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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Rudolph Giuliani: Guiding New York City's Transformation, Recovery

Aired October 6, 2001 - 16:30   ET

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


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

GIULIANI: ... put your mask on, put your mask on. Put your mask on.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Mayor, what's the situation right now?

GIULIANI: The situation is that two airplanes have attacked, apparently...

SHARON COLLINS, HOST (voice-over): New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been at ground zero, literally and figuratively, since the attacks on the World Trade Center September 11. He called for calm and tolerance.

GIULIANI: We have a lot of people in this city of all different backgrounds and all diverse religions, and they're not responsible for this.

COLLINS: He won praise from hard-bitten New Yorkers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never had no love for him, but this -- the man deserves to be mayor.

COLLINS: And kudos from world leaders.

PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC, FRANCE: It is a French expression, Mayor Hero, and it is about the equivalent of Rudy the Rock.

COLLINS: New York's sarcastic "Late Night" host was overcome with admiration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN," CBS)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Watch what this guy did. Listen to what this guy said. Rudolph Giuliani is the personification of courage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASEBALL ANNOUNCER: Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been such a rock...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: This lifelong Yankee fan even got a standing ovation at a Mets game, and he was the first New York City mayor in 50 years to address the General Assembly of the United Nations.

GIULIANI: The United Nations must hold accountable any country that supports or condones terrorism.

COLLINS: Just a year earlier, Rudy Giuliani's life seemed to be in personal and political ruin.

GIULIANI: I think I'm not going to make comments today. I just wanted to go to out to lunch and -- Thank you.

COLLINS: He had been diagnosed with cancer, suffered a publicly messy split with his second wife, and had dropped out of the race for United States Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 19, 2000)

GIULIANI: This is not the right time for me to run for office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: After September 11, that all seemed forgotten. Rudy Giuliani became the king of New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man has shown me something that I've never seen before. He's got a heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a very good man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The way he's handled this, the crisis, has just been wonderful. Giuliani for president!

COLLINS: Rudolph William Giuliani was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 28, 1944, the only child to Helen and Harold Giuliani, first-generation Italian Americans who owned a bar and grill.

PETER POWERS, LONGTIME FRIEND: It was a very strong family, a very loving family, not only his parents but his aunts and uncles. He had an uncle who was a fireman, an uncle who was a police officer. I mean, he would often say to people, now people are talking about it, "You don't understand about firemen. Everyone's running one way, they go into another, they defy nature, they walk into a fire."

COLLINS: Peter Powers and Rudy Giuliani made their way through Catholic school together. They met at Bishop Lachland (ph) High School in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

POWERS: He was very popular. People liked him. There was always that leadership ability there.

COLLINS: So much so that Rudy was voted class politician without even holding a student government office in high school.

Brought up as a liberal Democrat, he was also the head of the JFK for President committee. Rudy went on to Manhattan College, a Catholic school in the Bronx. After seriously considering the priesthood, he made the decision to pursue law.

POWERS: He says when he hit puberty that he decided he wanted to do some good and do it in a different way.

COLLINS: After Manhattan College, Giuliani attended New York University's law school, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1968. Shortly after graduation, he married his college sweetheart, Regina Perugi (ph). But 14 years later, he would get the marriage annulled.

Giuliani became an assistant United States attorney in the gritty southern district of New York in 1970 and made a name for himself as a brilliant cross-examiner. His reputation eventually brought him to Washington, D.C., and the Department of Justice. During Gerald Ford's administration, he switched his allegiances to the Republican Party. Critics claim the move was politically motivated, but his long-time friend disagrees.

POWERS: When he finally realized that his core beliefs were better personified by the Republican Party, he believes that that's the party that tries to stress that people should be able to help themselves rather than government just taking over their lives.

COLLINS: In 1981, under Ronald Reagan, Giuliani was given the number three position in the Justice Department. There he handled narcotics law enforcement.

