This past weekend, Rudy Giuliani took the lead in several rounds of negative barbs with Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
On the issues of crime and healthcare, Giuliani chose to show a side that had yet to surface thus far in his run for the White House. There's possibly some explanation for this newfound strategy within the recent polling data which shows that Romney now enjoys a 15-point lead  over Giuliani in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
The major issue Giuliani brought up was the Romney appointee's release, without bail, of a defendant last summer who, at that time, was charged with spitting on a prison guard in February, 2006 and hitting a prison guard in December, 2005 - These assaults occurred while the defendant was serving a 16-year charge on manslaughter. This defendant was arrested this past Monday in the State of Washington and charged with murdering two people in that state. This suspect, had also made death threats against Mitt Romney while Massachusetts Governor and several others.
Replying to Giuliani's criticisms, Romney stated that when he appointed Judge Kathe M. Tuttman, she had a strong record of being a law and order type, being a very strong prosecutor and being a "zealous" advocate for crime victims. It is noteworthy that in the case itself, records show that the prosecutor in the hearing did not chose to bring up the defendants past record of making threats against Governor Romney and others and did not request a separate hearing to determine if the defendant would pose a threat if released, according to CNN . Romney has now called on the judge to resign her position, citing what he called an "inexplicable lack of good judgment".
Giuliani has seized on this misfortune and is attempting to turn it to political advantage, which is unfortunate. Using the circumstances of the crimes in Washington, he has taken the opportunity to question Romney's record on crime and that particular judicial appointee possibly in attempts to deflect the mass criticism he is suffering regarding his own close friend and political appointee, Bernard Kerik Who was federally indicted on November 9TH on charges of tax fraud and obstruction of justice.
Regarding this, Romney replied to Giuliani's criticisms  saying, "[Giuliani] put somebody in place as commissioner who had a very questionable past and recommended to the President of the US this person be made the Secretary of Homeland Security," and said the former mayor should be "the last person" to make negative issues of someone's past appointments. "The ethical conduct in this case of Bernie Kerik reminds us very much of the administration Hillary Clinton was part of." Romney said.
While a candidate has every right to use any event at hand as a political football that they wish, Giuliani took several erroneous liberties over the weekend in attempting to disparage Romney's crime record. Giuliani stated that, "He had an increase in murder and violent crime while he was governor. So it's not so much the isolated situation which he and the judge will have to explain - he's kind of thrown her under the bus, so it's hard to know how this is all going to come out. But the reality is he did not have a record of reducing violent crime."
On Sunday Romney defended himself by saying "He's got a real problem checking facts," and said that violent crime in Massachusetts declined 7 percent while he was governor - The FBI numbers that are available while Romney was in office (Up to 2006) state that violent crime decreased 7.8 percent. Given that both candidates actually have strong records when it comes to violent crime , it was a mistake for Giuliani to take such liberties with the facts and to raise an issue which the two can claim as a push - But, then again, a push does not help a candidate when they are behind by 15 points.
In what can only be seen as piling on Giuliani also spoke yesterday of Romney's healthcare accomplishments in Massachusetts in saying, "When you look back on Romney's governorship of Massachusetts, there's only one accomplishment, and he's running away from that. I don't see where he's going to make the claim to being particularly conservative as the governor of Massachusetts."
Romney once again found himself in the advantageous position of responding to charges against him in saying, ""I was just across the country this week talking about my plan. I'm very proud of my healthcare plan and think it should be a model for other states to adopt." To his credit, Romney was on The Glenn Beck Program on CNN Headline News  within the past two weeks discussing his plan, as well, citing its private-sector, free-market qualities.
If there is one thing that conservatives take pride in, it is the fact that we win the debate every time if we actually have facts that can stand up to scrutiny to back up rhetoric - Seldom, if ever, are conservatives fast and loose with the facts, in that regard.
Giuliani has hopefully learned a lesson over the past few days along these lines, if he wants to court the political demographic that takes pride in it's record of being "Right".