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Rudy Giuliani attacks Barack Obama for his friends -- and gets called out over one of his own

October 7, 2008 | 10:16 am

Republicans far and wide have eagerly jumped on the assertion Monday by top Barack Obama aide David Axelrod that the candidate was unaware of Bill Ayers' background as a violent radical when the two first met in the mid-1990s.

Sarah Palin pressed the GOP attack today while campaigning in Florida (our colleague Mark Silva has the details at the Swamp).

Sometimes, though, a particular surrogate may not match up well with delivering a particular message. That appeared to be the case this morning, on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."

Rudy Giuliani, sitting on the set's couch, castigated Obama for "a pattern" of apparently not being fully aware of the views and detects of some of his associates, mentioning the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Chicago crook Tony Rezko, along with Ayers. The bottom line, the former New York mayor said, was that all this showed Obama lacked "the judgment" to serve as president.

On camera next was Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, speaking from Nashville, the site of tonight's town hall faceoff between his candidate and John McCain. And Gibbs was ready with an acerbic response.

He noted that Giuliani has been the main advocate for Bernard Kerik, New York's former police commissioner, to be named head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. President Bush made the nomination, only to quickly withdraw it when a morass of legal and personal problems surrounding Kerik surfaced (he currently is under federal indictment for conspiracy, mail fraud and several other charges).

As a result, Gibbs said, "taking judgment advice" from Giuliani "is a little bit like being called ugly by a frog."

The not-to-be missed exchange can be seen here.

-- Don Frederick

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