Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered praise of a sort to President Obama today, saying that by forcefully declaring that "we are at war," the president had "turned the corner" on tackling terrorism.
But in the interview broadcast this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America," the 2008 GOP presidential candidate said Obama still must do better.
He said the administration should treat terrorism suspects as enemy combatants and not try them in the civilian criminal courts, as it is doing for the alleged attempted bomber on the Detroit-bound Christmas flight. Giuliani also questioned how government prosecutors have handled the investigation of that case.
"Why in God's name would you stop questioning a terrorist?" he asked. "Why would you put an artificial time limit on how much time you would spend questioning a terrorist."
But it's another comment he made that is raising some eyebrows: "We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama."
Bush was president and Giuliani was mayor when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as for shoe-bomber Richard Reid in late 2001.
UPDATE: Asked about the omission this afternoon, Giuliani called the controversy "silly," but acknowledged that he misspoke.
"I usually say we had no domestic attacks, no major domestic attack under President Bush since September 11th. And the reason I say it is on September 11th and the days after September 11th, I received many briefings, many warnings, as the mayor of New York, that we were going to be attacked again, that we were going to be attacked frequently," he said on CNN's "Situation Room."
"I did omit the words 'since September 11th.' I apologize for that. I should have put it in. I do remember September 11th. In fact, Wolf, I remember it every single day and usually frequently during the day."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.