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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 10/ 8/2007

Rudy's 'Spontaneous' Cell Phone 'Stunt'

By Michael Dobbs
[Photo of Rudy Giuliani
"Let's see now. This is my wife calling ... Hello dear. I'm talking, I'm talking to the members of the NRA right now. Would you like to say hello? I love you -- and I'll give you a call as soon as I'm finished. OK? OK, have a safe trip. Bye bye ... Talk to you later, dear. I love you." --Rudy Giuliani, addressing the National Rifle Association, September 21, 2007

What's up with Giuliani and cell phones? Was this a warm, fuzzy moment with his wife Judith or was it a clever piece of public relations manipulation designed to "humanize" the candidate?

The Facts

During the two weeks since Giuliani took a call from his wife in the middle of a speech to the NRA, a debate has raged over his motives. The columnist Robert Novak dismissed the incident as "a stunt" by the former New York mayor, noting that it has been "part of his political bag of tricks all year." Many bloggers have argued that the incident was staged.

Giuliani himself has provided various explanations for his habit of taking cell phone calls from his wife in the middle of campaign appearances. (By his own count, he has probably done it "half a dozen times" prior to his now-celebrated NRA speech. The Wall Street Journal estimates that it could have happened "more than 40 times." ) Giuliani's explanations include:

  • Since 9/11, Giuliani and his wife have made a habit of calling one another whenever they get on a plane in order to "reaffirm the fact that we love each other." (Interview with Christian Broadcast Network, September 28, 2007. See video here.) Judy Giuliani was getting on a plane heading back to New York from Washington when her husband took the call.
  • "I'm a spontaneous person, which sometimes leads to making a mistake...Basically I am going to try to be myself." (CBN interview.)
  • "I do it for fun. Most people seem to like and enjoy it." (A radio interview as reported by Newsday, October 5.)
  • "I've been married three times. I can't afford to lose another one. I'm sure you understand. " (To Bear Sterns executives in New York.)

  • Before deciding just how spontaneous these phone calls are, take a look at another one that was captured on video. This particular incident took place in Florida in June, in front of a group of Cuban-Americans. The audience responded with laughter and applause. "I just wanted to see that she was doing ok," Giuliani explained, adding for good measure that his wife is learning Spanish. See video here.

    Not content with taking phone calls from his wife in the middle of campaign appearances, Giuliani has also encouraged members of his audience to take calls from their families and significant others. When a cell phone rang in the middle of a press conference in South Carolina, he told the reporter to take the call, particularly if his kids were on the line and needed to packed off to school. See video here.

    Atlantic Monthly reporter Hanna Rosin recounted a similar incident at a motivational seminar in Iowa, shortly before Giuliani became a candidate. Interrupted by a cell phone in the middle of a speech about following "your hopes and dreams," Giuliani urged the audience member to answer the call in front of 18,000 people. "It's okay," he insisted. "You won't interrupt me...Just tell him you love him so I can get on with my speech." The woman was mortified.

    On that occasion, the former New York mayor provided yet another explanation for his curious cell phone habit. He recalled a scene in the movie "Dr Strangelove" where General Buck Turgidson gets a phone call from his secretary/mistress in the War Room, just as American atomic bombs are about to fall on Moscow. The general whispers urgently into the phone, explaining that it is a bad time to talk.

    My president needs me...Of course it isn't only physical. I deeply respect you as a human being. Someday I'm gonna make you Mrs. Buck Turgidson...Listen, sug', don't forget to say your prayers.

    At least Giuliani is only taking telephone calls from his wife, not his mistress. And while the NRA is an important audience, it is not the National Security Council.

    The Pinocchio Test

    This is a puzzling one. Without more information, it is difficult to divine Giuiliani's true motivations for taking these calls. We would like to hear more details about other, so far unreported incidents. Let us know what you think. Is the mayor really worried about Judy's safety post-9/11? Is he a hen-pecked spouse? Does he think this is cute behavior that will win him votes? Or all of the above?

    Verdict pending.

    By Michael Dobbs  | October 8, 2007; 8:15 AM ET
    Categories:  Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Verdict Pending  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Giuliani's "Twists and Turns" on Guns
    Next: 'Boots on the Ground' in Iraq


    I think I'm going to vomit.

