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Giuliani Distorts Facts in McCain Campaign Robocall

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is establishing himself as the Luca Brasi to Sen. John McCain’s Vito Corleone.

Whenever the situation calls for a hit job, there’s only one goon to which the don turns.

TPM reports Giuliani has lent his voice to what is perhaps the lowest of the McCain campaign’s robocalls — it portrays Sen. Barack Obama as soft on crime. The call has been reported in Maine, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio and Colorado.

In the message, Giuliani accuses Obama of opposing “mandatory jail sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers and murderers.” He goes on to say that, “It’s true, I read Obama’s words myself.”

Really, Rudy? Obama said he opposed mandatory prison for murderers and rapists?

TPM’s Greg Sargent suggests Giulaini is actually talking about Obama’s opposition to federal mandatory minimum prison sentences — a glaring omission of one word that completely changes the meaning of the statement.

Note that Rudy claims Obama “opposes mandatory prison sentences” for rapists and murders. Rudy is actually referring to Obama’s opposition to specific mandatory minimum sentences. By dropping the word “minimum,” he’s insinuating that Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences in general.

ABC News reported during the primaries that Obama said in 2004 that he would vote to abolish mandatory minimums for federal crimes:

“Mandatory minimums take too much discretion away from judges,” Obama said in an NAACP debate.

It is worth pointing out that few murderers, rapists or drug dealers are tried in federal court.

I put in a call to the McCain campaign press office seeking the exact Obama quote Giuliani cites in the robocall. I will update if and when the campaign responds.

This isn’t the first time that Giuliani has waded out into the mud. Earlier this month, he participated in a McCain campaign conference call that, by all appearances, was staged for the purpose of bringing up William Ayers — before McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin lost their bashfulness about mentioning Ayers themselves.

Those years Giuliani spent as a U.S. attorney, prosecuting organized crime cases, may have taught him a thing or two about being a thug.

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