised, polite, and even smiling.