    Posted by: Lamb Cannon | October 8, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

    As a husband, I can somewhat defend Rudy on this, as one of the rules of our marriage is always taking each other's calls no matter the inconveinence of its timing (after all, you never know when a loved one could be lying in a ditch). Then again, it's not as if Rudy couldn't give the cell phone to a trusted worker, and if it were a true emergency have that worker come on stage to pass along the seriousness. That latter lack of judgement is unsettling.

    Posted by: Spamboy | October 8, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

    It's because of 9-11!! LOL! This guy is nuts and so full of you know what. Anybody with any comonsense knows to turn off his cellphone when giving a speech. It is rude and disrespectful to the audience to interrupt one's OWN SPEECH. The next time he speaks, everyone should pull out their phones at the same time and start speaking to their spouses. Let's see how cute he thinks that is.

    Posted by: C-Dog | October 8, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

    Of course, on 9/11/01, when Rudy and Judith made their pact, Rudy was married to someone else and Judith WAS his mistress.

    Posted by: penelope505 | October 8, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

    What's the point of having a Pinocchio test if Michael Dobbs is so unwilling to actually give out Pinocchios?

    We're still waiting for verdicts and facts to be checked on your earlier columns. I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.

    Who did Dobbs know to get this gig? It had to be someone important because it's a complete waste of your money and our time.

    Posted by: OhGeez | October 8, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

    I think you're forgetting that if this isn't pre-arranged schtick, it speaks volumes about Judith Nathan and Rudy, too:

    1) Any decent spouse would know when the partner has a big speaking event that day.

    2) Any arguably rational spouse would go easy on the phone calls -- barring medical emergencies -- when the partner is known to be at or near the lectern.

    3) At a certain point, the recipient of over-needy calls at inopportune moments needs to ignore the calls or turn the phone off. That point for me would be immediately after the first major interruption.

    Sum of comment: Either we have a conspiracy to pull off a stunt -- repeatedly -- or we have neurotic, frantic Judi and over-indulgent, doting Rudy. Neither is a sign of the maturity & honesty I'm looking for in a president.

    Posted by: eck | October 8, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

    If the Giulianis speak as often as he claims, is it remotely conceivable that Mrs. Guiliana was unaware that he was giving at speech before the NRA, a very important constituency? If she was aware, what was her motivation in calling?

    Posted by: George Adams | October 8, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

    Of course it was staged. As soon as the phone rang he said he thought it was his wife and then without even looking at the caller ID answered by saying "Hello Dear"
    Then he said, "I'll call you back as soon as I finish with the speech" If she were actually getting on a plane where cell phone use is prohibited how was he going to call her right back?

    Posted by: Major Tom | October 8, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

    To follow up on George Adams' comment: Mr. Dobbs REALLY REALLY needs to interview Mrs. Guiliani. Her motivation is the key here. Did she call because she is a neurotic henpecker? Or because she always calls before she gets on a plane--if so, did she expect Rudy to answer no matter what, or would she have been happy just to leave a voicemail on his turned-off phone? Or did she call because it was a prearranged stunt?

    Posted by: Cabin John | October 8, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

    Where's the "fact"?

    Posted by: david | October 8, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

    Re: "At least Giuliani is only taking telephone calls from his wife, not his mistress."

    Note that on 9/11, Judi WAS his mistress. On 9/11, Giuliani's wife was Donna Hanover.

    Posted by: Dirty Davey | October 8, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

    From Major Tom: "Of course it was staged. As soon as the phone rang he said he thought it was his wife and then without even looking at the caller ID answered by saying 'Hello Dear'"

    While I agree it was likely staged, I don't think this is evidence of it. Lots of people have unique ring tones for when his spouse/kids/mistress call.

    Posted by: Bud Omsman | October 8, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

    Does it matter whether or not it was staged? Does it go to the core of his character? Wouldn't a smidgen of the desire to be spontaneous be a good thing in a President?

    Posted by: delaney | October 8, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

    Well, it's nearly 2008, and Rudy is just trying to fulfill three new qualities Americans seem to expect in presidents: total lack of basic manners and respect for his audience, forehead-slapping stupidity, and fundamental dishonesty.

