The problem with supporting–or at least being open to–public funding is that it not only rankles social conservatives, but it hurts him among more libertarian-minded voters who may even favor abortion rights, but abhor government subsidies. The Giuliani campaign, doing damage control, later clarified his comments to note that, “the former mayor would not seek to make any changes to current law, which restricts federal funding to cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” but I think damage has already been done. The public funding issue was one area where there was an oppourtunity for Giuliani to find common ground on the abortion issue, and he missed the boat on this one.
UPDATE: Giuliani’s campaign later released a statement from Rudy in which he said: “As I have indicated before I will not seek to change current law as described in the Hyde Amendment.”
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