Sam Allard / Scene
Loomis: "Mayor Giuliani is a hero of mine and a hero of the police."
Thank God no one took a knee during the National Anthem Tuesday morning, when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association to accept the local rank-and-file's Donald Trump endorsement and to stump for the Republican candidate he called “an extraordinary man.”
As at rallies for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump all season long, facts were in somewhat short supply, or at least in far shorter supply than hyperbole and spin. In Giuliani’s estimation, for instance, Hillary is a candidate who “has accomplished nothing”; Trump is a man whose $916 million loss on his 1995 tax returns, recently reported by the New York Times, testifies not to his ineptitude in business, but rather to his greatness, his champion's heart.
“How many people could come back from the loss of a billion dollars?" Giuliani asked, near the end of his 30-minute address. "You know who does? Great people. All great men and women had great failures.”
People like Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Franklin Roosevelt, Giuliani said — they were all people who, like Trump, only failed big because they thought big and they strived big (or, to be fair, because they had a very big case of polio).
"And when they succeed," he said, "they succeed big."
Giuliani, who grew up in an extended family full of police officers, said Trump was an “enormously good man” who has been a supporter of law enforcement for the 28 years he has known him. In this respect, according to Giuliani, Trump is most unlike his opponent.
Sam Allard / Scene
The National Anthem at the CPPA Union Hall.
“Don’t tell me we’re not going through a crime epidemic right now," Giuliani told the crowd. "And don’t tell me police officers aren’t being made the scapegoats of all the social problems. There’s a target on your back and you know it.”
Giuliani spent considerable time and energy offering correctives to what he called the “false narratives” of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the rhetoric of liberal leaders, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton chief among them.
“We have a candidate for president of the democratic party who pronounced during the Baltimore situation — Freddie Gray, if you remember — that all six police officers were guilty," Giuliani said. "She did that from 400 miles away with no knowledge of the facts, without even getting a briefing on it, I think. Because if she had, she wouldn’t have said it... Where is Hillary Clinton’s apology for declaring a police officer guilty before he was found not guilty? Hillary, it works the other way in America. I know you don’t know this because you failed the bar exam.”
To Giuliani, the "whole Ferguson situation" has been "a complete phony,” and the Justice Department — Obama's
Justice Department — has unduly investigated police departments across the country, resulting in court settlements like Cleveland's own Consent Decree.
"[Obama's] justice department...should not be making these decisions," Giuliani said during a Q&A. "Somebody independent should be making these decisions. If the police need independent review, the Justice Department needs independent review much more than the police."
In terms of solutions, Giuliani said Trump would offer African-Americans, who have been instructed to distrust and revile the police due to liberal rhetoric (in his view), a “ladder of success,” where the Democrats would only offer a “lid of dependency.”
Trump would, among other things, dramatically increase the size of the U.S. military, Giuliani said, and restore the positive working relationship between the FBI and local police departments, especially as it pertains to terrorism investigations.
"She has no conception of how to utliize 800,000 police officers to ferret out terrorists before they strike," Giuliani said. "I can assure you that Trump knows how to do that, and I can help him do that."
A reporter asked Giuliani during the Q&A whether or not he'd been promised a role in Trump's administration. Giuliani said that he hadn't and that he was happy where he was, but insisted that Trump would surround himself with hugely successful people.
As for Hillary, not only would she surround
herself with people who wouldn't pass an FBI background check. She herself
wouldn't pass one, in Giuliani's view.
“She is the most anti-police candidate in the history of the United States," Giuliani thundered on. "She doesn’t like you, she doesn’t agree with you, she comes out against you, and if you vote for her, you’re out of your mind.”
The Q&A was interrupted briefly when a Lorain police officer standing behind Giuliani passed out. The gathered police officers quickly summoned an ambulance and tended to him.
CPPA President Steve Loomis concluded the press conference as he began it: with a defense of the association's decision to endorse Donald Trump, even as police-community relations in Cleveland are strained. Lynn Hampton, president of the local Black Shield Police Association (the union for black officers) said a Trump endorsement could increase the existing mistrust
of police by minority communities.
But the Trump endorsement, according to Steve Loomis, "doesn’t make us bigots, it doesn’t make us racists, it doesn’t make us sexists, it makes us Americans. Political freedom is what’s great about this country, and anyone who suggests different about the men and women of this police department, about myself, about Mayor Giuliani, about anyone who has an opposing opinion to theirs, really should re-think what being an American is all about.”
Later in the day, Giuliani was spotted leaving a lunch date with a fella who certainly resembled the lately deposed Ohio-born Fox Chairman Roger Ailes. They are smoking cigars.