Friday, May 11, 2007

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Maybe you’ve heard a bit from the first Republican Presidential Debate hosted by MSNBC at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The most notable part of the debate was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s answer regarding abortion. Here’s the first exchange:

Moderator: We now go to the next segment. We're going to talk about values. Let's go down the line on this just like they did with the Democrats last week on some of these trickier calls, but they do have clear answers. Starting with you, Governor, would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for America.

Romney: Absolutely.

Moderator: Senator?

Brownback (?): It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.

Moderator: Governor?

Gilmore (?): Yes, it was wrongly decided.

Moderator: Governor?

Huckabee (?): Most certainly.

Moderator: Congressman?

Hunter (?): Yes.

Moderator: Governor?

(Unknown): Yes.

Moderator: Senator?

A repeal.


Giuliani: It would be OK.

Moderator: OK to repeal?

Giuliani: It would be OK to repeal. It would be also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent and I think a judge has to make that decision.

Moderator: Would it be OK if they didn't repeal it?

Giuliani: I think the court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it. We're a federalist system of government and states can make their own decisions.

Moderator: Congressman?

Tancredo (?): After 40 million dead because we have aborted them in this country, I would say that that would be the greatest day in this country's history when that, in fact, is overturned.


This might be a good time to remark that debate moderators (in this case MSNBC Hardball’s host Chris Matthews) often go beyond their role to moderate a debate and try to create a debate, or a least to help bolster ratings through controversial statements.

In any event, Giuliani was the most least-excited candidate on the prospects of Roe v. Wade being overturned. Matthews came back to Giuliani and few moments later:

Let me go back to Governor -- Mayor Giuliani, because I want to give you a chance on this. You became very well known for standing up against the use of public funds for what many people considered indecent exhibits at the Brooklyn museum and places like that.
Why do you support the use of public funds for abortion?

Giuliani: I don't. I support the Hyde amendment. I hate abortion. I wish people didn't have abortions.

Moderator: So you're not for funding at all?

Giuliani: I believe that the Hyde amendment should remain the law. States should make their decision. Some states decide to do it. Most states decide not to do it. And I think that's the appropriate way to have this decided.

Moderator: Should New York, when you were mayor of New York, should they have been paying for -- the state should have been paying for...

Giuliani: That's a decision New York made a long time ago. And New York...

Moderator: And where were you on that?

Giuliani: I supported it in New York, but I think, in other places, people can come to a different decision.

Moderator: Thank you.


Classic politician double-speak and flip-flop. As Mayor of New York, Giuliani supported public funding for abortions. As President candidate, Giuliani supports states deciding whether to support abortion with public money.

So, at the heart of the matter, Giuliani hasn’t really changed. He believed and still believes that public money can be used for abortion and that private citizens who have a conviction against the killing procedure will just have to live with it were their state to decide to fund it.

Thanks, but no thanks, Rudy.

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