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Giuliani Admits Iraq Group 'Mistake'

Cutie Rudy blew his chance to beef up his foreign relations skills by participating in the Iraq Study Group.

Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday it was a mistake for him to join the Iraq Study Group, on which he lasted just two months and failed to show for any official meetings. The former New York mayor has tried to tamp down criticism in recent days after Newsday reported that Giuliani was a no-show for two of the group's meetings and instead attended paid public appearances.

"I thought it would work, but then after a month or two I realized the idea that I was possibly going to run for president would be inconsistent with that," Giuliani said during a campaign stop in Iowa.

Giuliani said the main reason he quit was that it "didn't seem that I would really be able to keep the thing focused on a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution."

Turns out that excuse is bull, as hilzoy at Obsidian Wings reports (crossposted from an earlier Wizbang Blue report on Thomas Ravenel's cocaine arrest):

...there was [this] news about Giuliani skipping all the meetings of the Iraq Study Group (well, all the meetings that took place before he finally resigned) because it conflicted with his fundraising:

    "Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

    Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.[...]

Then there was his lame justification for missing the meetings: "as someone considered a potential presidential candidate, the Mayor didn't want the group's work to become a political football. That, coupled with time constraints, led to his decision." The problem with this is obvious: if Giuliani felt that way, why not just decline the invitation to join the ISG in the first place, or resign as soon as the problem became clear? And guess what? Greg Sargent does the requisite checking and finds out that Giuliani's excuse doesn't hold water:

    "Rudy himself was saying that he was a "potential Presidential candidate" five months before agreeing to join the ISG. He even openly stated that he'd be actively considering a run during the same year -- 2006 -- that the ISG would be doing its work. So why did Rudy join it in the first place?

    His campaign is now saying that he backed out of his ISG commitment because the fact that he was seen as a potential candidate could politicize his work for the panel -- even though that didn't stop him from signing up in the first place.

    This is just total bull, pure and simple. No polite way to describe it."

No wonder Giuliani got it wrong in the debate when he puffed up and challenged Ron Paul's assertions about the reasons we were attacked on 9/11. Rudy Giuliani doesn't know and doesn't care about the real reasons -- all he cares about is getting elected.

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