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Special Event

Giuliani: No Decision on Senate Race

Aired May 11, 2000 - 12:53 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you immediately to New York where New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking questions about the state of his marriage and the possible implications for a possible Senate run. Let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, having said that, how seriously do you want to be senator? Do you still have a fire in your belly to be the senator from New York, sir?

GIULIANI: I very much would like the opportunity to carry on my public service, yes. But if I address myself to that now, I'll be answering that question. And I haven't answered that question. And when I'm ready to answer it, I will. And it isn't today, and it isn't going to be tomorrow, so you can calm down about it. (CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, some Republicans say that it's unfair for you not to make a decision quickly because of their convention. They're calling on you to decide very soon, for the party.

GIULIANI: I will decide, you know, when I can decide it. And I would think that they would respect the health concern that's involved here.

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, some of these might be personal, but the reason why your wife's accusation about Lategano is relevant is because after she left the job at city hall, she got a nice job, paid very well, without any experience on the job that she was assigned, so there are suspicions that it might be some criminality involved.

GIULIANI: Oh, get out of here. Get lost. That's a -- that's a sneaky way of trying to invade somebody's personal life.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Oh, come on. Don't you have guys have the slightest bit of decency?

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Do you realize that you embarrass yourself doing this, in the eyes of just about everybody?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Beginning with your disclosure of prostrate cancer, do you have any feeling one way or the other (OFF- MIKE)

GIULIANI: This isn't an image. I mean, for you it's an image; for me, it's me.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: I don't know what they're saying. I'm just -- I'm doing the same thing I've always done. I'm trying to honestly -- as honestly as I possibly can relate to you what I think, what I feel, as well as preserve some degree of privacy for myself, my family and the people I have close, you know, personal and warm relationships with. You can only do a certain amount of that in this business, and it's a difficult balance.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... Hanover's suggestion yesterday that she was appalled by your announcement yesterday, any regrets on the way you handled your announcement yesterday?

GIULIANI: No, I think I handled it the only way that I possibly could. (CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Did you she know in advance that you were going to make that announcement?

GIULIANI: Everything that I said publicly I said to her.

QUESTION: Are you sleeping in Gracie Mansion?

GIULIANI: I'm not going to answer that question.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I don't ask you where you sleep.

QUESTION: Is your health the only thing that's factoring into your decision?

GIULIANI: It's a major factor, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I can't hear you.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: I had a morning meeting this morning. I did a considerable amount of work this morning, and then I spent two and a half hours with a doctor trying to focus on making this decision. I'm going to spend another hour today with another doctor, and I'm trying to clear my mind as much as possible, because I have to make a very, very important decision.

I think it -- maybe it does change in one way. It gives you a sense of perspective, which some of you lack.

QUESTION: Do you ever feel like that little girl who's overwhelmed with all the problems and troubles and feels like crying sometimes?

GIULIANI: Do I feel like crying sometimes? Yes, of course.

QUESTION: Have you cried?

GIULIANI: Of course I've cried, yes.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: Yes, I relate to it greatly. I went over and told her that the first couple of times I had to do public speaking, I couldn't do it either. I used to be very, very nervous about it. And eventually you overcome it. And actually always feel it a little bit, and I think it makes you better at it. It makes you more in touch with the feelings that you're trying to convey.

QUESTION: Are you worried about helping the other party, the Democratic Party?

GIULIANI: I'm not thinking about politics very much right now. I'm trying to think about health and, obviously, thinking about personal concerns. Nobody likes to see -- I certainly am not very happy about all the stuff that's in the newspapers today. I wish it didn't have to be like that.

GIULIANI: I wish it could be somewhat different. You wish a lot of things. But that's where you are, and you've got to try to handle it in as honest and decent a way as you can.

QUESTION: What is your reaction to what...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... to ignore her questions about your personal life, can you talk about the motivation for answering some of those questions yesterday?

GIULIANI: Yes. I felt -- well, I answered the question because I guess the headline in the newspaper, and it seemed to me that I had to move forward. I mean, something had to move forward. There's a whole complex of decisions that I have to make, including about my health, and I guess part of that is also straightening out your personal life.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Are you romantically involved in...

GIULIANI: I'm not going to answer any more questions about that. I think I've said everything that I can say about it. I think I've been as honest and as forthright...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: Please let me finish.

I think I've been as honest and as forthright as you should be under these circumstances...

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: ... handling it in a decent and honorable way.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... the question of an executive perhaps having a romantic relationship with the staff, why is that not...

GIULIANI: I think you're trying to dredge up history that was covered a long, long time ago. You've all covered this many, many times. You've all asked me about it. I've answered it. And it has no bearing, no relationship, not the slightest bearing or relation, to what's going on right now. I think that what's going on right now has to do with Donna and me. And what you're trying to do is a back-door way of trying to dredge this all up so you can write more salacious stuff.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: Yes, I don't accept the premise of the question, so I'm not going to answer it.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Who is making trouble?

QUESTION: Mr. Howard, the chairman of the party...

GIULIANI: I mean, I don't know that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) And he's concerned about behind-the-scenes moves...

GIULIANI: No, I don't have -- I told you what my concerns are. My concerns are my life, my personal life, my health, my family, the other people that are involved in it, all of whom are very, very good and decent people. Those are my concerns.

The political part, I would expect that they would -- there will be lots of maneuvering and lots of leaking and lots of stuff like that. I don't resent it, that's part of the process.

(CROSSTALK) QUESTION: Are you keeping your schedule next week, the fund- raising...

GIULIANI: No, I'm going to cut my schedule in half. I don't know what half yet, I mean, as I said I would do two weeks ago. I still have to make a decision. I still need a considerable amount of time with doctors. And I guess one way in which the personal issue has affected it, is I haven't had the amount of time to talk to doctors that I thought I would have when I first made the decision. That's just a practical thing. I've had to focus on trying to solve or resolve some of these personal issues.

(CROSSTALK)

STAFF: Last question, please.

GIULIANI: I can't interpret what other people do. They have to interpret what they do.

(CROSSTALK)

STAFF: Last question...

GIULIANI: No, that's OK, I want to make sure I answer all the questions that you...

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I'm sensitive to that word, you know, that last word that you used, in any respect, dead.

GIULIANI: No, I'm not dead.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... report that malathion may cause cancer. I want to know your reaction to that and how you might attack the West Nile virus this summer any differently.

GIULIANI: My reaction is that when we used malathion and the other substance last year, resmethrin I think was the other one, both we were told were safe. Both had been used, particularly malathion, for a long, long period of time, including in some of the suburban counties surrounding New York City.

MESERVE: You have been listening to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani sparring with the press corps on a number of topics. He said he has not yet made a decision on whether or not to run for the U.S. Senate, and he said that decision won't be coming in the next several days.

He said, right now, health is his main concern, also his personal life. He did reveal that he consulted with a doctor for 2 1/2 hours this morning. He will consult with another physician this afternoon as he decides on the course of treatment for the prostate cancer which was diagnosed two weeks ago.

Yesterday, of course, the mayor and his wife revealing that they were seeking a legal separation. He faced a battery of questions about allegations from his wife, Donna Hanover, that he had an affair with a former staffer. He refused to answer those questions, telling the press corps to get lost, accusing of them of wanting to dredge things up so they could write salacious stories.

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