Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said there will be violence and chaos in the United States if President Trump is defeated, in a fiery speech on the final night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
Giuliani framed the election between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as “a choice between the Democrat policies soft on crime against the Republican program of law and order.” He also described the rioting that has accompanied protests over racial issues in cities around the country this summer as part of a surging “crime wave” that threatens the suburbs.
“It is clear that a vote for Biden and the Democrats creates the risk that you will bring this lawlessness to your city, town or suburb,” Giuliani said, adding, “It can come to where you live.”
Giuliani, who enjoyed a national reputation as an anti-crime crusader during his tenure in City Hall from 1994 to 2001, used New York City to make his case. He began his remarks, which were prerecorded at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., by describing the Big Apple as “overwhelmed by crime” and laying blame at the feet of the current mayor, Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.
“Now today, my city is in shock. Murders, shootings and violent crime are increasing at percentages unheard of in the past. We are seeing the return of rioting and looting,” Giuliani said, adding, “Don’t let Democrats do to America what they have done to New York!”
The number of murders in New York is currently up more than 30 percent compared to last year. Shootings have also increased by about 87 percent. Murders and shootings have risen sharply in many large cities during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Giuliani’s more generalized assertion about an increase in “violent crime” in New York was false. While the rates of murders, shootings and burglaries are all up this year, rates of other major crimes, such as rapes, assaults and robberies, have fallen.
Giuliani then turned to Biden, whom he called “an obviously defective candidate.” He associated Biden to more liberal Democrats and suggested that the former vice president is “a Trojan horse” for Black Lives Matter, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and “their pro-criminal, anti-police, socialist policies.”
The idea of Trump as the last bastion of defense against a tide of crime exemplified by the protests has been a major theme at the convention. Demonstrations have taken place all around the country since May 25, when an African-American man, George Floyd, was killed after being restrained with a police officer’s knee on his neck.
The protests have intensified in recent days in Kenosha, Wis., after a Black man named Jacob Blake was filmed being shot several times in the back by a police officer. In many cities, some rioting and looting has taken place within or alongside the protests. At the Republican National Convention, multiple speakers have baselessly suggested that Democratic support for the Black Lives Matter movement amounts to an encouragement of looting.
Trump has made the idea of “law and order” central to his campaign. According to one Trump ally, Giuliani — a longtime associate of the president who was on his legal team during the impeachment trial earlier this year — has been a major advocate of this approach behind the scenes.
The source said Trump sees Giuliani as an “authoritative figure” on racial issues and crime, given his experience in New York City. While Giuliani oversaw a sharp drop in crime, the New York City Police Department had multiple high-profile controversies over police brutality during his tenure. Giuliani, however, remained a staunch advocate of his police force.
“Rudy’s been successful with the aggressive approach,” the campaign source said of Giuliani’s tenure as mayor.
In his remarks, Giuliani wove a tale that began with Floyd’s death. He claimed that Democrats did not want to work with President Trump to enact criminal justice reform measures because it might “make President Trump appear to be an effective leader.” He then hinted at a conspiracy between Democrats and protesters from the Black Lives Matter and far-left Antifa movements.
“They had a president to beat and a country to destroy,” Giuliani said of Trump’s opponents.
“So, BLM and Antifa sprang into action, and in a flash, hijacked the protests into vicious, brutal riots. From then on, BLM, Antifa and their criminal co-conspirators were in charge. Soon, protests turned into riots in many other American cities, almost all Democrat.”
Giuliani also accused Biden and other Democrats of doing too little to stem violent crime in recent years in the predominantly minority cities they lead.
“It has been like this for decades, and it’s been controlled throughout by Democrats. In fact, shamefully, Obama and Biden did nothing at all to quell the carnage. I guess these black lives didn’t matter to them,” Giuliani said.
There were some notable holes in Giuliani’s narrative. For example, cities run by both Republicans and Democrats have seen spikes in murders and shootings in recent months.
Giuliani also didn’t explain how, if the protests are contributing to rising crime and are aimed at taking on Trump, the chaos would continue if Trump was defeated. However, he confidently declared that the country is facing a grave risk.
“If Biden is elected, along with the Democrats who are unwilling to speak out against this anarchy, then the crime wave will intensify and spread from cities and towns to suburbs and beyond.”
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