When Rudy Giuliani left office in 2001, he was worth a little less than $2 million. But official filings show he now could be worth 30 times that amount. And that has critics charging he’s exploited a tragedy.
Giuliani’s become a multi-millionaire since Sept. 11. And that’s not sitting well with FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches.
“He’s making all this money on the backs of my dead son and all the other dead victims that day,” Riches said.
That’s a serious charge, but it’s echoing among Giuliani’s critics in wake of his financial disclosures this week. It turns out the former mayor could be worth up to $66 million.
Last year he collected speaking fees of $11.4 million, consulting fees of $4.1 million and fees from his Texas law firm of $1.2 million.
Giuliani biographer Wayne Barrett said he’s attended some of Giuliani’s lucrative speeches.
“He’s recycled his 9/11 talk for up to $200,000, you know, (based on) what happened that morning and then he has the six principals of leadership, and the seventh should be milk a tragedy for millions,” said Barrett, the co-author of “Grand Illusion.”
But not everyone agrees.
Giuliani biographer Fred Siegel said Giuliani deserves all the applause he’s received since 9/11.
“You need to remember when he went about this terror protection for five years he took a lot of flack because people thought it was an imaginary problem,” Siegel said.
The issue arises as Giuliani is having the best week of his campaign. Not surprisingly, it happened when he invoked 9/11.
“I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11,” Giuliani said at the second GOP debate.
Voters usually don’t care if a candidate has money — just look at Michael Bloomberg — but profiting from a tragedy is another matter. If voters decide that’s the case here, it could dog Giuliani’s campaign for months to come.
Giuliani will lay out his case for the presidency on Thursday night at a Midtown fundraiser for the state GOP. His closest rival for the Republican nomination, Sen. John McCain, will appear as well.