From NBC's Andy Merten
Taking questions regarding embattled former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who will likely be indicted today on charges of tax fraud, corruption, and conspiracy, Giuliani repeated past statements that he made a mistake in not fully vetting his appointee, but shifted focus to his other successes as mayor.
"I have pointed out that I think I made a mistake in not checking him out more carefully," said the Republican presidential hopeful in Dubuque, Iowa this morning. He then quickly shifted to touting his overall success during his term, adding, "But when you balance that mistake against all the successes that we had, and the reality that you make some mistakes and you make some correct decisions, I think the overwhelming record is a record of great success."
Giuliani evoked the reduction of crime and welfare recipients in New York City during his tenure as measures of his correct decisions, citing a 67 percent drop in homicides and an elimination of 640,000 individuals on Welfare payments.
The national GOP frontrunner has used this tactic of addressing past mistakes -- both in his public and private lives -- throughout the campaign. "I am not running as the perfect candidate," he said, "and I'm not running as the perfect president -- what I'm running as is somebody who's had a great deal of success."
But while Giuliani is addressing his past mistakes head-on, he is also using his moments with the press to highlight the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton. Both today and during his endorsement press conference with evangelical leader Pat Robertson yesterday in Washington, he made a point to highlight his staunch opposition of allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses -- something his potential opponent has not yet taken a clear stance on.