Giuliani, wife discuss White House roles

Giuliani 2008
Republican presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani answers questions from reporters after shopping at a Target store in Las Vegas on Wednesday.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani says if elected, he'd be open to his wife attending Cabinet meetings on issues in which she's interested.

In an interview with Barbara Walters to air Friday on ABC News' "20/20," the former New York city mayor and his wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani, answered questions about the six marriages between them and whether she was the "other woman" who caused the breakup of his second marriage to TV personality Donna Hanover.

Rudy Giuliani, the current front-runner in the 2008 GOP race, discussed what role his wife would play if he wins the White House. In 1990s, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton played a prominent role in her husband's administration, including a failed effort on health care reform. Her policy efforts created some problems for the couple.

Asked whether his wife would sit in on Cabinet meetings, Giuliani said, "If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with."

Giuliani described his wife as a close adviser who has as much involvement in his campaign as she wants.

Asked if she would sit in on policy meetings, Mrs. Giuliani said: "If he asks me to, yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."

Giuliani's three marriages
He disputed suggestions that she was responsible for the messy and very public breakup of his marriage to Hanover, with whom he had two children, Andrew and Christine. Giuliani's relationship with his children has been strained.

"No, she was not," he said. "I tried to keep that all as private as possible. ... I think I should be very, very clear, that she was not the cause of the break up in any way at all."

Calling Judith Giuliani "the light of my life," the former mayor declined to say whether his marriage to Hanover had been in trouble.

Judith Giuliani, who recently revealed that she had been married twice previously not once, said it was difficult to be seen as the "other woman."

Giuliani's first marriage to his second cousin, Regina Peruggi, ended after 14 years in divorce and later an annulment. Giuliani said he doesn't think the nation has reached the point in which divorce is not important in choosing a president, but argued that voters will evaluate the whole person.

"None of us, at least I don't think any of us, have perfect lives," he said. "I can say very credibly to people, 'Judge me by my public performance. Whatever mistakes I've made in my personal life, I made, I'm sorry for them.' "