Giuliani poll highs could fall with recent revelations about longtime associate Kerik, remarks about wife
Former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani is leading the Republican pack in some Election '08 polls. But the same polls seem to suggest that Giuliani is starting to lose some of his momentum.
The drop may continue as allegations rise that his longtime associate Bernard Kerik, onetime nominee to head Homeland Security, has ties to organized crime, as Newsweek's Jonathan Alter comments on in the video below.
NBC's Tim Russert also suspects that people have begun to look deeper into the former mayor's own past. "There are some bumps ahead for all of the candidates, including Rudy Giuliani," Russert says.
One particular issue that Giuliani is trying to clarify is the role of his wife in his campaign and how she might participate in a Giuliani administration. In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, Giuliani freely admits that his current wife, Judith, may participate in policy decisions and cabinet meetings "if she wanted to."
The following video clips are from ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today Show.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT FROM "GOOD MORNING AMERICA"
WALTERS: Now in the news is the fact that both of you have been married three times. Do you think that we have gotten to the point in this country where divorce or the number of divorces is not important in an election for president?
MR. GIULIANI: Well, I wouldn't say it that way. I would say that people will evaluate the whole person. That's the way I hope it will be. None of us have perfect lives. In other words, I think I can say very credibly to people, "Judge me by my public performance. Whatever mistakes I made in my personal life, I made and I'm sorry for them."
WALTERS: How much involvement will your wife have in your campaign?
MR. GIULIANI: As much as she wants.
WALTERS: Will your wife be involved in policy decisions?
MR. GIULIANI: To the extent she wants to be. I couldn't have a better advisor.
WALTERS: Will you sit in on policy meetings?
MRS. GIULIANI: Again, if she asks me to, yes. And, certainly, in the areas of health care.
WALTERS: If and when you are president, will Mrs. Giuliani sit in on cabinet meetings?
MR. GIULIANI: If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something she was interested in, that would be something that I would be very, very comfortable with.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT FROM NBC TODAY
HOST: Let's start with Rudy Giuliani if we can. There are reports today, when he was mayor of New York, he learned that Bernard Kerik had a relationship suspected of ties with organized crime or to organized crime before he appointed him as New York City police commissioner. He also said in an interview, if he's elected to the White House, he could see his wife Judith having a role in cabinet meetings. How would you assess his campaign at the end of this week, headed in the right direction?
RUSSERT: Well, it's interesting that Mayor Giuliani's campaign had been doing quite well in the polls. For the last month, however, according to USA TODAY, he's dropped some 13 points. The thinking is that more conservative Republicans have scrutinized his record and stories like the one you mentioned. There is no doubt that the mayor's conduct on September 11th won him lots of friends across the country, but other aspects of his mayoralty will be scrutinized. As will his enterprise and private sector involvement. One of his clients in his law firm, after he left, happened to be the government of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and Citgo Oil. That will receive a lot of scrutiny. So, there are some bumps ahead for all of the candidates, including Rudy Giuliani.