In an August 23 article on former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's recent campaign swing through New Hampshire, USA Today reporter Jill Lawrence wrote: "Suffice it to say Republicans have never had a presidential candidate like this -- half Woody Allen, half Rambo and 100% cerebral."
This is the first time Media Matters for America has documented a news outlet comparing Giuliani to the fictional character John Rambo, the Medal of Honor-winning former Green Beret portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in numerous action films. However, media figures have repeatedly depicted Giuliani as a tough guy:
- On the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, MSNBC host Chris Matthews called Giuliani a "street fighter," adding, "He was there on the curb when 9-11 struck. He had soot on his face."
- On the May 16 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, CNBC chief Washington correspondent and Wall Street Journal national political editor John Harwood, comparing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Giuliani, claimed: "Rudy Giuliani also has a bit of a claim to combat in a different way, because he was on the ground in 9-11."
- On the May 2 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Matthews asked Mike DuHaime, campaign manager for Giuliani: "Who would win a street fight ... Rudy Giuliani or [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, who would win that fight?" Matthews said that the fight would take place "over in Queens somewhere ... a dark night, it's about 2 in the morning. Two guys are out behind the building, right?" DuHaime responded, "I am putting my money on Rudy on that one." Matthews added, "If [Giuliani] wins that notion, he is the next president."
- In a May 29 front-page profile of Giuliani -- headlined "To Temper Image, Giuliani Trades Growl for Smile" -- New York Times reporter Michael Powell wrote that Giuliani is a "commanding daddy of a candidate" and "is the father" when compared with other presidential candidates of both parties.