Times Accuses Giuliani of "To Some Minds, Incendiary" Comments on Crime, Flips Race Card

The Times, which loathed former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, now accuses him of "incendiary" comments on crime on a campaign stop with NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, lining up Democrats to accuse the former mayor of race-baiting.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was out campaigning this weekend with current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is running for a third term. The Times loathed Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, and has run several revisionist articles suggesting his mayoralty was ridden with racial demagoguery and racist police brutality.

Monday's Metro story by David Chen, "Stumping With Mayor, Giuliani Stirs Old Fears," raised the same points:

Raising the specter of a return to higher crime and greater anxiety, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani warned on Sunday that New York could become a more dangerous city if Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is not re-elected in November.

Mr. Giuliani did not mention Mr. Bloomberg's Democratic challenger, William C. Thompson Jr., by name. But during the first of two campaign events alongside Mr. Bloomberg, he said that not long ago many parts of the city were gripped by 'the fear of going out at night and walking the streets.'

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Mr. Giuliani said at a breakfast sponsored by the Jewish Community Council in Borough Park, Brooklyn. "This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction - it could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership."

Mr. Giuliani made his blunt - and to some minds, incendiary - comments a day before Mr. Bloomberg, a two-term incumbent, was scheduled to be endorsed by the city's largest police officers' union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, according to two people told of the plans. It would be a big step in his quest to secure the strongest anticrime credentials in the mayor's race.

In comparison, the Times has rarely employed the loaded phrase "incendiary" to apply to remarks by race-baiting politician Al Sharpton. In Harlem in 1995, Sharpton cursed the white Jewish owner of Freddy's Fashion Mart as a "white interloper" in a protest that escalated when a protester entered the store, shot four employees and set the building on fire, killing seven.

Chen chided Giuliani for acting like, well, a Republican:

Mr. Giuliani remains a polarizing figure in some neighborhoods, and he has become much more of a by-the-book Republican since leaving office; he has, for instance, said that President Obama has been much worse than he had expected. By contrast, Mr. Bloomberg, an independent who is running as a Republican, has repeatedly praised the president for his work on issues like health care.

Indeed, when asked about Mr. Giuliani's remarks, Mr. Thompson's campaign tried to play up the partisan divide."

Chen then set upDemocrats to accuse the former mayor of "race-baiting."

City Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn, the Democrat who is likely to become the city's next public advocate, said he was appalled.

"Giuliani's comments verge on race-baiting," he said. "Bloomberg should disavow those comments and show that he doesn't buy into that kind of rhetoric."