Giuliani returned home in 1983 to head the U.S. attorney's office, where he prosecuted some of the most high-profile cases in New York City's history, among them Milken, Marcos, and the Mafia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DECEMBER 28, 1987)

GIULIANI: We can solve crimes that sometimes cannot be solved by others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR, "RUDY GIULIANI: EMPEROR OF THE CITY": When he was a U.S. attorney, he vanquished the bad guys on Wall Street and in the Mafia and became a heroic figure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man who's going to be our next mayor, who's going to give the city of New York back its soul, Rudy Giuliani.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The mayor's race was a natural step in 1989.

GIULIANI: Now is the time to take our city back from the violent criminals on the streets and the white collar criminals in their office suites.

COLLINS: Hard-nosed prosecutor Giuliani was a popular candidate in a city where the crime rate was skyrocketing. On election day, David Dinkins became the city's first black mayor, defeating Rudolph Giuliani by less than 3 percentage points. It was the slimmest margin of victory in a New York City mayoral race since 1905.

GIULIANI: I've congratulated him, and I've wished him and his family the very best for the future of New York and for their future. And they deserve your applause. Applaud for them.

COLLINS: Rudy Giuliani went into private practice, but he wasn't going away.

When our story continues, a righteous Rudy vows to clean up a city on the brink of disaster...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless him. He's a tough man, and he gets things done.

COLLINS: ... and faces enormous challenges to his personal and political future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) police brutality!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): Little shine remained on the Big Apple by the early '90s. On the cover of "TIME" magazine, New York City was dubbed "The Rotting Apple." Rudolph Giuliani, a well-known federal prosecutor, was running for mayor once again against incumbent David Dinkins.

KIRTZMALE: The city was in desperate shape. The crime situation was really, really out of control, and kind of the daily experience of the average New Yorker heading to work was extremely unpleasant. The homeless situation had kind of exploded into something worse and something more menacing.

COLLINS: The environment seemed ripe for a candidate with a reputation as a tough-as-nails federal prosecutor, though his crime- fighting persona frightened a few.

KIRTZMALE: People worried that he was kind of a dangerous figure, because he was so good, and he had a way of kind of capitalizing on his power so well, they wondered about his judgment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1993 CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL)

GIULIANI: We have to listen to them when they tell us they want a higher quality of life, a cleaner city, a better city.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Giuliani promised to upgrade the quality of life in New York City by getting rid of everyday nuisances like squeegee men.

On election day, Giuliani squeaked by Dinkins with only 44,000 votes to spare, a mere 2 percent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 2, 1994)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: In January 1994, with his second wife, Donna Hanover, and their two children at his side, he became New York's 107th mayor, and the first Republican to hold the office in 20 years.

GIULIANI: I'm going to have a co-addressee, I guess, Andrew.

COLLINS: His son, Andrew, mugged for the cameras throughout Giuliani's inaugural address.

KIRTZMALE: I think most of the city found it pretty endearing that this hard-nosed prosecutor was willing to let his kid have the run of the place at his kind of big moment in the limelight.

COLLINS: right away, Giuliani set about to do what he had promised, clean up the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in the bag?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) please?

COLLINS: But his methods were drawing criticism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a police state, in a way, sometimes, the way they just stop people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 30, 1994)

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: I cannot judge what happened, but I can judge the knee-jerk reaction that Giuliani has always and again displayed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KIRTZMALE: To combat that sense of lawlessness on the street, Giuliani used his police force as an army. There was sort of an ends- justify-the-means mentality, that, you know, this was a wartime situation, New York was faced with lawlessness at every turn, and something dramatic had to be done.

POWERS: It was a small thing when we started arresting fare- jumpers, OK, because we found that many fare-jumpers were either out on parole or in violation of parole. Many times they had weapons on them. So when you do the little things, the bigger things sort of take care of themselves a lot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 7, 1994)

GIULIANI: I believe that you create a better society by setting higher standards and expecting better behavior from people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: However unpopular, Giuliani's tactics worked. During his first two years as mayor, crime dropped by 30 percent. Murders and robberies were at their lowest point in 25 years, and the city's welfare rolls were trimmed by more than 100,000.

POWERS: People believed in their hearts that New York City was ungovernable. People would say it as if it were the gospel truth. The fact of the matter is, he's shown them with the right leadership, putting the right team together, you can govern this city.

