POLITICS
05/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Giuliani: Obama's Iran Message Is Terrorist Bait (VIDEO)

Rudy Giuliani charged on Wednesday that Barack Obama's recent outreach to Iran -- specifically, the videotape message he offered to the Iranian people several weeks ago -- was actually abetting terrorism in that region.

"Sending a videotape message into Iran and the language and tone of that message, in my view, is the kind of thing terrorists look at and say 'we can take advantage, we can push,'" said the former New York City mayor.

The remarks, delivered on MSNBC's Morning Joe, were followed by caustic -- and factually incorrect -- interpretations of how the president has approached Iran and foreign policy in general just months into office.

"He didn't talk about any of the things we need from them," Guiliani went on. "He is talking to a dictatorship. He is not talking to a liberal democracy. If you listen to that, you would think he was talking to a liberal democracy."

In fact, a quick read of Obama's videotape message to Iran shows that the president did exactly which Giuliani claimed he didn't: call for internal sacrifice and reform from that country.

"You, too, have a choice," said Obama. "The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right -- but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create."

Nevertheless, Giuliani said on Wednesday, "I think it was a mistake. [Not a] complete misstep, I think it was a mistake. it needed balancing language about his recognition of the complete lack of freedom within Iran and even a strong message to the Iranian people... You have one chance to talk to the people of Iran. They are watching. You want to create a reformist element in Iran and you don't speak to that? ... This is why terrorist will say, we can take advantage of the guy.'"

A self-held authority on all things terrorism, Giuliani built his 2008 presidential candidacy around his ability to handle such threats, only to flame out early in the primary process. His performance during the attacks of 9/11 came under intense scrutiny during that time period, as several officials questioned his decision to, among other things, place a terrorism response center at the site of the most likely terrorist target: the World Trade Center. They also criticized Giuliani for politicizing a sensitive issue and fudging his facts.

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