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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soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. JD, Leland, North Carolina

    Pathetic – Hilary just lost one supporter.

    October 22, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. Greg Evans, Saint Clair Shores, MI

    Every time New York Rep.Charlie Rangel opens his mouth he is a complete embarassment to this country. We need term limits to get rid of this trash!

    October 22, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  3. Robert, Washington, DC

    Out of all the problems I have with Giuliani, the fact that he's had 3 wives is not one of them. I'm glad the Democrats are raising substantive issues in this debate. Keep the childish, schoolground trash out of the presidential race.

    October 22, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "You tell me what in her personal life is something she should be ashamed of, and I want to talk about it." How about her husband having sex with a plump 20-something intern in the Oval Office, then lying about it, getting impeached (but acquitted), and being disbarred as a result?

    October 22, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  5. Rob A., Eden Prairie, MN

    Very true. Not to mention the fact that even Giuliani's own kids think he's a louse. You go, Rudy. :(

    October 23, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. Robbie, Hillsborigh, NC

    Rangel seems to be ignoring the fact that the Clintons have a record of infidelity in their marriage. While it was Bill that engaged in such activities, it suggests the same issues that Giuliani has dealt with. Maybe the Democrats should stop and think once in while.

    October 23, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  7. Robbie, Hillsborigh, NC

    In addition, I'd argue that Bill "embarrassed" us more with his lying than Giuliani currently is with several divorces.

    October 23, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  8. Bob New York New York

    Read below. this has nothing to do with this article but I wish something would be done to catch the crooks.

    Billions over Baghdad
    Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled

    October 23, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  9. Boyd Hunter, Ogden, Utah

    So, basically, if I understand this, the honorable Representative Rangel just accused a candidate of not being "worthy" to be president because he hasn't been able to stay with one wife, when his support is for a lady who couldn't keep her husband's interest. Then, to make matters even worse, he shows his ignorance and bigotry by alluding to the fact that Mitt Romney's religion supports polygamy. Is this the type of support that Ms. Clinton really needs to win the presidency? I would have thought that a party that accuses republicans of bigotry would be above such mud-slinging. Is this a sign that they are weak, have no morals, or are just uninformed? None of these is a good reason.

    October 23, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  10. Niki Nixon, Huntsville, Alabama

    White Water scandals,
    all the mistresses,
    oral sex not being sex,
    Hillary consulting psychics....
    the Clintons embarass me!

    October 23, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  11. Jerry, Camarillo, Ca

    Hillary lived with Bill and tacitly condoned his affair when she stayed with him after he lied about it to the whole Nation. What does THAT say about her and her ability to make tough decisions in the face of adversity. I'm no fan of Rudy, but if it came down to the two he gets my vote. At least he had enough sense to get out of a bad relationship.

    October 23, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  12. Jim M., Manhasset, NY

    I agree with the Clintons...why get a divorce...hell...when you can cheat on your wife all you want.

    October 23, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  13. Preston Burt, idaho falls, ID

    I’m just going to say this in behalf of all LDS members (aka mormons latter day saints, members of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints.) we no longer practice or believe in plural marriage. We marry one wife or one husband just like everyone else.

    October 23, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  14. jfz, napa, ca

    Obviously, Charlie Rangel is in lust for Rudy Giuliani.

    October 23, 2007 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  15. Mark, B'ham, Al.

    The Clinton's situation is a marriage of political convienece. If the book written by a Secret Service Agent about the Clinton White House was correct, the Secret Service had to chase Hillary on her extra marital affairs as often as they did Bill. If you believe Hillary is a faithful wife, I got swamp land in Florida to sell you!

    October 23, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  16. Chris, Long Beach CA

    My parents are two people, seven spouses. Maybe the Giulianis will run America like my parents raised 11 children- and mold us all of us into highly educated people with a good paycheck!

    Go Rudy!!

    October 23, 2007 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  17. Benjamin Lawrence, Erie, PA

    I think it's about time politicians on Capital Hill stop assessing the "morality" of the personal lives of our diplomats. When these people engage in slander, such as Mr. Rangel, it reduces their character to that of a child. Our current policies are what need to be reassessed; policies can be compared and analyzed, where an individual's personal life cannot.

    October 23, 2007 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  18. JR, New York, NY

    Charlie Rangel is spot on. This stuff is relevant, and for a party that has consistently made "family values" one of the top planks in its platform, it is certainly fair game to bring it up. Giuliani's marital record, to the extent that he cannot form or manage productive, harmonious and long lasting relationships, can hardly be viewed as irrelevant.

    Those of us who have long lived in New York know Rudy well–far better than those outside of New York–and warmth and stability of his personality (read: none) are hardly selling points. Frankly, while I commend his more liberal stance on some litmus test issues, and commend that he does seem able to make somewhat enlightened decisions for himself rather than merely towing the conservative right wing line when he is expected to, he does have a lot of emotional baggage–all on the record–that does and should give voters pause with respect to his temperamental suitability for the presidency. Personally, I don't think he has what it takes, but I am just one voter.

    October 23, 2007 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  19. Honestly, TX

    Yes, we don't need an adulterer like Giuliani in the White House. What kind of example does that set. What kind of judgment, honesty, or ethics does this speak of?

    Oh Wait. Bill Clinton is an adulterer. Should we put him back in the White House too? Hillary always says that with her you get two-for-one. NO THANKS. Neither Giuliani nor CLINTON should ever be in the White House.

    October 23, 2007 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  20. Ms. Hardie, Charlottesville, Va

    No wonder today's youth is disillusioned with American politics. Petty arguments like these just remind us of the futility of our representatives. Hillary Clinton is a big girl, she can take care of herself. I highly doubt that comments that simply pour salt on personal wounds really help her case. I think a candidate should try to win with some dignity for once and inspire a nation. Sticks and stones. Politicians need to grow up, because I am sick of hearing about marital disintegration. Thanks for reminding me that most of us will never be happy in our love lives if we follow the example of Rep. Rangel. And Hillary, I am sorry that you have supporters like these. If I were you, I would get the muzzle out.

    October 23, 2007 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  21. abdul-samad koforidua ghana

    I think that politicians,wherever they may be should refrain from ugly personal attacks on their opponents.Even the prophets of the Torah,the Bible,and the Quran,who were catalysts for drastic global change had their shortcomings,which did not deter them from striving to make their mark.We ought to value one another,warts and all.

    October 23, 2007 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  22. , napa, ca

    I used to have respect for Charlie Rangel. NO MORE!

    October 23, 2007 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  23. B. Brannen,Jacksonville, FL

    But it's OK to do what slick Billy did when he was in the Oval Office. Way to go Rangel!!

    October 23, 2007 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  24. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    Before the Dems start call anyone embarassing they may want to take a look what their acting irresponsibily in regards to Turkey may do to the situation in Iraq. One stupid act on their part could potentially require the re-routing of 70% of the supplies to our soliders but somehow a guy be being married 3 times is more embarrasing. But that is fantastic far left logic for yah...

    October 23, 2007 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  25. Jan, Nashua, NH

    Rudy is whining about ugly personal attacks? L.M.F.A.O.

    October 23, 2007 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
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