Political attack dogs, like their furry namesake, come in many breeds. But even in the same breed, no two attack dogs are exactly the same. And so it was with two former Republican mayors of New York City, who treated viewers of the Republican and Democratic national conventions to wildly different displays.
Rudy Giuliani’s full-throated, high-volume speech at the GOP confab in Cleveland two weeks ago sought to drown out any thought that Democrat Hillary Clinton was anything less than an accessory to murder.
“It was Hillary Clinton who advocated for the overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya. Now Libya is in chaos,” Giuliani shouted. “Hillary Clinton is accountable for this and much more.
“Her dereliction of duty and failure to keep her people safe played a major role in the horrific Islamic terrorist murders on Sept. 11-12, 2012, in Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four brave Americans: our Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and CIA agents Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty,” he continued. “And Clinton, and the Obama administration, for political reasons, lied about the purpose of the attacks including her lying directly to the families of those who were killed.”
Mighty strong words. But those attacks were rivaled by Giuliani’s successor in office, and former Republican, Michael Bloomberg, who took to the Democratic podium one week later to go billionaire to billionaire against Donald Trump. Unlike Giuliani, Bloomberg didn’t appear to believe that he had to growl or shout, or even bare his teeth, in order to make his points. But he also was on the attack, letting his wealth and entrepreneurial success add volume to what was otherwise a low-key, but focused, speech.
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us!” Bloomberg said. “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.
“Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits and angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off,” added Bloomberg, now an announced Independent. He went on to call Trump a “dangerous demagogue,” a “risky, reckless and radical choice.”
We have seen enough of the relentless (even if sometimes entertaining) attacks from both parties. With some 100 days left until Election Day, we hope that the candidates and their surrogates will focus their comments on the policies and positions that really matter, rather than the negativity, insults and accusations of the attack teams. American voters deserve a comprehensive exploration of the issues by the candidates in order to help them decide for whom they should vote, rather than for whom they shouldn’t.
Unfortunately, there is little chance that will happen.