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Inside Politics

All not in the family for GOP hopeful Giuliani

Story Highlights

• Giuliani's son says he doesn't want to help his father campaign
• In 1994, Andrew Giuliani played for the cameras during his dad's inauguration
• Andrew Giuliani's mother and the former NYC mayor had bitter divorce
• Andrew's sister Carolina is also absent from dad's campaign Web site
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- When Rudy Giuliani was first inaugurated as New York City's mayor in January 1994, his son, Andrew, then a rambunctious, chubby-cheeked 7-year-old, stole the show by imitating his father as he was sworn in and joining him, quite uninvited, at the podium.

But some 13 years and an acrimonious divorce later, the younger Giuliani, now a sophomore at Duke University, says he won't be participating in his father's bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

In an interview with the New York Times, Andrew Giuliani, 21, said "there's obviously a little problem" between him and Rudy Giuliani's current wife, Judith.

He also said his quest to become a professional golfer doesn't leave him any time to help out his father.

"I am going to be focused on my golf ... definitely over the next bunch of years," the younger Giuliani told the Times. "So, I'm not going to have time to, even if I wanted to, be in the campaign."

Andrew Giuliani and his younger sister, Caroline, are both absent from their father's campaign Web site, although their stepmother, Judith, is featured.

The Times reported the former mayor has recently been estranged from both children from his marriage to Donna Hanover, which ended in 2002 after a long and contentious separation and divorce played out in tabloid headlines.

Asked about his family issues during a campaign appearance in California, Rudy Giuliani acknowledged "these problems with blended families are challenges."

"And the challenges are best worked on privately," he said. "The more privacy I can have for my family, the better we're going to be able to deal with all these difficulties."

But Giuliani also defended his current wife as "a loving and caring mother and stepmother."

"She's done everything that she can," he said.

How to handle such a personal situation while in the political cauldron of a White House run could prove a delicate balancing act for the former mayor.

"When the toughest shots are coming from your own quarter, they're difficult to respond to because, unlike a barb from Sen. McCain or Gov. Romney, he really can't push back on his son too hard," said GOP strategist Jonathan Grella.

Of the 43 men who have held the reins of the American presidency, only one, Ronald Reagan, had ever been divorced.

Giuliani, if he wins, would be the first to be divorced twice. His first marriage, to Regina Peruggi, lasted from 1968 to 1982 and produced no children. He married Hanover, a television news anchor, in 1984.

Among the other Republican presidential front-runners, Sen. John McCain of Arizona has also been divorced. But former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been married for 37 years to his wife, Ann, whom he met in elementary school and began dating in high school.

Ann Romney raised some eyebrows in February when she joked in front of an audience in Missouri that the biggest difference between her husband and his rivals was that he has had "only one wife."

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