KIRTZMALE: At some point, Giuliani became almost the victim of his own success, and crime had been cut in half, the city was cleaner, people felt so much better about the city. Tourists were just flooding the streets of New York. And he was without an enemy to fight.

COLLINS: But ex-prosecutor Giuliani managed to find some enemies. To many, his mounting quality of life campaigns against hot dog vendors, jaywalkers, publicly funded art, and cab drivers seemed like the work of a bully.

POWERS: He doesn't know halfway, Rudy Giuliani.

COLLINS: Halfway was something he definitely didn't know when it came to defending his police force. Two years into his second term, an African immigrant named Amadou Diallo was shot 19 times in his Bronx doorway by four young cops in the NYPD's Street Crimes unit. They said they thought he was reaching for a gun. It turned out to be a wallet, and Giuliani was faced with the biggest crisis of his administration.

The details were slow to emerge, but Giuliani was quick to defend his policemen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEBRUARY 4, 1999)

GIULIANI: ... all four of them had backgrounds as very active police officers, and from what we can tell, have very good records. And were considered to be excellent police officers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD I. KOCH, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I wouldn't defend those cops on the facts that were given at that time.

COLLINS: An Albany jury ruled the officers acted within the law, but the feelings about the incident, and Giuliani's reaction, lingered. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 15, 1999)

GIULIANI: I understand both sides of the issue. I have my own very strongly held views about it, so I don't see how a rally is going to change that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KIRTZMALE: That just outraged the people who felt that he needed to show sensitivity towards minority neighborhoods (inaudible) involved someone who had been shot by a white cop. And it caused him a lot of grief.

COLLINS: Despite his controversial actions, Giuliani emerged in 1999 as the Republican Party favorite in the run for the United States Senate against then-first lady Hillary Clinton. Polls showed Giuliani within striking distance of Clinton in April of 2000 when he got bad news about his health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 27, 2000)

GIULIANI: ... obviously, the bad news is that there's cancer...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Giuliani had been diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer, a disease which had killed his father. The mayor's political future was now uncertain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 27, 2000)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But could you at least tell us what you think or how, if at all, this affects the Senate race?

GIULIANI: I have no idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Giuliani continued to campaign while he considered treatment options. Less than a week later, there was more bad news for Giuliani.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 3, 2000)

GIULIANI: She's a good friend, a very good friend. And beyond that, you can ask me questions, and that's exactly what I'm going to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: "The New York Post" decided to expose his relationship with Judith Nathan. What followed in the next days was a bizarre series of press conferences in which the mayor and his wife, Donna Hanover, seemed to breaking up in public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 10, 2000) DONNA HANOVER, GIULIANI'S WIFE: Today's turn of events brings me great sadness. I had hoped to keep this marriage together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, May 10, 2000)

GIULIANI: In many ways we've grown to live independent and separate lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Through it all, for more than two weeks, Giuliani refused to speculate on his political future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... go beat Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, do you know when can expect a decision?

GIULIANI: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, can you tell us...

GIULIANI: I'm not going to comment, I'm not going to comment on it. So, you know, you can ask me in five different ways, I'm not going to comment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Giuliani did comment the next day. He said his cancer treatment would prevent him from continuing his run for Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 19, 2000)

GIULIANI: I thank God that it gives me another -- really another 18 months to be the mayor of New York City, which I love very, very much. It's really my deep passion, the love for the people of this city and the love of this city.

I also believe that, you know, things happen in life for reasons that sometimes you only figure out afterwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Rudolph Giuliani and New York City may have figured out those reasons on September 11, 2001.

When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS CONTINUES, Rudy takes control in a city under siege.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GIULIANI: I love the people of the city of New York. Some of them love me and some of them hate me, but I think they all have a reaction to me.

KIRTZMALE: I think that by September of this year, much of the public was exhausted by Giuliani.

COLLINS (voice-over): New York State's term limits dictated that he was scheduled to step down January 1, 2002.

KOCH: Most people had come to the conclusion that as he left office, that it was a pity. He had shown certainly leadership. But the insensitivity had destroyed his legacy.

COLLINS: Rudolph Giuliani's national profile wasn't that much better.

