Rudy Giuliani photo

Excerpts of Remarks in Bedford, New Hampshire

June 11, 2007

"We've tried to study what we think are the most important issues, at least at this point in the election, and we tried to look forward to the future: you know, what are going to be the things that lead us into the future in a confident, effective, and optimistic way. So we're laying out a declaration of 12 commitments to the American people. It's a group of promises, of things that this campaign is going to be about and my administration will be about. They're commitments that, over a period of time, we will describe in much greater detail. … These are the 12 things that I believe will change the way we look at this campaign. A lot of what the Democrats are doing is like looking in the rear-view mirror. They want to take the country and they want to take it back to where it used to be in the 1990s: higher taxes, being on defense against terrorism. My commitment is all to the future. We look back only to look at our mistakes and improve on the mistakes we made in the past. We completely look forward. So these are 12 commitments as to the future of this country. And our campaign and our political party should be about the future. My focus when I ran for mayor of New York City was on the future, and it will be in this campaign.

"What the whole thing of being president of the United States or mayor of a city or governor of a state is about, it's about trying to hand off your city, your state, your government, better than you found it -- very, very much improved beyond where you found it. So we're going to lay out a mission of reform and change. We're going to lay out a mission of overcoming new challenges. We're going to lay out a mission of doing what other people think are impossible. I love that. I love doing what people think are impossible.

"Nothing energizes people more than doing the impossible. And when we lay out these commitments as to many of these, you know what you're going to hear in the next couple of days/weeks? … ‘It's impossible; it can't be done.' … Every promise I made running as Mayor of New York City, they said couldn't be done. … And the whole theory was New York City was unmanageable, ungovernable. Nobody could do anything about it. Four or five mayors before had tried; they had all failed. ‘That's impossible.' Well, when we lay out these commitments, you're going to hear that, too. You're going to hear: ‘It's impossible.' ‘It can't be done.' ‘Nobody can do it.' That is exactly the spirit and the energy that we need to get it done. Because here is the great genius of the American people: We do things that people don't expect can be done. But you've got to learn to energize people. … This is not about government. It's about you. You're the thing that makes things work. People are. Government either interferes or helps. Government doesn't control. If you can figure that out -- if you can figure that out, you can figure out how to do the impossible. So that's the spirit in which we're going to lay out these commitments to the American people. They are about optimism; they are about the future. … Leadership is about taking your eyes that are planted down like this now, worried about this thing and that thing, and it's to get your eyes up and focused on the future: what we can do, what we can accomplish, never taking no for an answer, and being willing to push ahead, despite the fact that pessimists and others say it's impossible."

To view a list of Mayor Giuliani's 12 Commitments to the American People, please visit:

Rudy Giuliani, Excerpts of Remarks in Bedford, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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