    Posted by: Mr. Manners | October 8, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

    actually, despite your clever attempts to misinform otherwise, rudy did, in fact, take a call from his mistress. if he's proclaiming he's calling his 'wife' since 9/11, then dame judith wasn't the recipient -- donna hanover was his wife at that time. curious, no, that the wapo writer didn't appear to know that fact.

    Posted by: linda | October 8, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

    Someone should ask Rudy if he'll take cell phone calls during the State of the Union address, during press conferences, when addressing the nation on television, etc., if he is elected.

    What a crass trick for him to use. Are we supposed to believe that he and his (third) wife are all lovey dovey? That somehow this stunt proves he is of good moral character? I wonder if he'd take a cell phone call from his kids....

    Posted by: Castanea | October 8, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

    WHO CARES! Why aren't we talking about serious issues here at fact-checker? Anyone with half a brain would recognize Rudy's schtick. I just wish all of the candidates would stop this silliness and get real. At least Obama doesn't talk down to us. Oh right -- Chris Matthews accused Obama of being "too NPR." We NEED a president who capable of intelligent thought, based on facts. So PLEASE stop encouraging this childishness - fake laughing, phony phone calls, gushiness, pandering religiousity. I'm sick of it!

    Posted by: Joyce | October 8, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

    I would have been more impressed and convinced if it had been a phone call from one of his children. That would have been news.

    Posted by: Todd | October 8, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

    In my mind, taking a call in the middle of giving a speech is insulting to the audience that you're addressing. You are saying to the audience that they are not important as the call the you've decided to answer.

    Posted by: Alan | October 8, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

    I'd like to believe the call wasn't staged, but I need to check with the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus first on what they think.

    Posted by: Jayne | October 8, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

    It was staged, like a kid with a toy phone

    Posted by: ch | October 8, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

    Regardless of why Giuliani takes phone calls in the middle of speeches, he looks like a moron when he does it! And do we really need yet another moron occupying the White House? We've had 7 years of uninterrupted lunacy in the White House. Why in the world would we want 4 more?!?!?

    Posted by: Kay Decker | October 8, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

    Humanize Rudy-

    Yeah and they tried to soften Stalin...
    Make Reagan look intelligent...
    Bush is a war hero...

    Posted by: Kase | October 8, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

    To those who wonder if Rudy Giuliani would take a call from his kids, isn't the better question, "Would Rudy's kids ever bother to call him?" Rudy Giuliani has to be the master of dysfunctional relationships. What decent human being would announce during a press conference an intent to divorce their spouse?

    Posted by: Kay Decker | October 8, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

    Does he think this is cute behavior that will win him votes?

    Yes. Because credulous reporters don't follow up on the questions that you're raising. So all voters will hear is a vague story about how Rudy took a phone call from Judy, and awwwwww, isn't that sweet? He's really settled down....

    So yeah, it's a calculated political stunt. Oh, and you might want to additionally point out that Rudy wasn't married to Judy on 9/11.

    Posted by: CT Voter | October 8, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

