MANHATTAN — Rudy Giuliani reportedly said he would have stopped the Occupy Wall Street protests "on day one” if he were still mayor of New York City, describing the demonstrators as "bums" and "leftover hippes."
“I would have handled this differently. I took over a city that had had two riots in the two years before I was mayor. I didn't have a riot, because I didn't let it start,” Giuliani said Thursday on Sean Hannity's afternoon radio show, according Newsmax.com.
“I would have stopped it on day one."
The former two-term mayor reportedly said that the First Amendment doesn't give protesters the right to take over private property.
“You have no right to pitch a tent in the middle of New York City, I’m sorry,” he reportedly said. “That is not the First Amendment.”
Giuliani’s comments came as protesters were clashing with police in lower Manhattan on the movement’s two-month anniversary, just days after police raided their Zuccotti Park encampment in the middle of the night.
While Mayor Michael Bloomberg had repeatedly expressed sympathy for the protesters’ frustrations with the economy, Giuliani described demonstrators as “disgruntled bums” and “leftover hippies from the ’60s and ’70s,” Newsmax reported.
“When I see them on television sometimes, particularly the older ones, it looks like I’m seeing the leftover effects of having taken too many drugs when they were 20 years old… They make no sense. They babble,” he reportedly said.
Giuliani added that he was especially shocked by the recent spate of violence at the park.
“The minute you have any place where you have to put up a place [to] protect a woman against rape, then you've got to come in and get rid of those people... You can’t tolerate that in a civilized city,” he reportedly said.
He also said that the protest had begun to erode the city’s credibility overseas.