Transcript: Clinton and Giuliani

GIULIANI: Well, I don't know about that. It was interesting to see her be so definitive about it, but I kind of thought that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What about you? You said a couple of months ago that you would make a decision in November. Polls show you actually as the leading Republican candidate, the leading Republican hopeful, and it's also shaping up potentially to be quite a Republican year in 2010. How hard are you looking at it and will you run?

GIULIANI: Well, I'll take it all under consideration and decide it pretty soon, but I haven't -- haven't really focused on it yet. But I will very soon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you lean for or against?

GIULIANI: Am I leaning for or against? I'm not leaning at all. I'm straight ahead.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Well, then, let's go to the news of the week on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. You saw Secretary Clinton right there.

What I'd like to ask you about, though, are comments you made back in 2006. That's when the 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, was convicted in federal criminal court. You were disappointed that he didn't get the death penalty, but you did praise the overall trial. Here's what you said -- you said, "I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial, that we are exactly what we say we are. We are a nation of law." You called it a symbol of justice then. If criminal court was good enough for Moussaoui, why isn't it good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

GIULIANI: Well, it was, and it would be good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but the reality is, there's another alternative, and the administration for some strange reason is creating the other alternative, military tribunals. They're going to try five other people at least in those military tribunals. I don't understand why they can't try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the military tribunal. That also would demonstrate we're a nation of laws. That is the way in which we have tried enemy combatants in the past, whether it was the second world war or the Civil War. So, we're basically, in this particular case, we're reaching out to give terrorists a benefit that's unnecessary. In fact, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, when he was first arrested, asked to be brought to New York. I didn't think we were in the business of granting the requests of terrorists.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet it does show the world that we have nothing to fear. That is the argument that the attorney general makes. And also, if you look at the history here, you got more than 200 international terrorists in federal prisons right now. Not only Zacarias Moussaoui in the supermax, you've got Ramzi Yousef, Richard Reed, the blind sheikh Abdul Rahman. We have demonstrated that our federal system can handle this, and we can put these people away if necessary.

GIULIANI: But we also demonstrated that our federal system has an enormously protracted process that's going to go on forever. That it grants more benefits than a military tribunal will grant. There's always the possibility of acquittal, change of venue.

And the reality is, George, it also creates an extra risk that isn't necessary. It creates an extra risk for New York. Now, New York can handle it, there is no question about it, but why add an additional risk when you don't have to do that?

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