Came, not surprisingly, during the Bernie Kerik portion of the program:

Russert: Do you recall the warning you were given about Mr. Kerik?
MR. GIULIANI:  I don’t.  I don’t, and, and I’ll explain it to you.  First of all, this is very, you know, this is a very tragic and terrible situation for everybody.  Now, the reality is I made a mistake.  I made a mistake in not vetting him carefully enough.  And it’s my responsibility; I should have.  And I’ve appointed hundreds, thousands of people; to that level, probably hundreds of people, and I have made few mistakes.  Most of them have been correct, most of them have been outstanding people.  Most of them have been outstanding enough to get exceptional results with their services—reducing crime or reducing welfare, turning around the city of New York, prosecuting organized crime, prosecuting white collar crime.  So I think my judgment on appointments turns out to almost always be very good, with, unfortunately, some mistakes that I’ve made.  This is one of them, and I’m really sorry for it and have, and have learned from it.
On the other side, Bernard Kerik’s public performance, meaning as corrections commissioner, as police commissioner was excellent.  He reduced—helped to reduce violence in the city jails by 70, 80 percent. “60 Minutes” did a whole piece on how he had—he and his team had turned New York City jails into one of the safest in the country. He reduced crime in New York. He was a hero in every respect on September 11 and in the days after that.  I watched him—we were trapped in a building together, I watched him operate. There was this other thing going on that I should have known about. I take responsibility for it. I should have figured it out, and I’ve learned from it and will not make that mistake in the future. ...

When one of your top former aides gets indicted on 16 counts of fraud and corruption, you probably want to avoid any "on the other hand" line of argument. How big a sleazebag do you have to be before Rudy Giuliani will completely cut you off?

--Noam Scheiber