Meet the Press   |  January 19, 2014

Giuliani: Christie Investigation a 'Partisan Witchhunt'

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defends N.J. Gov. Chris Christie from remarks made earlier on the show by  state Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> me turn now to the former mayor of new york city , republican presidential candidate , as well rudy giuliani who is with us from palm beach this morning. mr. mayor, welcome.

>> good morning. thank you for having me.

>> you've just heard from the assemblyman.

>> i did.

>> is this an even handed approach as an investigation or do you think it's a political witch hunt ?

>> david, when you announce before you even investigate you don't believe the subject of the investigation or the person who's the ultimate focus of the investigation it would seem to me he has an ethical obligation to step down. he's no longer an impartial arbiter of the facts. he's announced he doesn't believe governor christie . i don't know how he could come to that conclusion. there are no facts on the table that contradict the governor. every fact seems to indicate governor christie is telling 9 truth. whether he is he isn't, that's what the investigation is for. the person leading the investigation has now announced the conclusion of the investigation he believes he's not telling the truth. he should not be handling the investigation. no sense of credit be the and clearly is a partisan witch hunt . my goodness, the head of the congressional re- election committee for the dras was down here protesting governor christie . a national democrat protesting in front of a fund-raiser when governor christie is down here. clearly, this is a very, very well orchestrated democratic kind of organizational effort to try to hurt governor christie who after all was the only republican, was the only republican who was beating hillary clinton in any poll at any time.

>> i certainly under the potential motivation of the democrats. at the same time, isn't that the classic deflection? what about the merits? you heard the hoboken mayor. had you have seen some of the evidence trail. these are senior aide who's ordered this closure. how concerned are you about, let me start with, this new charge of bullying. how much weight do you give that?

>> well, i don't know. mayor zimder just shortly before she made this revelation said that she didn't believe that any holdup in the funds had anything to do with any kind of retribution for not endorsing the governor. i'm informed she said that. she also said she liked working with governor christie . so i this i you have to look at her current statement in light of her former statementses before this became al orchestrated pilon. look, the allegations are serious about the closure of the bridge. no question about it. but on the other hand, the governor faced up to the allegations in a very serious way.

>> you're a former prosecutor.

>> an hour and a half press conference.

>> i'm sorry, i didn't mean to interrupt you.

>> he held an hour and a half press conference. he held the people accountable who were responsible for it, something the president has failed to do with benghazi, failed to do with the irs . he's given an example of a leader taking responsibility for something that was no question about it, david, wrong, this shouldn't have happened. beyond stupid to try to get back at a guy for not endorsing the governor by hurting the people of new jersey. totally crazy.

>> mayor, you raise again the specter of the irs and other republicans have done that. i think it's fair to point out that for those who is have raised that issue, what they said is the culture was created by president obama for this kind of abuse to have occurred. that link has never been proven or established. but if that's your standard, then isn't governor christie accountable for creating a culture where this kind of abuse cos have occurred and been ordered by top lieutenants?

>> that happens four or five times in every administration, every governor, every mayor, every president has his people do something wrong and then all of you rightly ask, did the culture create it, didn't it. if the culture did the create it, you've got to change the culture. that's different than saying you're responsible for abusing power, you're a bully, you're terrible, you're awful. the president says he didn't know what happened with the irs . i believe that's true. the issue gets resolved if the president straightens it out and it doesn't happen again. that's the way you evaluate one of those things. that's a very, very ambiguous and amorphous charge that the culture created it things go wrong in every administration so then the person in charge has to take accountability for it and make it clear i didn't want you to do that. i can't tell you how often i had to do that. people would do things they thought i wanted it, i didn't, i'd have to say i don't want it and it didn't happen again.

>> final question for you. as to whether christie 's political prospects in 2016 should he decide to run, if they've been scrambled when you look at these questions and this investigation about the bridge and other issues when you look at hillary clinton and questions about the benghazi fallouten an questions for her, at the end of the day , you've run for president and you watched this closely, do you think it's still christie versus clinton?

>> could be. could be. i can see this working out to chris's favor. i don't mean the underlying facts. they were wrong but the fact is, things go wrong, thingsing will go wrong if he or hillary clinton become president. the question is how are they going to handle if. he's given a textbook case in how to handle it, stand up, answer the questions, hold people accountable. make sure it doesn't happen again. i think the test of time will tell you who the candidates are going to be. i don't want to remind you who the candidates were back when i was running at this point.