Rudy Giuliani is beginning to get majorly paranoid that his reputation is taking a hit because of public perception that he has a huge problem with alcohol.
That perception was only compounded yesterday by the numerous accusations that the former NYC mayor, lauded as a hero for his performance in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was more than slightly inebriated when he gave a speech at a 9/11 commemorative dinner on Saturday.
I’m not sure I have ever seen someone give a speech at a formal occasion as drunk as Rudy Giuliani is right now at the 9/11 dinner. pic.twitter.com/54G5oCuBe3
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) September 12, 2021
The UK’s Daily Mail directly asked the former personal attorney for Donald Trump whether he had crossed the boundaries of sobriety before delivering his over-the-top address at the memorial event, and Giuliani vociferously protested the characterization of both himself as an alcoholic and the accusations that he was two sheets to the wind while making his raucous remarks at the solemn occasion.
Claiming that he was the victim of a left-wing smear campaign, Giuliani offered an adamant denial of his reported over-indulgence.
“I am not a drunk. I don’t think I’ve ever [been] publicly drunk in my life. The last time I was – was probably in college. I like to drink Scotch and have cigars. That’s where it probably comes from. I drink moderate amounts of Scotch. I mostly drink Scotch because I like to have it with cigars. I didn’t have a cigar last night. And this is a caricature that the left is trying to put on me … I can’t remember the last time that I was drunk. And I’m not just going to put up with it anymore. I’ve got to do something about it,” said the man who has sunk so far from the days he was regularly referred to as “America’s mayor.”
“Yes, I had a Scotch. But I was not drunk. There is a deliberate attempt [by] the left wing to paint me that way,” he told the British tabloid.
“That was a serious speech. To say I mocked anybody is outrageous. And that I was drunk is completely, completely wrong,” Giuliani insisted, referring to allegations that his mimicry of Queen Elizabeth during his speech constituted mockery.
Giuliani called the accusations “an interpretation that’s totally unfair. I use an English accent,” he said before adding “and I have never mocked it. I just like to use an English…I imitate Churchill sometimes.”
However one may decide to interpret Giuliani’s attempts at feigning an upper-crust British accent, it was clear that he was determined to get the message across that he was not the alcoholic that media coverage portrays him as, again returning to defending himself against what he considers to be baseless allegations.
“Yes, of course, I had a Scotch at the beginning of dinner. Beyond that, I didn’t have – it was watered down. Not even sure I drank the whole damn thing.”
“I did a one-hour interview with Steve Bannon. You can watch it on television. See if I’m drunk,” he offered, claiming that he endured the interview only minutes before taking the podium on Saturday night.
“It hurts my reputation for someone to say I’m drunk,” he insisted. “And this is a concerted attempt to do this … I’m willing to be criticized for what’s true. I’m sure as hell not going to be characterized as a drunk, which I’m not.”
Giuliani expanded upon a comment he made to NBC News earlier this year when he told the network that:
‘I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a functioning…I probably function more effectively than 90 percent of the population.’
Asked by the “Daily Mail” whether the term “functioning alcoholic” could be used to describe him, the disbarred lawyer vehemently rejected the characterization.
“I’m not an alcoholic. I use the word functioning, I don’t know why I used the word functioning. I am not an alcoholic. I am 77 years old. I’ve never been an alcoholic. I’ve never been treated for alcoholism. I have worked every day of my life. The longest time I ever took off was for COVID,” he said.
‘If I was an alcoholic, I’d be fricking dead by now. It is [a] complete lie. I’m on television all the time. I’m as lucid as you can be. I’m not demented like Joe Biden. I can go before the Supreme Court … I have already many times. I write. I do a podcast twice a week. I do a radio show … five times a week. I answer questions from people constantly. I’m probably one of the sharpest guys you’re ever going to meet. And you want to put me in a court room and I’ll kick the s*** out of anybody. I am not an alcoholic,” Giuliani concluded.
Somehow it appears a little more than unseemly that the man who pushed Trump’s “Big Lie” about a stolen election while hair dye dripped down his face, the man whose scurrilous — and failed— legal challenges to the election in multiple states led to the suspension of his New York law license, would be bragging about his legal prowess.
Of course, the first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program is admitting that you have an unmanageable problem with alcohol.
With that in mind, it doesn’t look like Rudy Giuliani will be seeking or receiving any meaningful help anytime soon.
Perhaps once the indictments come down after the FBI is through combing though the electronic devices they seized from his home and offices, Giuliani will be able to acknowledge his obvious problem with alcohol.
Judges always seem to like to see a little bit of self awareness from the defendants before them when it comes to sentencing time.
Original reporting by Geoff Earle and Ariel Zilber at The Daily Mail.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.