October 23rd, 2007
09:31 AM ET
4 years ago

Rangel: Giuliani 'embarrasses us'

Watch Wolf Blitzer's interview with Rep. Rangel.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, sharply criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Rudy Giuliani's personal life Monday, highlighting the fact that the former New York City mayor and his wife have each been married three times.

"Two people, six spouses. It's a little complicated if you're not religious, especially if you're running against a Mormon," Rangel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in a reference to Giuliani's chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. For the record, Romney has only been married once.

"I think America has to look at all these things, and there are enough moles on this man that embarrasses those of us who have sought public life," the 19-term New York congressman added. "When we get involved in public life, it means we're in a goldfish bowl. It would seem to me, with all the breaks the mayor had, being involved with his personal problems, he would thank God he's gotten as far as he did go without making the politicians get involved in his personal life."

Rangel brushed aside the notion that criticizing Giuliani's personal life exposes Hillary Clinton to similar criticism. The former first lady’s own marital troubles have been well documented.

"You can say it over and over and over again. This woman got married [and] stayed married [to] the same husband. When they had problems, she stuck with him. You tell me what in her personal life is something she should be ashamed of, and I want to talk about it."

Contacted by CNN, Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "This kind of ugly, personal attack isn't even worth a response."

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– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Karen,nj

    Well, Charlie Rangel did a very good job of breaking down Rudy. I think that he has hurt Rudy's chances somewhat which I think is good. Rudy was not a very good mayor and he would not make a very good president.

    October 22, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Duane Lanham, Fairfield, CT

    This is a cheap shot by Rangel that embarrasses me to be a Democrat. It's bad enough that the Republicans deem it necessary to drag personal issues into the mainstream of politics. We should rise above that 100%.

    October 22, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. ronnie knoxville, tn

    I don't think Rangel should judge because one of his own party, Barney Frank, had plenty of questionable personal behavoir and he's STILL IN OFFICE.

    October 22, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Levek

    Ok, I'm a huge Hillary supporter but is this guy serious? This type of attack is hitting way below the belt. Who cares if the guy has been divorced. I'm far more concerned with the fact that the neocons who put Bush into office are now rallying to Giuliani's camp. That's something that America should know more about because personally, it scares the hell out of me.

    October 22, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I could care less about Rudy's many wives or harem or whatever. But I DO care that he's a stupid opportunist who supports the failed policies, corruption and cronyism of the past seven years.

    October 22, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Phthalo Blue, Greensboro, NC

    Rangel has a lot of nerve. Has he been living under a rock for that last 20 years? The Clintons have so much mud in their past (more than all the other candidates combined!) it's not the least bit funny. Allegations of rape, embezzling, just to name a few. When did the sex lives and marital status of Congress become important all of a sudden? When Slick Willy was caught with his zipper down in the Oval Office, Democrats said that his private life wasn't any indication of his leadership qualities. So, why now do we have Rangel calling Giuliani out? Glass houses..... he's opening a can worms and I'm not even a Giuliani supporter!

    October 22, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Charles Wilkins, Smithfield Pa

    At least Rudy married the women he slept with. Can't say the same in the Clinton family. Get a life. You're barking up the wrong tree if you want to talk moral values....... Talk about things the average family wants hear, like taxes, homeland security, social security, etc.......

    October 22, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Perry, Seattle, WA

    Sick 'em I think Dems should be very careful about sending out the attack hounds on personal matters. Those kinds of things get as much blowback as anything–didn't the Petraeus/Betray Us debacle teach us anything?

    October 22, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Corbett, Seattle WA

    Bunch of dumbasses are going to make posts about how this is a "calculated move" that exploits this and that. But deep in your hearts, all of you have to admit that this is some pro-politics. It is political art and honest passion. Its the way things should be managed.

    October 22, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Wow I thought all this time it was the Republicans who cherished the institution of marriage. It makes me laugh so hard when I hear conservatives criticize Hillary for making her marriage work. Say what you will about Hillary, but it takes tremendous courage and class to be humiliated on a world stage and remain publicly unfazed by it.

    I think Chuck Rangel is right and appropriate in his criticism of Giuliani.

