October 23rd, 2007
09:31 AM ET
3 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. Patrick, New York,Ny

    Rudy is an embarresment..no doubt bout it

    October 22, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Ticker Shock, Richmond, VA

    Ouch! Go Charles Rangel. It's is a shame that people only see Guiliani as the "I'll save you all from the evil terrorists!" candidate, when in reality he is a sleazy man who associates with other sleazy individuals like Bernard Kerik for instance. And, his being married three times tells me he might not be as stable an individual as he portrays for the cameras. I wouldn't trust him.

    October 22, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. cb, los angeles, ca

    It is ignorant of Rep. Rangel to insinuate that Mr. Romney, by virtue of his Mormon religion, has been married more than once. Mr. Rangel should do his homework before launching uneducated insults. If this is the type of support that Mrs. Clinton garners, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    October 22, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. JWAT, Springboro Ohio

    Please, the only reason Hilary stayed married to her husband was because he was president and his name gives her an edge in the presidential race. From the tales I have heard, had he not been the president she would have given him the boot a long time ago.
    Don't give me all this bunk about you and her for that matter being all up standing and angelic. On Capital Hill every politician is in bed with someone else be it a actual physical body or a special interest group that has bought them off. Politicians are corrupt and no longer represent the voice of main stream America. They all are power hungry and swayed by whatever group can guarantee them another term and more power in office! No one is believable, republican or democrat. They say what they think will get them into office, never intending to deliver on their promises.

    October 22, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. RKA, IL

    What's happening here is obvious. The clinton people are trying to make sure they don't have to face Rudy if she is nominated. First they send out Vilsack to bring up Rudy's personal stuff. Then they run that ad with HIllary in a mask to attack Rudy on the 9/11 issue. Then they bring out Mark Penn to say that they have already beaten Guilliani based on pollster undermine his electability claims. Then they have Rangel out there beating on his personal stuff.

    What this shows is how worried the Clintons are about Giulliani. They know that with his moderate views on social issues, he could play in blue states...especially against Hillary who will not appeal to independents and who may have a lack of enthusiasm with her base because of her prowar positions. They are trying to take down Giulliani now because they are scared of him in the general, regardless of their bravado to the contrary.

    The republicans are so against hillary they are actually thinking of noniminating someone who could take the center away from even the triangulating clintons. HIllary is tipping her hand about her general election weakness against rudy and this is why we democrats need to be smart and nominate someone other than her. She has a very good chance of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If we nominate someone other than Hillary, we will win next year. I know it would feel good to have our polarizing political family replace their polarizing political family, but why do we want to take that risk? Remember who lost congress in 1994 – the clintons. What's good for BIll and Hillary is not what is good for the democratic party or the progressive agenda we need to put forward.

    October 22, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Carla, Plano, TX

    I couldn't agree more. Everyone rips Hillary for her marriage to Bill. I believe that no matter what they love each other. She did the most Christian thing by forgiving him. Or did the right wing conservatives forget that part of Christianity. They have raised a wonderful child and continue to do more for this country than Guliani or any of his ex-wives.

    October 22, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Keith Richards Denver, Colorado

    Rangel; Is that the best you can do? Can't find anything with Gs political record you have to launch personal aattacks? Maybe it's because you know the Clinton's personal life makes Lohan and Spears look like angels!

    October 22, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. david houston texas

    Its refreshing to hear level headed comments from people with some authority. Any regular citizen and the attack dogs would have been sicked with vengence. republican spin machine is so thick and constance its hard to clean up after them.

    October 22, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Bill McKay Cleveland,OH

    Wow. I had hoped we wouldn't see such childish negative campaigning so early in the season.

    I think this alone is a reason to not vote Hilary...acting like a third grader on the play ground:

    "You're the butthead!"
    "No, YOU're the butthead!"

    Yeah...not exactly a productive discourse on the evolution and enhancement of our society.

    October 22, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Personal character does matter to be a president or leader of a country (especially when that polician yet to be elected). His/her persoanl values and character would affect his/her political decisions, not to mention that represents a bad role model to children, women and men.

    The republicans are supposed to be conservatives emphasing family values. Some top replican candidates (giuliani, thompson and mccain) all have multiples marriages.

    It appears that Giuliani is the worst: married 3 times (once to his cousin), with his son not supporting him in the election campaign and daughter supporting obama. If people close to him does not like him, how can he expect the voters not close to him to vote for him?

    To know him is to hate him.

    October 22, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. Josh, Atlanta, GA

    Another bad(bias)heading from CNN. Candidiates cannot be held reliable for what their supporters say every time. Although I do not support Hillary Clinton's campaign and I will never vote for her, she should not be bashed or criticized for what a supporter says. The heading should have said something like Congressman Rangel attacks Guiliani or something like that. With the heading including Clinton, it makes it sound like Hillary is supporting, if not behind, the comments the Congressman makes. Now, I would not put it past Hillary to persuade or ask Rangel to criticize her chief rival for the Presidency, if she won the Democratic nomination. Anyway, Hillary cannot be held accountable for every supporters' comments. The same goes for any other candidate, Republican or Democrat.

    Ron Paul 08'

    October 22, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. Ken, Boston MA

    Rep. Rangel's not one to talk. This loony-toon spent $64,500 of taxpayers money on a self-portrait painting for his office. Rangel should act on his righteous words and correct his baffling, wasteful actions before he condemns others.

