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Giuliani backs Bush terror stance

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani shared his thoughts Wednesday on combating terrorism with an engaged audience at Robert Morris University.

In an hour-long, freewheeling exchange with students and the media, Giuliani dodged a question about his political ambitions, but championed the course of action President Bush has taken against terrorism.

“Our approach is to confront the problems, to confront terrorism,” he said. “We need to explain that position in as sensitive a way as possible” to other countries.

Two years out of office, Giuliani is most remembered for his leadership in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The fallout of the attacks loomed large yesterday in the minds of nearly 300 students and university officials at the Moon campus’ Massey Theater.

Giuliani was the kick-off speaker of the university-sponsored Pittsburgh Speakers Series. He also spoke last night at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

Sophomore Chad Conti, of Slippery Rock, said he came to listen to Giuliani for his views on running a culturally diverse big city.

Giuliani, a Republican, said he understands how difficult it is to be in charge of a big city with big financial problems. One questioner, noting Pittsburgh’s budget deficit and recent layoffs, asked the former mayor for his thoughts.

“It’s impossible for the mayor of a major city not to face a major crisis,” said Giuliani, who said he had tackled a $2.3 billion deficit during his first year in office. “I was so unpopular that I couldn’t go to a Yankees game without being booed.”

“The two questions to ask are, ‘Did you cut the right things• Are you going to get lucky?’… Because when the economy gets better and services are restored, the mayor looks like a hero,” he said.

Giuliani said he was in no position to critique cuts made by Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy. In early August, Murphy announced layoffs of 731 city employees, including police officers, emergency medical technicians and recreation center workers.


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