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April 05, 2007

Giuliani: Not Quite Dead?
Update: Okay, Now He's Dead
Update: Wait, He's Getting Better

Again, unable to view the video, I didn't actually hear what he said. Captain Ed has a transcript, and there is hope for Giuliani to de-sabotage his campaign, if he's at all interested in doing so.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN Wednesday he supports public funding for some abortions, a position he advocated as mayor and one that will likely put the GOP presidential candidate at odds with social conservatives in his party.

"Ultimately, it's a constitutional right, and therefore if it's a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected," Giuliani said in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash in Florida's capital city. ...

When asked directly Wednesday if he still supported the use of public funding for abortions, Giuliani said "Yes."

"If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right," he explained, "If that's the status of the law, yes."

Not the "if's." As Captain Ed says:

This is an absurd statement on two levels. First, while Roe v Wade acts as precedent for the Constitutionality of abortion, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government must provide its citizens with what it allows. If that were true, the federal government would be required to arm every citizen.

Indeed, it is an absurd statement, and so absurd, therefore, that he can recover from it if he's still interested in being president, which his recent actions suggest he isn't.

He can claim -- again, unless he's really running for DHS, which, um, I don't think he needs to fund-raise for -- that of course he wasn't saying what he's been interpreted as saying, he's only saying that to the extent the current law requires abortion rights to be protected, he supports enforcing the law as it currently is, i.e., he only meant he would not intentionally subvert it, which is a silly statement to make, but whatever.

And as evidence that he didn't mean what he seems to have meant he can point out the sheer absurdity of reading his words as they seemed to read. While the constitution may guarantee a woman's right to have an abortion, it simply does not guarantee a woman's right to have the federal government pay for her abortion out of federal funds. Such a position is patently absurd and, ipso facto, is evidence he didn't intend to say that.

Now, the thing is: I think he he did intend to say that he supported public funding of abortions, and he's using the "constitution made me do it" as his spurious defense.

Still, if he'd like to walk back this particularly smelly cat, he's got about 12 hours left to "clarify" his remarks.*

Here's a YouTube clip I actually can watch:

* Not that I expect him to. But in case he's never discussed the issue with anyone outside the five boroughs, here's the skinny: It matters to Republican voters. And no, 9/11 is not going to get you through the primaries if you stick your thumb in the eyes of the Republican base.

McCain: Not Quite Dead? Doing well in polls of the key state of New Hampshire. Though I don't know how key it is anymore, now that we're pretty much going to nominate the candidate on, what, February 5th's Super Duper Tuesday?

A Clemson political science professor and MFO (Master of the Friggin' Obvious) agrees that Giuliani is now all done:

“He’s toast,” said Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard. “I think it’s going to be really hard for him to overcome this in South Carolina.”

While Republicans in South Carolina oppose abortion by degrees — allowing abortions in certain circumstances, such as a mother’s health, rape or incest — there’s little room on public financing, said Oran Smith, executive director of the Palmetto Family Council, an anti-abortion group.


Such a minor point, really, in the scheme of things. And yet he couldn't concede it.

Pride goeth before a major fall in the polls.

He Didn't Take The Out: Doubled down. On paired eights. Kind of a, ummm, bad move.

Addressing the discontent over his pro-funding-for-abortions remarks:

"If that's real important to you, if that's the most important thing, I'm comfortable with the fact that you won't vote for me."

Prepare for a great deal of comfort, Mayor. Hey, I don't even care about this issue and I'm now off the bandwagon simply because I no longer consider him a serious candidate.

Influence Peddler also notes that Rudy's stock has tumbled. No, really, his stock on InTrade. Fell 15% in just one day.

Eh. I'm not sure a guy who's not smart enough to realize public funding for abortions is a dealbreaker in the Republican Party is smart enough to take on Al Qaeda.

Mixed Prognosis? Wait, he's saying a lot less than I thought:

Although Giuliani said he is does not like abortion, he said he would not change the standing law. Specifically, he said would not change the Hyde amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortion to cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

"I'm against abortion, I hate it, I wish there never was an abortion and I would counsel a woman to have an adoption instead of an abortion," the former New York mayor said. "But ultimately I believe it is an individual right and the woman can make that choice."

Giuliani also said this to CNN's Dana Bash in an interview Wednesday.

The current law also leaves the decision up to each individual state and Giuliani said he agreed with that. South Carolina is in the process of passing a law that would require pregnant women to see an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Now wait-- if conservatives have lived with the Hyde Amendment since 1976, and Bush has also not sought to undo it, I think I'm with Rudy on this.

It seems silly to demand he be more conservative than recently elected Republican Presidents have been. He's never going to be that. The question is whether he'll be passably conservative. If he's taking the same position on this Amendment that Reagan and Bush have, what's the problem, exactly?

Manic Swings Update: Wow! I feel like Andrew Sullivan!

What a rush. No wonder he likes zooming up and down every five minutes. It's like a little roller-coaster in your brain!!!

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:17 PM

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