ABC's Tapper Attacks Giuliani's 'Lack of Transparency'

On the news of Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani’s hospitalization and release, ABC’s Jake Tapper spun it as a case of secrecy. On the December 21 edition of "Good Morning America," Tapper reported that after Giuliani and his wife claimed to be in "good health," his lack of details may harm him. "Experts on political crises say Giuliani is handling this the exact wrong way," Tapper suggested.

Tapper also stated, according to former Clinton aide Lanny Davis, 2000 long shot Democratic hopeful Bill Bradley’s lack of health disclosure was the "turning point"of his campaign.

Tapper finally played a sound bite of Giuliani promising a more open government. The ABC correspondent sniped back "apparently that pledge of transparency not applying to his current health crisis."

The entire transcript is below.

KATE SNOW: Now to the race for 2008 and the question everyone's asking this morning, what's going on with Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani? He got sick on Wednesday, spent the night in the hospital, he is out now, and the campaign is saying he's fine, but that's about all they're saying. ABC's senior political correspondent Jake Tapper is in Des Moines, Iowa this morning. Good morning, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER: Good morning, Kate. Well, while the other Republican candidates are busy campaigning here in Iowa, Rudy Giuliani fell so ill he had his plane turn around and he was rushed to an emergency room in St. Louis. Now, he's back in New York and thankfully feeling better. But the fact neither he nor his campaign will disclose any concrete medical information is raising some questions about his campaign and transparency. The former mayor rushed to the ER. Pain so severe, he made his pilot turn his plane around. But the next day, about all the public got from him was a press release saying he'd been given a clean bill of health, a brief statement from his wife-

 

JUDITH GIULIANI: Rudy is in very good health, as I'm sure you've heard by now.

TAPPER: And this --

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: I'm doing fine, I'm doing great. I'm sure that there are a lot of people that were concerned --

TAPPER: What was wrong? What tests did he get? What was causing such severe pains? Giuliani gave no details. Experts on political crises say Giuliani is handling this the exact wrong way. The Bush team who then face relentless questions about then vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney's heart recalls former strategist Matthew Dowd.

MATTHEW DOWD: What you learn is when the times that you hide and the times that you're not as up front about it is the times the story continues on and feeds on itself.

TAPPER: In December 1999 Senator Bill Bradley faced tough questions about the irregular heart rhythm he had not been completely forth right with the press about.

CHARLES GIBSON: So you were fully released, health records in the next week or so?

FORMER SENATOR BILL BRADLEY (D-NJ): We have fully release the result of an examination --

GIBSON: On the heart, but other medical records --

BRADLEY: No, no, we release the full examination.

TAPPER: Former Clinton White House senior aide Lanny Davis recalls Bradley's lack of disclosure being a turning point for his campaign.

LANNY DAVIS: I was in Iowa that night during the caucuses and I heard Iowa voters wondering whether Senator Bradley had a very serious heart problem.

 

TAPPER: The last time Giuliani was here in Iowa, he told voters his would be an open administration.

GIULIANI: I would make sure that government was transparent. My government in New York City was so transparent that they knew every single thing I did almost every time I did it.

TAPPER: Apparently that pledge about transparency not applying to his current health crisis. The irony, Chris, is of course if he gets the job as president, the White House physician will be disclosing all his medical information to the public.