Giuliani: Clinton Spewing ‘Political Venom’ on Iraq

By A'Melody Lee

Sep 12, 2007 2:49pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis, Jan Simmonds, Jennifer Parker, and Sunlen Miller Report:

One day after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., sharply questioned the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Rudy Giuliani blasted his Democratic presidential rival, accusing her of spewing "political venom" in the Iraq war debate.

"I don’t know what she’s trying to say when she’s accusing a general of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief,;" Giuliani said Wednesday on the "Randy and Spiff" show, a radio program which airs in Atlanta. The former New York mayor repeated his criticism of the Democratic frontrunner for president later in the day Wednesday during a media availability in Akron, Ohio.

When Army Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker came before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Clinton said that their claims of progress in Iraq require a "willing suspension of disbelief."

"Despite what I view is your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today," said Clinton, "I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."

Giuliani accused Clinton of "playing into" a MoveOn.org ad that ran in the New York Times Monday that read: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

After co-host Spiff Carner said, "She’s trying to tell us that she knows more about the whole situation than he does," Giuliani shot back by saying, “Doesn’t it also sound like she’s also saying that he isn’t telling the truth?"

"I really do think to accuse a general of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ particular in the atmosphere that Moveon.org has created with these terrible attacks, I don’t know, I mean I think that’s not the way in a responsible way to go about , you know, forging the foreign policy of the United States and the military policy of the United States," said Giuliani. "I think this name calling, you know, saying to people, ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ and then saying the horrible thing they said about betrayal — that is the last thing we need right now."

"What we need right now," he added, "is a reasoned account, we need statesmanship not political venom."

The Clinton campaign responded to Giuliani’s charge that the former first lady is spewing "political venom" by suggesting that the national Republican frontrunner is oblivious to the real situation in Iraq.

"Mayor Giuliani might be content to bury his head in the sand when it comes to ending the war in Iraq," said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer, "but Senator Clinton will continue to ask the hard questions in an effort to get our troops home."

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