Update: Byron York has a great discussion of Giuliani in the newest NR. Basicly the same story.
Ankle Biting Pundits recently posted the results of a Frank Luntz focus group on possible 2008 GOP candidates. The finding on Giuliani was quite interesting:
His style is unique and appealing, and Republicans definitely see him as presidential, Luntz said. But social issues, such as abortion rights and gun control, that are so important to New Hampshire and Iowa Republicans could derail his candidacy.
â€œRudy will always be Americaâ€™s mayor. But after hearing the whole story, Republican voters just arenâ€™t sure heâ€™s the right choice for Americaâ€™s next president,â€ Luntz said.
So in the last several days, conservatives have started to “tell the whole story”.
First, a reporter in South Carolina asks Giuliani if he is a conservative. He responds that the people in NYC think he is. That strikes me as tone deaf. I can’t imagine that a South Carolinian wants someone from NYC telling him that Rudy is a conservative. And I don’t think that the guy from NYC has any credibility on the issue.
But Rudy Giuliani was never a conservative of any kind.
As Kate Oâ€™Beirne pointed out in a recent analysis in National Review, Giuliani was endorsed for mayor in 1989 by the Liberal Party, which said of him: â€œHe agreed with the Liberal Partyâ€™s views on affirmative action, gay rights, gun control, school prayer, and tuition tax credits.â€
In 1992, Oâ€™Beirne reports, Giuliani said Nelson Rockefeller represented â€œa tradition in the Republican Party Iâ€™ve worked to rekindleâ€”the Rockefeller, Javits, Lefkowitz tradition.â€
And then this morning, Red State follows up with a slam on Giuliani that ends with:
It’s too early to call anything for Rudy, or even to call him a frontrunner – but social conservatives need to wake up to the reality that everything will not be okay in a Rudy presidency, election-year platitudes aside. Let’s nip this momentum in the bud, while we still have a chance.
They certainly appear to be trying.