CNN's Toobin: 'Militaristic, Authoritarian' Giuliani's Words 'Outrageous'

January 31st, 2008 2:16 AM

On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin bizarrely objected to Rudy Giuliani's choice of words in his speech endorsing John McCain when the former mayor argued that McCain should be the next "Commander-in-Chief of the United States," instead of "Commander-in-Chief of the military," as the CNN analyst called the former mayor's statement "pretty outrageous." Toobin further contended that Giuliani's words were an example of his "militaristic, authoritarian approach that I think is just not right. ... That's not what the President does. He doesn't run the country." (Transcript follows)

At about 6:40 p.m. on the January 30 show, host Wolf Blitzer led Toobin, Gloria Borger and Jack Cafferty in a discussion that included reaction to Giuliani's speech, which had run live earlier that hour. After Borger gave a positive review of the speech, Toobin responded:

I don't want to dissent too much. I mean, I think Giuliani said something that was very helpful to McCain. I think it's certainly good. However, he did say something that is really pretty outrageous. He said he thought McCain should be "Commander-in-Chief of the United States." The President is not Commander-in-Chief of the United States. He's Commander-in-Chief of the military. And that is an example of, you know, Giuliani's, kind of, militaristic, authoritarian approach that I think is just not right. And even the President, that's not what the President does. He doesn't run the country.

Below is a transcript of a portion of Giuliani's speech, which aired about 6:10 p.m., that included the former mayor's reference to McCain becoming "Commander-in-Chief of the United States":

And so deciding who to endorse, in my particular case, is not difficult because if I endorsed anyone else, you would say I was flip-flopping after having already endorsed John. John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next Commander-in-Chief of the United States. He is an American hero, and America could use heroes in the White House. He's a man of honor and integrity, and you can underline both "honor" and "integrity."