Slate's Jeremy Stahl believes Rudy Giuliani is getting a bad rap from "some hyperventilating on Twitter from outlets saying that Giuliani was ignoring 9/11." Stating "his phrasing was misleading," the ex-mayor "did not rewrite history to delete the worst foreign attack on U.S. soil since the War of 1812."
Stahl argues Giuliani
credited (vice-presidential nominee and former U.S. Representative) Pence’s work on the Patriot Act with preventing more attacks before pivoting to his remarks about eight years without another attack. Giuliani clearly meant there wasn't an attack during the 2001–2009 period after 9/11 and not the entirety of the eight years before Obama took office. Again, this was a poorly worded, misleading statement, but Giuliani clearly did not literally mean that 9/11 didn’t happen.
For whatever reason, media outlets reporting the remark as a gaffe have avoided replaying the remark in its context. So, too, has Stahl avoided that context, although it's easier to understand why he has done so. But as sportscaster Werner Wolf often put it, "let's go to the videotape," in this case the YouTube video below in which the ex-mayor is seen remarking
Mike Pence understands this from his time both as the Foreign Affairs Committee, both on the Foreign Affairs Committee, from his very timely visit which I remember to Ground Zero when we were in desperate need of help he was there and from his work on the Judiciary Committee where he helped fashion the Patriot Act. By the way, under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have a successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when [Hillary] Clinton and Obama got into office.
If Giuliani had been crediting primarily Representative Mike Pence rather than President George W. Bush with preventing a terrorist attack, he wouldn't have said "by the way" and "before Obama came along." Giuliani was clearly attributing the absence of in an eight year (not "seven-and-a-half years" or "7+ years") to the Oval Office.
No one believes that the mayor of New York City on 9/11/01 (who did a lousy job both preparing the city for the possibility of a dramatic terrorist attack and managing the aftermath) forgot the events of 9/11; any such reference obviously is meant to be ironic. There is a reason Senator Biden once quipped "I mean, think about it! Rudy Giuliani. There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There’s nothing else! There’s nothing else!”
For most, failure is nothing to brag about; Hillary Clinton does not go on about her e-mail savvy. But similar discretion never stopped Rudy Giuliani from working tirelessly to capitalize on the worst attack in United States history for his own political gain. He never forgot the events of 15 years ago but is only doing what he does best: manipulating pain for gain. It's the same old Rudy.