The International Association of Fire Fighters released a video this afternoon charging Republican Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani with 9/11 leadership failures while he was mayor that they say led to the deaths of firefighters. (Click here to go to the IAFF site and see the video).
The union also attacked Giuliani on his decision to put his communications center in the World Trade Center even after it was targeted in 1993, and his decision to pull firefighters off search and rescue after $200 million in gold was recovered from the site.
On the show was Harold Schaitberger, President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. (Watch video of that segment here.) We asked for Rudy Giuliani or someone from his campaign to appear on Hardball to discuss these charges, but they declined our invitation.
The Giuliani campaign responded to the video by issuing a press release saying that under Mayor Giuliani, “the FDNY secured $10-million of bunker gear for all firefighters, purchased thermal-imaging cameras, purchased personal alarms for all firefighters and that Mayor Giuliani increased funding for FDNY, updated the aging EMS ambulance fleet, increased staffing from four to five firefighters in 60 engine co’s. and added one new division and two new co’s.”
Another recent campaign press release included this quote from Lee Ielpi, Ladder 2, Retired FDNY: “It’s unfortunate but not surprising that the IAFF union bosses have once again taken the low road in a move clearly out of step with their membership. In 2008, I expect these same union bosses to endorse Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards, so today’s comments are just a first step in that process. Fortunately, rank and file firefighters know the difference between politics and leadership.”