Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made an appearance on Face the Nation Sunday Morning and gave what may have been the most honest and telling interview I have ever seen from “America’s Mayor.” He openly described himself as a “Pro Choice Republican”; he embraced the label that he’s previously shunned – moderate republican; and he very plainly shared his thoughts on the current GOP field and the Republican Party as a whole. When was the last time you heard Rudy being this forthright?
On Governor Mitt Romney and his history of evolving positions on social issues…
“I am a moderate Republican, so I’d be inclined to support someone like Mitt Romney; but all those changes in positions give me pause.”
On whether or not he regrets not entering this race…
“No, no, no… If Mitt Romney having changed all those positions isn’t conservative enough yet; believe me, I wouldn’t have had a chance. I’m realistic enough to know how Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida would vote. And they would like me on economics, and they would like me on national security, but they wouldn’t like me on my social views and I’m not about to change them. They’re very much with me.”
On if there is still such a thing as a Moderate Republican…
“When I look at the whole picture of republicans, on two areas – gay rights and choice – I would be considered a moderate… And both of those positions are positions of conscience for me. I can’t change them. Even if I got elected president, I couldn’t change those positions – wouldn’t be able to operate effectively and honestly.”
Who is this guy?
Don’t get me wrong. Rudy’s right. There is no way in seven kinds of hell that he could have claimed the GOP nomination by saying the things he said in this interview. While I am anything but a “one-issue” Republican, I do recognize the fact that abortion is and probably always will be a deal breaker with many in my Party. From where I sit, I’ve always taken the view that a candidate flawed on 99% of the issues is no less flawed because he happens to say he’s Pro-Life. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there as Rudy was really just touching on the issue of Mitt Romney’s evolving positions over the years.
On that front, while I appreciate Rudy’s honesty here, I still struggle with those who take issue with Romney’s somewhat checkered past on the issue of Life. In my world, I often say that I “endeavor not to change minds, but only to demonstrate the ability to do so.” Yes, I know that’s vague; but hang with me. Here’s the thing. If we’re truly in a battle for the soul of our great nation – and Abortion is the fundamental issue – why would we castigate and condemn someone who’s seen the error in his ways and come over to our side of the issue? It just seems counter-intuitive to me. We want to share with the world the importance of all Life; and then as soon as someone agrees with us, we distrust them like an outsider?
I guess what I’m really getting at here is this. Politicians will say absolutely anything to get elected. It’s only after they’ve run their last campaign that we truly get to see what really rests at their core. I think this video offers a glimpse of that which drives Mayor Giuliani. He tried to embrace the Pro-Life message – because he had to if he wanted to get elected as a Republican, nationally. But looking back, and gazing upon a Giuliani free of the shackles of campaigning, we see that he was only playing the game.
My question is this. When will we ever get to a day or a place where this issue won’t be the starting point for choosing our candidates? Because again, from where I sit, the whole thing looks rather ridiculous.