    October 22, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Musa, Placentia,CA

    The republicans are genuine hypocrites. They abuse/misuse religion for their narrow political interests. The American people should be smart enough to recognize their deception.

    October 22, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  14. Jezebel, New York, NY

    That's why we have things like divorce, and why we are human (we make mistakes and hopefully correct them with experience). Why should we be ashamed of these laws and means that are there to make us happier? We're not some fake, pathetically perfect, unbearable god.

    October 22, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. Jon S. Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Yeah. The Guiliani spokesperson doesn't have a comment, because the comment is true. Nothing to refute.

    As a Democrat, I find the whole effort by the Republican candidates to fall all over each other to be the most radical right candidate, a joke. Most Americans are not radical right, and it seems foolish to think this sliver of the U.S. population is going to get a candidate elected. Most people are not homophobes, anti-choice, radically anti-immigration and against (how can you be against this?) national health care.

    October 22, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Tony Antin, Centerville, MA

    Rangel's criticism of Rudy is perfectly valid. If a man can't manage his own life how can he manage a nation? But he does not know Mormon history - they abolished polygamy in 1895. I'm not a Mormon, but fair's fair.
    Bush has made me a Democrat; and I have been married to the same womon for 60 years.

    October 22, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Tom Fitzgerald

    Staying by her man though he cheated on her constantly doesn't really say much for Hillary. She obviously has thought it in "her" best interest to hang in there with Bill. I don't think it was her deep abiding love for the man. They are both miserable role models and representatives of the baby boomer generation. Bring on Guiliani. At least he is honest with his shortcomings. And if you can't go for the Republican, then bring on Obama. The Clinton's need to be put to pasture. This country can't deal with another 4-8 years of division.

    October 22, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. ELB Arlington VA

    Rep. Rangel is right that Sen. Clinton's marriage problems were not her fault, which I don't think Mayor Giuliani can honestly say. But when did Rep. Rangel ever speak about against Pres. Clinton's numerous adulterous activities, especially the ones that occurred in the Oval Office itself? Whatever the Mayor did to mess up his previous marriages, it can not compare to Pres. Clinton's well documented escapades, so where was your condemnation when it mattered before? To criticize someone who has a different political position yet stand silently when your political friend does even worse is gutless hypocrisy.

    October 22, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. john williams san diego, ca.

    thank you

    October 22, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. Hillary=Poor judgement

    People in glass houses...

    Hillary Clinton/surrogates are the last people who should make judgements on someone elses marital issues.

    Good Grief.

    October 22, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. P Sun, Albuquerque, NM

    Charlie, the only embarassment is you, being a leader of our nation and making derogatory remarks about someone's religion. Maybe you should read your history books, because that is not what this country is about. Stupid.

    October 22, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. Kristina, Bellefontaine, Ohio

    What do I care about his personal life. I didn't care when Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern.

    October 22, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    >>>"This kind of ugly, personal attack isn't even worth a response."

    In other words, they HAVE no response b/c nothing they can say make it any less true.

    I align myself with the Congressman, as a NYer, Rudy is an utter embarrassment. As if his one issue campaign on 9/11 wasn't horrible enough, he has (and always had) serious character flaws.

    The scandal surrounding Rudy's divorce of his SECOND wife was a HOT one in NY.

    """""...the settlement called for Giuliani to pay Hanover "more than $6.8 million plus all of her litigation expenses and legal fees."

    The marriage began falling apart during Giuliani's first term as mayor.

    Giuliani, 58, had filed for divorce in October 2000, accusing Hanover, a television personality and sometime actress, of cruel and inhuman treatment. Hanover, in her own filing last month, blamed the ex-mayor's "open and notorious adultery" for the split.

    Giuliani has acknowledged having a romance with Judith Nathan.

    Hanover, 52, also accused Giuliani of an affair with a former staffer, Christyne Lategano-Nicholas. She and Giuliani have denied the allegation."""""

    and

    """""Hanover's lawyer, Helene Brezinsky, said her client rejected the grounds on which Giuliani's divorce was based.

    "If there's going to be a divorce, let's have the truth about why — Rudy's open and notorious adultery," she said.

    Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel replied: "There is no purpose in responding to this mudslinging." """""

    No purpose in responding? Sounds awfully similar to "This kind of ugly, personal attack isn't even worth a response."

    Well, Rudy. You are running for PRESIDENT. You have no choice but respond to these issues that show your true character.

    Links here, here, and here.

    October 22, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Tim Barth, Edison, NJ

    good grief Charlie, don't you have something better to do with your time? So sad he once again can;t argue policy – after 19 terms this is what he has been reduced to. He should have retired when he said he would. As for Hillary, it's quite shameful she didn't leave that bum. She wasn't strong enough to leave him after he continually embarrassed her, but she's strong enough to run the country? Come on folks wise up. She hasn't run anything in her whole life...we can do much better than her!

    October 22, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Devin, USA

    Mr. Rangel,

    If I someone said it gets "complicated because of the color of your skin" it would be an national issue and a horrible, wrong thing to say. SO why do say that about someones religion? It's not even true. Does that make you a liar or just misinformed? You are a sorry representative of this great country.

    October 22, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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