    Giuliani is all about reminding everyone that his central theme is: How I responded and was "THE Man" on September 11. As much as I despise Donald Rumsfeld, I saw HIM carrying wounded victims away from the Pentagon, and we all tend to forget that the Pentagon suffered a serious hit too, when everyone reminds everyone that New York City was the most devastated. Giuliani says he kept New York City together in the face of the worst attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor. He's really got serious flaws in just about every other part of his administration as mayor.
    I want to remind people that when the rampup to the Iraq War was in full swing, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, et al, told us things that they stated were fact. We have hopefully become wiser because many of us said it enough times to the Press ... which was more gullible than a 3 year old ... Just because they say it's so, don't make it so!
    I'd like the Washington Post, and readers to these forums, to look at something else that needs to be discussed re: Giuliani:
    First, I have nothing against Cross-Dressing Men, and rarer, women. It is a predilection that is fairly rare, I'd say. But, as I've looked back at some of those who did it A LOT ... Milton Berle; Flip Wilson; the guy in Great Britain; and others, what I have observed is: they really like to do it. Jake Gylenhall did it recently. So the question I've always asked is:
    Do they do it because they're bold as brass, and they know it gets riotous laughter? Or, do the do it because not only do they know it get's rioteous laughter, but because they LIKE doing it.
    Check out uTube and you'll see several of Rudi's cross-dressing incidents.
    The question I hope is asked is:
    Mr. Mayor: there are currently x y or z number of videos floating around of you in drag. If you want to be President, are you willing to concede to the American public that you actually LIKE cross dressing? Shouldn't the American people have a right to know they may have their very first cross-dressing President in history? Aren't we entitled to the truth?
    Because, frankly, Mr. President: a man who LIKES to cross-dress, and yet, won't admit it, could be blackmailed. And gosh, we sure don't want you to ever, ever be blackmailed.
    Let's try and also ask George Bush and Dick Cheney, whenever they lay that line of crap on us about how the U.S. does not torture,. to ask them: Does that mean, Mr. Vice President, that you've allowed yourself to be subjected to: water boarding; being chained to the floor of a bare cell, naked, and let to urinate and defecate on yourself, and be subjected to very cold and very hot temps, as well as ear splitting rock music, to ensure that nope> harsh interrogation methods did NOT FEEL like torture to you!!!
    I believe Rudi's a consummate liar. He's trying to bring into the big time, and all he's ever done was run NYC. While that's significant, he doesn't really have the juice I think people want in a President. We don't need another liar, or bragging tough talker (I'd call the guys down at Guantanamo and tell them to get as creative as possible, when they're interrogating terrorists."

    Posted by: Ramparts | October 8, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

    good god! I think the fact checker is a brilliant new feature, but it's going to be a very temporary one if things continue at this rate. The great thing about this fact checker, at least in theory, is that it could help focus your readers more on the actual substance at issue in the campaign - cut through all the noise, all the personal BS, all the $400 haircuts and pink suits and photogenic sons and expensive spousal handbags, and really get at the details of the candidates' key policy proposals by objectively examining which candidates are basing their claims on fact versus stretching the truth.

    However, this is going to be an awfully short-lived feature if you use your limited postings on incredibly inane questions like whether Giuliani's phonecalls are staged (which, unlike any of the myriad of policy questios you could have tackled, has no definitive answer) This post was a complete waste of space, not to mention my time and yours. It proved nothing, shed no light on the process, cut through absolutely no spin - it only added fuel to a minor feeding frenzy. I hope you will use this new feature in the future to try to focus our attention on the issues that matter!

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

    No matter what the motivation, this man is loony. He compares himself with a dumb and deranged warmonger from Dr. Strangelove. Not reassuring. Wtf goes on in his mind?

    Posted by: Cassandra | October 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

    Staged or was tacky. It's even tackier still to claim that 9/11 changed everything so that he now answers all of his cell phone calls. It's even tackier still to charge $9.11 for a fundraiser. We get it Rudy. You and 9/11 are bestest pals ever and won't ever be separated. Now go back to something you're good at like cheating on your wife...

    Posted by: dan | October 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

    well, his current wife but his former mistress (against whom his last wife had to get a restraining order to keep her out of the same house where Rudi's small chidren lived).

    If he's elected he'll be taking calls from his mistress in the situation room . . .

    Posted by: Anne Kilgore | October 8, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

    I disagree with anon poster. I thought this was a very enlightening insight into the bizarre workings of Rudy's twisted mind...

    Posted by: Cassandra | October 8, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

    It proved nothing, shed no light on the process, cut through absolutely no spin - it only added fuel to a minor feeding frenzy.

    I disagree. It illuminated a glaring feature of the Giuliani campaign. Take away the Rudy Giluiani 9/11 for 24/7 campaign theme, and you've got a totally contrived and fake campaign, willing to say and do anything that will appeal to the "base". Reproductive freedom? Oh, that was before 9/11. Banning assault weapons? Oh, 9/11 made me realize how important "personal liberties" are. Gay marriage? Well, 9/11 made me reconsider the importance of social institutions (that I myself have been spectacularly unable to respect....).

    That last part was made up. But I don't be surprised if Giuliani manages to work 9/11 into the issue of civil unions for gays. And the credulous press will simply report it.

    The man is a farce. He is truly running as the President of 9/11, as the Onion once presciently reported.

