Brokaw falsely claimed Giuliani's Florida ads "don't mention terrorism"
On Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw claimed that Rudy Giuliani's television ads airing in Florida "don't mention terrorism." In fact, just two days earlier, the Giuliani campaign launched a new ad, airing in West Palm Beach, that contains video footage of New York City in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
On the January 20 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw claimed that Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's television ads airing in Florida "don't mention terrorism." In fact, just two days earlier, the Giuliani campaign launched  a new ad, airing in West Palm Beach, that contains video footage of New York City in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The footage appears as the narrator says of Giuliani: "[W]hen the world wavered. And history hesitated. He never did."
From the January 20 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press:
TIM RUSSERT (host): Let's start with the Republicans. Tom Brokaw, John McCain wins South Carolina, a week from Tuesday, he goes to Florida. Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, at least, all lying in wait.
BROKAW: You know what it reminds me of now, Tim, is that in rural America, they have these quarter-mile dirt tracks, and they have wreck-'em derbies. And they put all the cars on the track at the same time, and they run into each other until there's just one car standing. I think we've got a wreck-'em derby going on in the Republican Party right now.
I've just gotten back from Florida. Rudy Giuliani's ads on the air don't mention terrorism. He's the man who reduced the corporate taxes in the city of New York, created new jobs, reduced crime, and also took a lot of people off the welfare rolls.
So this election on the Republican side now is changing both in tone and in content. And it seems to me that John McCain -- who, I suspect everyone around this table shared my views six months ago that he was down for the count -- has made an astonishing comeback. And people are looking for authenticity, and it may be embodied by John McCain on the Republican side.
According to a January 18 press release  on Giuliani's campaign website:
The Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee today announced the launch of a new television ad entitled "It Matters." The ad is airing in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Visit http://www.joinrudy2008.com  to view the ad. The script is below.
Script for "It Matters":
Voice Over: "When corruption ruled, he challenged it. When welfare failed, he changed it. When crime thrived, he fought it. When government broke, he fixed it. And when the world wavered. And history hesitated. He never did. Rudy Giuliani. Leadership. When it matters most."
Mayor Giuliani: "I'm Rudy Giuliani and I approve this message."
On January 18, Talking Points Memo blogger-reporter Greg Sargent posted  a copy of the ad on TPM Election Central. Sargent wrote:
Rudy Giuliani's new ad, running in the West Palm Beach area, uses actual video footage from 9/11 to promote Rudy's candidacy -- and includes this surprising line about the terror attacks:
"When the world wavered, and history hesitated, he never did."
The suggestion appears to be that Rudy's response to the disaster was better than that of literally the rest of the world -- better than Bush's, better than that of the first responders or the people depicted in the ad running from the disaster, better than America as a whole. Indeed, Rudy's response showed him to be stronger and more unshakable than all of history.
Of course, in reality Rudy had nothing to do with America's response to the disaster.