GOP Bullies Bust on Giuliani for Making Sense

Normally, we find Giuliani's all-9/11-all-the-time chest beating hard to stomach: The city's most painful recent memory happens to be his "comfort zone," as Stephen Rodrick wrote in his New York piece on Rudy back in March. But when the man runs on his actual record of reducing crime and such, oddly enough, we mind it a little less. At least that rhetoric has more meat on it than, say, Fred Thompson's bizarre mix of real and fictional gravitas. And then comes the rare precious moment when we actually feel bad for the guy; for instance, last night, when the rest of the GOP contenders piled on Rudy during a debate for one thing he's handled very well as mayor: New York's unspoken dependence on illegal-immigrant labor. "I think saying, as he did — if you happen to be an undocumented alien, we want you in New York, we’ll protect you in New York — I think that contributed to 3 million illegals in this country becoming 12 million illegals coming into this country,” Mitt Romney snapped. That's some logic — are there 9 million illegals in New York, then? To his credit, Giuliani calmly parried, "I didn’t have the luxury of, you know, political rhetoric; I had the safety and security of the people of New York City on my shoulders." If only he didn't avail himself of this luxury so readily on that other topic.

Thompson a Target at G.O.P. Debate [NYT]