KIRTZMALE: I think that Americans knew that Rudy Giuliani was the guy who cleaned up New York. I think they also knew he was the guy who had a mistress. The -- he had a lot of positives and a lot of negatives in the eyes of the American public.

COLLINS: Then the events of September 11 unfolded.

KIRTZMALE: I think he's now an American hero.

COLLINS: The mayor was at ground zero of the World Trade Center disaster. He arrived as the second plane hit. He himself was trapped for a time by the explosion of smoke and ash from the collapse of the first tower, yet he managed to keep his composure.

KIRTZMALE: You know, I was with Giuliani when tower two collapsed, and a security guard or a detective threw his arm around Giuliani and started running up Sixth Avenue. And we all started running for our lives. The most incredible thing, as we progressed up Sixth Avenue was, there were waves of people on both sides of us, sobbing and obviously just scared out of their minds, was that Giuliani was the calmest one in the bunch.

COLLINS: By the time his first press conference came, just four hours after the second tower fell, Giuliani was the lone voice for a nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear, ultimately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: He delivered the bad news with the perfect mixture of compassion, anger, and reassurance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GIULIANI: American democracy is much stronger than a vicious, cowardly terrorist, and we're going to overcome this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Giuliani was, in a word, presidential.

KIRTZMALE: You have to remember that the day of the crisis, George W. Bush was in flight. It was really Rudy Giuliani who was on the air most of the day being very decisive and being very reassuring, telling people that we had weathered this extraordinary, extraordinary catastrophe, but that New York was going to be here today, it was going to be here tomorrow, and that we would survive.

COLLINS: The workaholic mayor even encouraged people to stay home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: If tomorrow is a day in which you want to stay home and stay with your family and give comfort and support maybe to other people that have been affected by this, it would be a good day to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KIRTZMALE: And I think that in this crisis, people wanted a father figure. They wanted someone who could tell them that it's OK to cry, it's OK to be scared.

COLLINS: Every day he gave tours of ground zero to international leaders, political foes, and members of Congress, hoping the ghastly sight would convince them to help.

The nephew of a firefighter, he performed the difficult task of attending every funeral and promoting fire officials to fill the positions of those lost.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: So you're all my heroes. You have been from the time I was a little boy and from the day that I became the mayor of New York City.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: He grieved while he took control. It seemed like Rudy could do no wrong. Even his harshest critics had to acknowledge he was handling the crisis beautifully.

KOCH: Since the catastrophe, he's exhibited the leadership which he's always had, but what was different was that he was sensitive and warm and compassionate and showed nuances with respect to emotion that he had never shown before.

COLLINS: But some took his emotional epiphany with a grain of salt.

SHARPTON: Maybe if he wasn't perceived to be so insensitive, no one would be paying so much attention to him finally showing sensitivity.

POWERS: And whether people have noticed his compassionate side, because it's always been there, and the tough side had gotten us a better city.

COLLINS: But about two weeks after the attack, a little bloom came off the rose. Politics began to creep in. The mayor, scheduled to leave office in January, was considering ways to stay on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: What I can tell you is that what I'd like to do is to maintain the unity that exists in the city. And I've met -- I'm going to meet with the candidates and talk to them about something that we can agree on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He's his own worst enemy. In the height of this, he allows underlings to come with a political agenda -- Let's change the law, let's extend his term -- and in many ways began to exploit the feeling of unity for his own political ends.

KIRTZMALE: I think he genuinely feels that none of the guys running for mayor would be able to do what he's doing.

COLLINS: While an extension of his term is still on the table, Giuliani has said he will not seek a third consecutive term.

But whatever happens, it would be unwise to ever count Rudy Giuliani out.

KIRTZMALE: He's a man who only thinks in terms of strategy. He's arguably a very Machiavellian figure, but at heart he's a person who just adores New York.

COLLINS: And there's still a chance that he could once again run the city that he likes to call the center of the universe.

KOCH: I'm sure that he will run for another office. I'm sure he'll run for mayor again. The law that we have bars running after you've had two consecutive terms, and so after this new mayor, whoever that may be, he will have the right to run.

KIRTZMALE: Giuliani is a born chief executive, and I think if he ever wanted to move out of City Hall, it would be to the governor's mansion or to the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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