GLENN: Now we go to Rudy Giuliani who is with us. Hello, Rudy.
GIULIANI: How are you?
GOP Candidate Rudy Giuliani
GLENN: Very good. Where are you?
GIULIANI: I am in Jacksonville, Florida.
GLENN: Okay. You were talking, right now — I mean, we’re huge in Florida. We’re talking to almost every city in Florida is listening to you right now and you have put everything into the Florida strategy. Karl Rove said to me just a few minutes ago, very risky strategy, never been done before. Do you ever kind of wake up in the middle of the night and go, jeez, maybe this was a mistake? Or are you feeling good about it?
GIULIANI: We feel good about it. I mean, this is the strategy that works for us. If you look back on it, it probably is the one that emphasizes our strengths and weaknesses the best, meaning the place where we would have the best chance. And we are campaigning very, very hard here, getting great reception. Tremendous enthusiasm. When you see how the rest of the field is kind of spread out with many different winners here and there, you get the feeling that — you get the feeling that this strategy might very well be a good one. Even outsiders are getting the feeling. We feel this.
GLENN: I will tell you that when I first heard the strategy, I thought, I don’t think that sounds like a good idea. But now that the field is so split up, you know, if they’re — I’m going to be real honest with you. The two people that I would vote for, you and Mitt Romney. And if it is Huckabee or McCain and I wasn’t necessarily on your bandwagon, I would look at those two guys and go, I can’t do that. So yes, Rudy Giuliani. I think there’s a lot of sentiment like that and they’re not sure. If it becomes a frontrunner of one of these guys that you absolutely would be in the position of, well, you know what, I know Rudy Giuliani, I know what he’s about and I know that he really believes in tax cuts and everything else, I’ll go for Rudy Giuliani. You may all of a sudden sweep.
GIULIANI: Well, I think the fact is the tax proposal we made has helped us a lot. It’s got a great deal of attention here in Florida. It’s the largest tax cut in American history, or would be the largest tax cut in American history. But that isn’t even the main point of it. The main point of it is it would also provide a single one-page form that people could file.
GLENN: Hang on just a second.
GIULIANI: For paying their taxes.
GLENN: Hold on just a second. America I just have to — this is adult material. This is practically pornography that you are talking right now. This is erotic talk come from you, Rudy Giuliani. It really is.
GIULIANI: And it works. When you look at the form, I think people will see that it works. It does preserve the key deductions critical to our economy really like home mortgage. You can’t take away the home mortgage deduction right now. And it preserves the child care exemption, state and local taxes and the new exclusion that we’re going to create for healthcare to encourage people to buy their own healthcare insurance.
GLENN: This is the only problem that I have with this plan because I love it. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But I wondered why you just didn’t go for a flat, why you went for the three separate categories and then you added some stuff because that’s where we always get in trouble. Because special interests will always say, well, wait a minute, add mine, too. Why didn’t you just go flat?
GIULIANI: Well, we drew a line at, I think it’s four, five, and that can all fit on one page. The idea is to have it fit on one page. And we picked the ones that aren’t just special interests. In other words, we picked the ones that are core to our economy. For example, Glenn, right now if you took away the home mortgage deduction with what is going on in the housing market, you just couldn’t responsibly do it. I mean, it would be a very, very devastating blow to an area of our economy that already has a lot to deal with. The charitable deduction I think would also be a big blow to all of these philanthropic organizations that do a lot of the work that otherwise would fall to government. And state and local taxes, it would totally recreate the whole tax scheme. You know, as I said, if we were starting income tax at the very beginning, I would be in favor of one, just a number, that’s it, no deductions. But we have an economy now that’s built around this. And second, the practical point, Glenn. This can get done. In other words, the political opposition to it would not overwhelm the support that you have for it. If you tried to take on all those things, I think as a practical matter you just wouldn’t get it done.
GLENN: Let me ask you this. We’ve talked about this before and I think I’m a lot further down the road than you are, but I think you’re at least on the same path that I am. If you look at CitiBank writing down $18 billion, and I don’t think that’s the end of it, unemployment coming up, inflation now coming up, I feel that we are about to hit very hard economic times and if you throw on global warming treaties, universal healthcare, higher taxes, socialist policies, I don’t see a way, as Medicare, Medicaid and everything else starts to hit us, I don’t see a way that we economically survive with the kinds of policies that the Democrats are going to put into place if they win next year. Right or wrong?
GIULIANI: Well, I agree with that. I think it would be devastating to our economy, it would really harm it, it would put a — I describe it as putting a lid on our economy. You know, putting a halter on it so that it wouldn’t be able to grow.
GLENN: I was — I just had a five-day hospital stay and it was one of the worst experiences of my life and all these liberal blogs came out and said, oh, I wish he would have died in the hospital; now he’s going to come out with some epiphany and said we should have universal healthcare and I came out and said the exact opposite. We need people who care, who remember that care is part of healthcare. I felt like I was being pushed out.
GIULIANI: Absolutely right. You need a personal relationship with your doctor. You need a personal relationship with a healthcare provider that you have so that you can make decisions with them.
GLENN: Right. And when somebody asked me last night, they said, who is the guy — I think it was on CNN. They said who is the guy that you would want for healthcare, I said Rudy Giuliani. Could you please explain your healthcare proposal?
GIULIANI: Sure. My healthcare proposal is a tax exclusion of $15,000 if you buy your own health insurance, if you buy it personally. If you can buy it for $12,000, you get a $3,000 health savings account which you can put aside. It’s yours. Nobody can touch it and you can use it for regular and ordinary healthcare expenses. What this will do, I believe, is move millions of people to the private healthcare market. That will have the impact of driving down the cost of private healthcare. If 15 million people are buying private health insurance instead of 17 million people, it’s going to cost half the price.
GLENN: What Democrat would you rather face?
GIULIANI: Oh, I don’t care, Glenn. Not only don’t I care, I don’t have anything to say about it. So you sort of have to be open to —
GLENN: There’s not one that you go — wait a minute. Hang on. There’s just —
GIULIANI: Either Obama or Clinton, right?
GLENN: Well, no, you could face socialist John. I think he should wear a star on a furry cap. I’ve never seen anything like it.
GIULIANI: Well, John Edwards doesn’t have a chance at this point but the other two, it could be either one of them.
GLENN: Yeah. You about I mean, Dennis Kucinich, —
GIULIANI: It’s still more likely Hillary, I think.
GLENN: — is still in there fighting. All right, Rudy Giuliani, thank you very much.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
GLENN: Best of luck to you, sir. We’ll talk to you again.