    Anyone who would choose to be divorced more than once seeking the highest office in the land should be subject to more scrutiny. When the going gets tough you can't divorce America. You have to figure out how to make it work. Giuliani needs to realize this and realize it FAST.

    HILLARY 2008

    October 22, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Rangel's comment is so inappropriate I can't believe he's not being criticized for saying it. Leave Giuliani and his wives alone. Divorce doesn't make one a bad person.

    October 22, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Ray, Rochester

    If Hillary doesn't immediately disavow this idiot's comments, she deserves EVERYTHING the "vast right wing conspiracy" throws at her.

    Someone should take a look into Charlie's closet. I'm sure there are quite a few interesting things hanging around.

    This is why the Dems will lose again in 2008. Their party is populated with morons like Charlie.

    Look for his "It was taken out of context...I was misquoted" line any moment.

    Sorry Charlie...a horse's rear is a horse's rear. And you are one big one.

    October 22, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Gary ADkisson

    It is not only worth a response it deserves an AMEN!

    I am a conservative. I am a values voter and Giuliani is not on my radar.

    October 22, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Bob, Seattle, WA

    One of, if not THE most EMBARASSING of all black leaders (puppet figure heads that ambulance chase the 'cause' of the day for the photo op) trying to pin that label on a respected (and feared by extremists on a global basis)and proven leader takes, well .... EMBARASSING HOT AIR..............

    October 22, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Jack, Clarkston, Michigna

    Oh, but a blue dress in the oval office
    is okay???? Better get on another
    topic buddy, at least he knew when to
    say enough, pun.

    October 22, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Wittgenstein, Scottsdale, Arizona

    Mr. Rangel does both Giuliani and Clinton a disservice with this junk. I'm a middle of the road guy who might vote for Hillary if she's the only alternative to the far right. However, this nonsense from Rangel is the kind of idiotic shooting from the hip that feeds the right's hysteria. Is this the best he can come up with?

    October 22, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    hahahahaha quick change the topic Rudy!

    October 22, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. MikePost, Bosie, Idaho

    And Republicans are the ones who oppose gay marriage. Give me a break with this one man one woman BS!

    October 22, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. pbj, San Ramon, CA

    At least Giuliani has the decency to marry his mistresses, unlike Bill Clinton who throws them to the wolves if they ever surface to embarrass him. As for Hillary, what kind of a woman would let her husband treat her like a door-mat over and over (and over and over) again? Is her political ambition that much greater than her dignity and self-respect? If Rangel wants to help Hillary, he should remember the relationship between stones and glass houses.

    October 22, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. enock kebati, Rosemount, Minnessota

    you got it right sir. Hillary has been marred only once, i have never had anything immoral about her. Those people who mock her, do so because she is smart. The woman is just lovable. I cant wait January 20th 2009. Go on baby.

    October 22, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. LaAngeloMysterioso - NYC

    You do ugly well Mr. chairman of Ways and Means. How about a budget? Or does poor legistlation like the Armenian resolution thrill you. Are Democrats happy with not punishing this administration for changing WMD data taking only Scooter Libby as a sacrificial lamb. You deserve your approval rating.

    October 22, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. jfz, napa, ca

    Since when was Charlie Rangel anointed as an authority on marriage???

    October 22, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. Collin, Chicago, IL

    And just what does a person's marital history have to do with their ability to lead?

    Sounds like Charlie Rangel is looking for something to attack Giuliani on.

    This coming from a man who violated house ethics rules in 2002 for a trip to Cuba. But yet he is concerned about Rudy's marriages.

    Talk about desperate for material to take a shot at Rudy for.

    October 22, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Dennis, Anchorage, Alaska

    Mitt and Rudy are such hypocrites. You Republicans who support them are hypocrites as well. What happened to family values and following God's word. At least Hillary has faith, and the personal strength to be with someone she loves even through hard times. It's a determinant of her strength, faith and character, and I'm glad to be voting for her in 2008!

    October 22, 2007 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    If he can't committ to a marriage, how is he going to committ to the American people? Will he want a divorce from the presidency also when times get rough? Or will he stick it out?

    October 22, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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