    Any illumination into the habits (staged or spontaneous) of this lying hypocrite is a worthwhile use of time.

    Posted by: CT Voter | October 8, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

    May be he has no idea how to turn off cell phone. just let it go, we sure deserve better than W :)

    Posted by: MI repub | October 8, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

    Somebody in that audience should have shot that cell phone out of his hand.

    Posted by: Texan | October 8, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

    It's not cute and its actually very insulting and unprofessional. More to the point: Shouldn't his 3rd wife know his schedule and wwhen NOT to call? Here's a new concept: Keep the phone on vibrate!

    Posted by: Nancy | October 8, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

    Awwwwwww, he's a family man, how sweet, even if it is Splenda! How is it better than calling his mistress? She is his mistress. He just married her as a stunt. As for telling audience members to answer their cell, "especially if it's your children" what a clever way to counter the image of his being estranged from his own. I tip my hat to his PR coach, while wondering why Hillary is panned as "phony", Al "wooden", Kerry "French", and Edwards "a Breck Girl", while Ghoulianni gets supportive laughter and applause for his act that says: "Nothing is more important to me than family, which is why I'm replace them when they get old.

    Posted by: jhbyer | October 8, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

    So who says anyone was on the line, much less devoted wife number three that we are supposed um grow to love? It was probably his campaign manager in the back of the room, like some dog and pony show.

    Posted by: call me cynical | October 8, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

    Think about the week. That was the week that Hillary was dominating the news cycles, nobody else was getting any press coverage, unless it was way in the back pages. Giuliani, among other Republican candidates, was addressing the NRA, a somewhat hostle group. The phone call puts him, and only him, right up there with Hillary in press coverage, wading into the lion's den of the NRA. Pretty good piece of theater. Didn't cost a penny of campaign contributions yet put him in the same press cycles with Hillary. Spontanious maybe but it paid off in spades. After watching him in NYC for 8 years he's very good at grabbing attention with little bits of business.

    Posted by: HarryR | October 8, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

    OH PLLLLLLEASE...How much longer does this guy intend to milk the 9/11 cow? Let's make him the president of 9/11 and the rest of us can move on.

    Posted by: MD | October 8, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

    How DARE you question the propriety of Giluiani answering the phone during public appearances. Don't you understand? 9/11 changed EVERYTHING! That's EVERYTHING. Facts, manners, honesty, reality, elemental forces of nature, THEY'RE ALL CHANGED!!!

    Posted by: CT | October 8, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

    Fact Checker,

    why didn't you check his phone records?

    Posted by: george | October 8, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

    ummm, because this is real life and not a tv show, and phone records aren't public?

    Posted by: b | October 8, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

    I haven't read all comments so I don't know if anyone else noticed that Rudy identified the caller as his wife before he took the phone out to answer. So, it was planned for her to call at that particular moment. He wasn't at all surprised. Such a phony!!!

    Posted by: sam | October 8, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

    I 9-11 don't 9-11 think 9-11 Rudy 9-11 was 9-11 trying 9-11 any 9-11 stunt 9-11 at 9-11 all 9-11. What 9-11 could 9-11 be 9-11 the 9-11 point 9-11 of 9-11 such 9-11 a 9-11 stunt? 9-11 You 9-11 wouldn't 9-11 suggest 9-11 that 9-11 any 9-11 man 9-11 with 9-11 a 9-11 shred 9-11 of 9-11 dignity 9-11 would 9-11 use 9-11 a 9-11 national 9-11 tragedy 9-11 to 9-11 further 9-11 his 9-11 ambitions, 9-11 would 9-11 you? 9-11


    Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

    Give the guy a break. Maybe he needs the phone to call September 11. I mean 911.

    Posted by: mike | October 8, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

    It was the height of rudeness, eventhough it was a stunt. Even putting a person "on hold" to answer a "call waiting" beep is rude, and he put the whole audience on hold with this stunt.

    Posted by: Dorothy | October 8, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

    "As a husband, I can somewhat defend Rudy on this, as one of the rules of our marriage is always taking each other's calls no matter the inconveinence of its timing (after all, you never know when a loved one could be lying in a ditch)."

    You're on a short leash. If one of us is in the middle of something, we don't answer. If it rings again right away, then we answer (unless she's in court).

