Giuliani Says Saddam Paid Price For Offenses

Friday, May 4th 2007, 2:24 pm
By: News On 6

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Friday that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is paying an eternal and deserved punishment for his brutal life's work.

``You sure wouldn't want to be where Saddam Hussein is, where we helped put him,'' Giuliani said during a campaign stop in eastern Iowa in which he praised President Bush's war on terrorism but acknowledged that mistakes have been made in Iraq.

During a town-hall meeting with some 100 people, the former New York city mayor was asked to compare what Saddam and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld did in the war. Giuliani paused before answering.

``Where is Donald Rumsfeld?'' Giuliani said. ``He's alive, writing a book and living the good life with his family.''

He compared that to Saddam, who was hanged.

``I have a pretty good idea of where he is not. I have a better idea of where he is,'' Giuliani said to cheers and applause. His comments focused on the war and conservative fiscal views, mostly avoiding his more liberal views on issues such as gun control and abortion.

Giuliani, who has a record of favoring abortion rights, was the only Republican candidate who said at the debate Thursday night that ``it would be OK'' if the Supreme Court upholds the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

``It would be OK to repeal it. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist viewed it as precedent,'' he said.

In Iowa, Giuliani's campaign staff made it clear there would be no chance for media to question the candidate and stood between him and reporters.

Though President Bush's approval ratings are low and most polls show the war remains unpopular, Giuliani rushed to the president's defense. He argued that Bush has successfully staved off another round of terror attacks.

``He deserves credit for that,'' Giuliani said. He conceded that there have been mistakes in Iraq, but argued that's far from unique in the prosecution of a war.

``There isn't a war you can find where we didn't make mistakes. The question is do you learn from them and build on them, not declare retreat and run away,'' he said.

Giuliani appeared at a family owned business to tout his push for the elimination of the inheritance tax. That's an issue in Iowa, where farmers face big hurdles passing a farm along to the next generation.

``The government takes more than your heirs get,'' Giuliani said. ``It's a regressive tax and it should be done away with. The death tax should get the death penalty.''

Giuliani, who said he cut taxes about 24 percent while leading New York City, said he would bring his tax-cutting skills to Washington if elected president.

``I ran the most fiscally conservative government in America,'' Giuliani said.