A while ago, I advised Mitt Romney’s campaign not to attack Rudy Giuliani with sludge. I also suggested that politicizing families is wrong.

However, in their desperation, they didn’t take my advice. Instead they blundered and personalized the attack by sending the candidate himself to be the attack dog.  Veep-picking Mr. 3% whacked at Rudy last night:

"I’ll get my counsel from my wife in the privacy of our home, in the bedroom, in the White House if I’m lucky enough to get there, and she’s not going to be an official part of the administration or attending Cabinet meetings, but it’s a nice offer," Romney told Fox News Channel.

Romney, struggling in the polls against Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, spoke after the ex-mayor told ABC News’ Barbara Walters that he’d be "very, very comfortable" having wife Judith sit on some Cabinet meetings on topics in which she’s interested.

Then Romney’s former driver compared Judy to Hillary Clinton:

A solid Red-Meat Republican’s first instinct when hearing of the Giuliani’s ambitious spousal plans will be to think back to the Bad Old Days when the Clintons ruled the land. Where a less uxorious husband might have been satisfied to give his wife a broach or some other expensive bauble to celebrate their newly won power, Bill Clinton gave Hillary Clinton 14% of the American economy to toy with as a cat does a terrified mouse.

Then Evangelicals for Mitt’s Nancy French piled on with a two-part (one and two) review of the Giuliani family’s appearance on Barbara Walters. Here she tries to roll around in the mud over Rudy’s … complicated family life:

This gave me pause. You know, if I was the third Mrs. Giuliani, I’d talk about how he can defeat the terrorists, understands the global threat of jihadism, and can unite a segmented country. But, she brings up his integrity and character as selling points… not, interestingly, political baggage to overcome.

If this were a court proceeding, the prosecutor would raise his hand in the air with a gleam in his eye. "I’d like to cross-examine this witness, please."

After all, what is the definition of integrity?

Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

What is "character?"

Moral or ethical strength.

This is, of course, an important thing to bring up because Romney’s family is better than yours, and that’s why you should vote for him.

That said, I do think that Judy was off message. Talk about making us safe, not how wonderful your husband is. All in all, let us talk about substance, and assume, as a baptist minister I met assumes, that Rudy "probably got it right this time" and leave it at that.



cwpete · March 31, 2007 at 10:44 AM

You guys are losers. Mitt is right on this 100%. I did not like much when Hillary was with Bill in most his meetings directing & creating policy. How is it that this should be any different here?

In fact, if you would read the news, Rudy is already flopping on that statement:

“Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani said Friday his wife will not be a member of his Cabinet or attend most high-level meetings as he sought to clarify his previous statements suggesting she would play a significant role in his administration.”

Can this site for once admit that Mitt is right? For once?

cbs · March 31, 2007 at 11:55 PM

You lose all credibility with misleading posts like this. Have you actually watched the clip you’re referring to? In no way, shape, or form was Romney “attacking” Rudy or his family. Romney was asked a specific question as to whether his wife would sit in on cabinet meetings. He answered, very politely, that no she would not. So are you saying the only way he could have answered this question so as not to attack Giuliani would have been to answer yes? That’s absurd.

Just like all the other candidates, Romney has issues for which he can be legitimately criticized. This, however, is not one of them. Instead, posts like this are little more than childish hackery on your part and do not help your reputation at all.

eye · April 1, 2007 at 6:00 AM

Nonsense. Romney went way out of his way to make a contrast. And then his driver said something way out of line. And then Evangelicals for Mitt continued with the sliming.

Not cool. The right answer to a question like that is much more like, “Ann is my partner, and she will certainly advise me.”

cbs · April 1, 2007 at 9:03 PM

This is a relatively pointless issue and I feel silly still engaging with you on this but you’re obtuseness on this point is bothersome.

Romney gave a straightforward, inoffensive answer to this question. He did not go “out of his way to make a contrast.” This is a yes or no question. You either will or you won’t have your wife sit in cabinet meetings. Romney is in the no camp. Again, he was asked this question, he didn’t raise it on his own.

Romney is not responsible for what Dean Barnett thinks or writes. Nor is he responsible for what other supporters say on the issue.

You, however, are responsible for writing an unfair and misleading post about Romney. That’s the only “nonsense” I’m seeing around here.

University Update · March 31, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Romney attacks Rudy’s family…

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