SCHotline did an interview with Rudy Giuliani in South Carolina over the weekend and put it up on YouTube. In the video, Rudy sounds like he’s on the verge of officially announcing his candidacy, he quashes rumors that he might run as an independent, and he discusses his views on social issues.
On running, he said: “We’re real close, we’re putting all the pieces together, it looks very good, it’s something we intend to do, like to do, want to do. It’s just a matter of getting everything put together.” Later, he firmly said that he would run as a Republican and tellingly used the future rather than conditional tense: “That’s how I’m going to run, and I hope I get the nomination.”
After the interviewer joked that Mitt Romney was flip-flopping from being a Red Sox fan to becoming an Atlanta Braves fan to pick up votes in South Carolina, Giuliani said he would remain a Yankees fan. Unlike former mayors who would root for both the Mets and Yankees, Giuliani stayed loyal to the Bronx Bombers throughout his two terms. “I kind of believe you have to be who you are, and you have to state you positions, and then people have to agree or disagree.” (BTW, it must be said that the Yankees won four World Series while Giuliani was mayor, and have not won once since he left. What kind of impact would a Rudy presidency have on the pennant race?)
More pertinently, asked how he would handle his differences with social conservatives, Giuliani said, “What I’m going to say to them is evaluate me as a whole person, and as a person who will be honest with you rather than kind of shape my positions or change my positions.” Clearly, this is one way he’s going to attempt to differentiate himself from Romney. Giuliani also emphasized that he governed as a conservative who cut taxes, cut government spending, reduced crime, moved people from welfare to work. He acknowledged “differences” with social conservatives, but said his opponents “exaggerated” the differences. For instance, he pointed out that he is in favor of domestic partnerships, but not gay marriage and that he would appoint Alito, Roberts type judges (see more below).