    Posted by: LOTP | October 8, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

    I love the way he says he doesn't want to lose another one. Here is a man who divorced his wives and tries to obfuscate the truth. It's like, oh I've misplaced two wives, I have to make sure where the third one is all the time. They call this guy a strong leader. To me a strong leader is someone who sticks with the vows he has taken before God. If he can't follow through on his word to God, how can all the so-called Christian Republicans vote for him. I guess their belief in God goes just so far.

    Posted by: Richard | October 8, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

    Wait, I thought Romney said Obama was Dr Strangelove. There are too many Dr Strangelove references around here. This is creepy.

    Posted by: sickofspam | October 8, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

    Are these calls in fact coming from his wife or from a staffer who calls? Has anyone actually heard his phone ring?

    This is classic Bob Newhart stuff.

    Others could get in on the act, taking calls to demonstrate closeness. Hillary from Bill, Obama from Jesse, Bush from God. Thompson could get a wake-up call.

    Posted by: Robert | October 8, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

    Delaney sez: "Does it matter whether or not it was staged? Does it go to the core of his character? Wouldn't a smidgen of the desire to be spontaneous be a good thing in a President?"

    No. We've had enough of that with the incumbent. What would be a good thing in a president would be honesty, wisdom, thoughtfulness, and discretion--none of which is possessed by Mr. Giuliani.

    Posted by: Helena Montana | October 8, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

    What a cop out. He gets 5 liars. They say it is spontaneous, but it has happened over and over. They say it has to do with 9-11, but he was married to another woman on 9-11. The man lies. And this column stinks.

    Posted by: Greg in LA | October 8, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

    A real 'family values' kind of guy--Old Glory lapel pin, even on his PJ's, taking 'family' calls during public events--Rudy really knows how to live his 'family values'.
    Of course, the regime in power now is all about 'family values'--and we've seen what that's got us. Do we really want another 'family values' candidate?

    Posted by: cody mccall | October 8, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

    Taking a cell call while speaking is rude to the audience and stupid. I would have walked out.

    Posted by: Uncle Willie | October 8, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

    I am LOL! This was an enlightening post, and worthy of my time. For those who thought otherwise, I would suggest hitting the 'back' button on your browser. Yes, it was staged, and yes if it was an emergency his wife could have called again. That's a pact I have with my partner. Mobile phone records are able to be checked, btw, so good point. And, finally, I LOVED the comment about shooting the phone (not an NRA member myself) out of his hand during the NRA speech! LOL!

    Posted by: Captain John | October 8, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

    I love how everybody that writes here think they are perfect and they don't do sins. Rudy is human so are all of us and I bet you guys anything we all have sins. So shut up and find something better to do than wasting your time looking at others and look at yourselfs. Idiot's...

    Posted by: irizarryrafael | October 8, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

    Rudy has people who can stand backstage, hold his phone, and hey, even answer it while he gives a speech! He's either showboating or hen-pecked, but the bottom line is the same: Rudy is rude.

    Posted by: TheNorthWing | October 8, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

    Of course it's staged. Of course people who are subjected to this kind of rude, staged, nauseatingly cute behavior find it revolting. I hope he keeps doing it, over and over and over and over. If we're lucky, he'll do it during one of the debates.

    In fact, one of the other candidates should stage a fake incoming call just to make fun of him. The audience will love it.

    Posted by: Vulture Breath | October 8, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

    It played like a Burns and Allen routine. George on stage talking to the sponsor. Ring...ring... "Hello, oh hello, Gracie. Yes, I know I'm late, but I'm talking to Mr. Granger. Our Sponsor, Gracie. He pays for the show. Yes, Dear. I'll be home right away. I'm sure Mr.Granger will understand."

    Posted by: ivy | October 8, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

    You hold Move On's feet to the fire with, wasn't it 4, pinocchios and you give this guy a pass without, Oh Great Fact Checker, noting that

    1. He wasn't married to her on 9/11.

    2. He said it was his wife before he even looked at the phone.

    3. The mere "fact" that he has given so MANY different explanations indicates that many, if not all, of such explanations are false.

    Staged! Of course it was. Once is an accident, several times is a stunt.

