Rumsfeld's Tears Are From Love for His Family

For U.S. Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Since my interview with Donald Rumsfeld ran this morning, I've received a number of e-mails saying in one form or another, "Wow, you made him cry." I expected him to cry when I started asking him about his family because I've seen it happen before. (Watch the interview at left)

During the funeral for Ronald Reagan, Rumsfeld did an interview with the cable networks about his father's Alzheimer's. He broke down then and somehow persuaded the cables not to run the tape. He broke down again when I asked him about his father during the Sunday Morning interview. He's remarkably consistent.

Whenever Rumsfeld talks about family crises - his children's drug addiction, his wife's illness, his father's Alzheimer's - he chokes up, yet he can handle the most intense high pressure situations and the nastiest questions without batting an eye. Somebody who knows more about psychology than I do will have to explain what that says about the man. His wife, Joyce, says it's simple - his family is the center of his life.

  • David Martin

    David Martin is CBS News' National Security Correspondent.