GOP presidential frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani stumbled badly at a town hall meeting in Iowa last night when an audience member baffled him with a trick question about 9/12.
Mr. Giuliani, who has made references to 9/11 the foundation of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, was "like a deer in the headlights" when the surprise question about 9/12 came his way, observers said.
The former New York mayor had been cruising through the town hall meeting up to that point, answering a wide range of questions about immigration, the economy, and global warming, all by referring to 9/11.
But the tone of the event changed abruptly when one audience member, Tracy Klujian of Cedar Rapids, asked the GOP frontrunner, "Can you name one thing that happened on September 12?"
Mr. Giuliani seemed taken aback by the question, clearing his throat and drinking from a glass of water as if to buy time before responding.
"That's a good question," Mr. Giuliani said. "September 12 happened one day after September 11 -- and we must never forget the lessons of September 11."
Mr. Giuliani's aides later said that their candidate had expertly parried a difficult question, but also offered excuses for Mr. Giuliani's apparent failure to refer to any other date besides September 11.
"The man has a lot of dates to keep track of," one aide told reporters. "For one thing, he's had three different wedding anniversaries."
Elsewhere, President Bush eulogized Washoe, the chimp who had a 250-word vocabulary, issuing this official statement: "Me miss Washoe. Me sad Washoe dead."