November 29th, 2007
07:54 AM ET
7 years ago

John Roberts: Storms at debate, both on and off stage

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (CNN) - The skies opened up here in Tampa just an hour before the debate. Florida downpours are usually cleansing and invigorating – washing away the day’s dust and grime, feeding new life into roots and leaves. You know that tomorrow will be greener than today was. But tonight’s storm might have been a metaphor for the latest dark cloud hanging over Rudy Giuliani’s bid for the White House.

Revelations that – as mayor of New York – his office may have hid funds for accommodation and security during the time he was courting then girlfriend/soon to be 3rd wife Judith Nathan in New York’s tony Hamptons.

The disclosure sent a new wave of uncertainty through the media and blog worlds. Was it a dime dropped by an opponent? How might it hurt the man who is campaigning on truth and honesty – if not his personal life, at least in government? Would the other candidates pick up on it?

How it plays may come down to what the current occupant of City Hall, Michael Bloomberg has to say about it.

Regardless, it is exactly what a candidate doesn’t want on the night of a big debate like this one. They want to weave their own narrative. Giuliani was at risk of following the news instead of driving it. He is running on his record as mayor.

He insists that the story “is not true” that nothing improper was done, and that he is not responsible for how expenses were reported. But anything that raises questions about how he used public funds while at the helm of America’s biggest city may reflect on how voters think he will handle the nation’s budget. And with Mitt Romney reinvigorating his drive to box Giuliani out of a win in the early primary states and steamroll his way to victory, the former mayor can’t afford to lose even one step in the few weeks remaining.

– American Morning Anchor John Roberts


Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. mark wilkes barre pa

    Amazing how these stories surface at crucial points in candidates run for the whitehouse.

    November 29, 2007 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  2. John Tiller Levittown, New York

    Why did CNN provide a question to a Clinton campaign staffer? Does it seem a little bit low-ball for a network that regularly insists Foxnews is somehow biased?
    You have just become part and parcel to some real dirty politics. We just can't afford for your corruption to become the new normal. CNN is becomming a second rate embarassment.

    November 29, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Mitt Mitt Mitt, Rudy Rudy Rudy, Clinton, Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama, Obama.

    Why don't you fascists just come out and tell us WHO we are going to HAVE to choose from.

    I hope and pray for you, but I cannot wait for judgement to happen to those that commit these acts of treason to our public.

    November 29, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. Brian, College Park, MD

    Could we at least pretend to be fair within these debates? I know that the media has already declared their picks for the nominations but last night was ridiculous. Anderson directed almost every question to Rudy, Mitt, and McCain. Huckabee is LEADING in Iowa and didn't get nearly as much air time. There wasn't even a purpose to havind Tancredo, Hunter, and Paul on the stage considering they got maybe a combination of no more than 10 questions. Ridiculous.

    November 29, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Erin, Reno, NV

    If Giuliani feels comfortable to lie to and cheat on his wife, why should we expect him to be any less comfortable lying and cheating to the American public. He is simply not trustworthy.

    November 29, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Who cares! Bill Clinton stumbles on stump for wife

    November 29, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Len, sparks Nv

    Rudy is all about corruption and hiding things, that is for sure. So many of his people at the city ran into trouble and had to resign or were indicted. It looks like Rudy was using the taxpayers money for adultery and then tried to hide it from view.

    November 29, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Want to see the REAL America and the FIGHT against OPPRESSION?

    Here are pictures from the GOP Debate.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/photo_galleries/1129debatescene/index.shtml

    November 29, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. JoAnn Rumpler, North Bend, Ohio

    I trusted CNN to be able to handle the
    Republican Debates. After last nights
    debate you have lost your creditability!! Was the audience "as well" as the questions stacked with
    Democrates? Your network is too good
    to do something like this!! At this
    point, I will have to decide if I will
    watch CNN in the future.

    November 29, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Giuliani is a self-centered and snide little creep. This is a perfect example of what we will get if he is elected: A third Bush term. Same old lying, same old do whatever he wants and to hell with the taxpayers or accountability, same old incompetence, same old cronyism, same old arrogance, same old sneakiness, same old break the government with more tax cuts favoring the rich, same old loose-cannon foreign policy. We cannot afford another disaster like Bush, and that is exactly what we'll have if Giuliani is elected. DUMP THIS GUY LIKE THE BAD HABIT HE IS!

    November 29, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. PW Va

    My, my my...whatever happened to the reupblican's 11th commandment "thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow republican?" Leads me to believe they would sell their own mothers down the river for a large slice ($$$) of the American pie via the American taxpayer.

    November 29, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. anon, new york, ny

    Giuliani said in last nite debate that he read the bible. But, he forgets that he committed adultery repeatedly in his two prior marriages, with the new york taxpayers paying for his adultery visits.

    November 29, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Ethan, Los Angeles, CA

    Ron Paul is the antithesis to Giuliani.

    Hate corruption, high taxes, and war mongering? Ron Paul is your man.

    November 29, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Mike

    Truly a discrase. So according to last nights debate,, and I use that term loosely,, there are only three candidates allowed face time, all of whom coincidentally have been tapped by the CFR. All three bought and paid for by the Internationalists that have brought America to edge. No doubt the citizenry will once again get what they deserve........Its no mistake that the Body Elite"s lapdog "Anderson Vanderbilt" was assigned to moderate this charade.

    November 29, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Sue, St Louis, MO

    I think that CNN hosted Presidential debates are credible. I thought all questions were accurate and credible. For nearly a decade Republicans have fled from network news, choosing pre-planned audiences, with pre-staged question and answers that results in an artifical and plastic image that in no way reflects the value of leadership and decision. Had CNN done so in 2000 – perhaps this nation wouldn't be facing a surge of illegal aliens, a war in Iraq that the President lied about, the collapse of basic infrastructure such as Katrina – for it is certain that George W Bush would never have become President.

    December 10, 2007 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  16. Max Furr, Onancock, VA

    One can find out more information about the conservatives that the corporate news media does not report or under reports, or simply skews the news to the right.

    One can find out far more if they were to listen to AirAmerica. Unfortunately, the right wing talking heads have taught their listeners to fear progressive radio and not to believe what they might hear.

    AirAmerica is not corporate owned, thus you are more likely to hear the truth, and you can always research anything you hear there to verify.

    December 25, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. Carol, Pawling,NY

    America needs Mike Bloomberg whether we know it or not. It is my opinion that he
    is the" Eliot Ness" of polictics – untouchable. He is his own man. And besides, our country has become so technological, that it needs to be run as a business. Just look at our economy. Anyone that can make the largest city in the world run smooth, can run my country.

    January 10, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. SARA R. HENRY

    IT IS A HORRID MISTAKE FOR THE PRIMANY IN FLORIDA TO GIVE MCCAIN ALL OF THE 57 DELEGATES FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO CHANGE THE FLORIDA. HILLARY CLINTON WON 60% 810,852 WHEN MCCAIN WON 36% WITH 657.09.

    THOSE OF ATHORITY MUST GO FORWARD IMMEDIATELY AND CHANGE THE
    DELEGATES ....AT ONCE. HILLARY IS THE WINNER AND SOULD BE THE WINNER IN DELEGATES WITH THE DEMOCRATES.

    SHAME ON FLORIDA AND ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH THE FLORIDA PRIMARY. I WAS JUST THERE LAST WEEK AND HAD NO IDEA FOR SUCH A ONE-SIDED VOTE IN. A SHAM!!!!!!

    CHANGE HAS TO GIVE THE SAME CHANCES AS ANOTHER!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |

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