    My take: He thinks it's "cute." Fact: it shows him to be clueless.

    Posted by: Cal Gal | October 8, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

    I think Rudy is as honest as any Red Bushie Repub can be nowadays.

    Which means he's lying. Par for the course with the party of the small tent of Red Bushies.

    Posted by: Will in Seattle | October 8, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

    Taking phone calls when in the middle of something important is rude and poor judgement. Is he going to take happy calls from his wifey when he's in the middle of diplomatic talks with other nations' leaders? How could anyone support someone who is this much of a louse and game player?

    Posted by: Peg | October 8, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

    Cross-dresser Giuliani sets up the phone calls with his "wife" to make people think he's straight. He's a fraud and no man who dodged the draft to beat Vietnam...and a stone fool moron or a traitor: Please take 18 minutes and watch "Justice for 9/11" if America has any value to you philosophically -

    Posted by: American | October 8, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse


    Posted by: NY Resident | October 8, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

    Who cares. Isn't there other more important things to focus on in this election? Is there really such a lack of differences between the candidates that we have only silly things like "cell phone stunts" to focus on? This is sad.

    Posted by: mg | October 8, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

    Being a conservative Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States doesn't always make one behave like a wild-eyed delusional paranoid lunatic, however, it does tend to make you believe you should employ others to behave like paranoid lunatics on your behalf.

    This is just my hypothesis: Rudy's people are concerned that the May/December nature of Rude's and Jude's Luv Marriage might paint him in a less-than-sexually normal to prude light which is clearly what the Elephants want in their candidates. His lunatic people think something like this: Rudy's got himself a trophy wife. Dayum! them Religious Right folk are gonna think our boy Rude indulges in the taboo that tops all others.... and that, my friends, is cell phone sex!

    I know I'm reaching here, but wtf other reason could there possibly be for such weird and stilted behavior?

    Just a delusional thought...or is it? *waggles eyebrows*

    Posted by: shineonucrazydiamond | October 9, 2007 4:17 AM | Report abuse

    Simply put, he said since 9/11 they take time to call because of what happened. This could have been with his wife at that time, as well as his current wife. After all the man was at ground zero and that changes anyone. Secondly, simple enough to check the flight schedule of his current wife to see if they time with the calls. How is it hen-pecked to want to tell your wife/husband you love them each time they fly *just in case.* I also hate to break it to some of you idiots, but the man has more to his credit than how he dealt with sept 11th. Can we say lower crime rates in NYC. A president is only as good as the people he places in power to assist him. Rudy did one hell of a job assigning the right people to the right jobs to get things cleaned up in NYC. Stunt or not, the man has the qualifications to do the job. At least he isn't out there hiring wanted criminals to gather donations for him.

    Posted by: Reality Check | October 9, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

    Reality Check, I don't think Rudey has that kind of clout yet, to have Jack Abramoff out collecting donations for him. Besides, isn't Abramoff in prison already?
    Are Federal Prisoners even allowed to collect donations for political canadites?

    Posted by: Nine Twelve | October 9, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

    Brilliant animated editorial cartoon commentary on this here: - enjoy!

    Posted by: PimlicoPete | October 10, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

    I don't buy for one second that it is spontaneous. He is a liar and tries to play everyone for fools in order to draw the focus away from his other less than favorable activities in his private life.

    Someone one said we are wasting our time talking about this. But I say in a time when it is sometimes difficult to distinguish one candidate from another, it is important to look at their character as a means of judging them. To me this behavior is fake, and that says something about him: He is dishonest.

    I do not believe him when he tells me he will be a good president.

    Posted by: B | October 12, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

    Don't worry. At least Rudy wasn't driving in traffic when he called his wife. But from what I understand even a couple of divorces haven't taught him to listen to anyone who disagrees with him.

    Posted by: Ed Stein | October 12, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

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    Posted by: Benton Wilkins | October 17, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

    "At least Giuliani is only taking telephone calls from his wife, not his mistress."

    This is an unsubstantiated claim, rendered still more suspect by history.

    Posted by: Number Four in the wings? | November 7, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

    landholder caecostomy technique recollectedly vocal diploneural surgically predisability >First Up: Paying at the Pump

    Posted by: Alfonzo Landry | December 16, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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