TODAY   |  May 14, 2013

Rumsfeld blushes over ‘yummy Rummy’ comment

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld blushes when Kathie Lee reveals how her former assistant had a small crush on him and called him “yummy Rummy.” Rumsfeld writes in his book “Rumsfeld’s Rules” that saying “thank you” and “I am sorry” has helped him through a successful marriage of 58 years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> donald rumsfeld , you heard us, that's right, the donald rumsfeld . former defense secretary and a lot more. twice he was -- he's got quite the resum?.

>> through it all, he learned a lot of life lessons, everything from the four rules of a happy marriage to why everyone should own a dog.

>> i'm a total fan. i just got her one.

>> you have to. we made a deal when we got married, and that was a long time ago. 1954 , we got married. we'd always have a dog.

>> you're going to tell us in a moment why that's helpful. but first we want to hold up the book.

>> it's called "rumsfeld's rules."

>> we're delighted that you're here but i have a little confession to make. a few years ago i had an assistant who shall remain nameless, named mickey. and she was so in love with you. she called yummy rummy.

>> oh no.

>> and that's all i could think of as you walked in. yummy rummy is here today.

>> that was a long time ago.

>> no, maybe about ten years and you're the fitness freak. you still got it.

>> i play squash.

>> and you work out every day, don't you?

>> a little bit.

>> there are a lot of interesting current events that are going on. we're going to talk about those in a minute. but this book is filled with interesting rules. you collected quotes ever since you were young and you compiled them finally into this book. why did you do that in the beginning?

>> well my mother was a schoolteacher so when i didn't know a word she said, look it up. write it down. and then i started collecting thoughts and ideas from people who are smart and wise and i ended up sticking them in a file. and president ford one day when i was the white house chief of staff said, well, what is that? and i said, that's one of my friendly rules. and he said, well, let me see them. and i had them typed up and that's where rumsfeld's rules began.

>> and some are quotes from other people.

>> and certainly not all mine.

>> and there are people who are a lot smarter.

>> let's talk about the four rules to marriage. you've been married a long time.

>> how many years?

>> 1954 . i got married.

>> that's a year older than did so it's -- 60 years coming up next year, you're 59. shoot. anyway, a long time.

>> let me get my phone out.

>> what are your four rules?

>> the four rules about marriage. are really probably things that we all break. but it says, "i'm sorry" "i love you." "who am i?" no, what can i do to help?

>> and it's interesting, you put "i'm sorry" first.

>> uh-huh.

>> people just can't say "i'm sorry." are doomed to fail in life, aren't you?

>> the other is i love you. that's -- that helps.

>> your wife is an interesting woman.

>> she was quoted as saying once that you're a little afraid of her. which i kind of liked.

>> you're a lot afraid of her, right?

>> well i'm not stupid. no, it's, i think back, we got married when we were 22 years old. what did we know? what do you know when you're 22?

>> you think you know everything.

>> my goodness, it's just good luck, it's good fortune.

>> what's the one thing she's taught you, beyond everything else?

>> humility. she, she is wise. and so i listen to her.

>> uh-huh.

>> you have to have somebody in your life you trust completely don't you?

>> indeed.

>> there was something about how the "associated press's" phones were listened into by the department of justice today.

>> yes.

>> they talked about hundreds of reporters and phone calls . what's your take, what's your take on that?

>> i don't know enough about it. that's one of my rules, if you don't know say i don't know.

>> there's nothing wrong with that. it is a very important thing, privacy.

>> and certainly a free press is critically important in a democracy. and the idea that government can do that, has to be done, if it's done at all, with a very good reason. and under supervision of some kind.

>> the same can be said for the irs situation.

>> oh, my goodness. imagine the power there. of people -- it sends chills down people.

>> we are delighted to have you here today, thank you so much. and say hello to your life and congratulations, his first great grandchild is about to be born.