Rudy's Abortion Gambit - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rudy’s Abortion Gambit

The NY Times reports:

After months of conflicting signals on abortion, Rudolph W. Giuliani is planning to offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days, despite the potential for bad consequences among some conservative voters already wary of his views, aides said yesterday.

The article goes on to describe how the campaign is hoping that early primaries in big states such as New Jersey, Florida, New York and California will provide an opening for a moderate Republican of Giuliani’s stature, even if he has trouble in the more socially conservative states such as Iowa and South Carolina. The story continues:

Mr. Giuliani hinted at what aides said would be his uncompromising position on abortion rights yesterday in Huntsville, Ala., where he was besieged with questions about abortion and his donations to Planned Parenthood. “Ultimately, there has to be a right to chose,” he said.

Asked if Republicans would accept that, he said, “I guess we are going to find out.”

Yes, we will. Although running as an unequivocally pro-choice candidate is obviously a huge risk in a Republican primary, and some would say political suicide, this is probably the best of the bad options Giuliani has open to him at this point. Those who vote primarily on abortion will not be satisfied unless he is pro-life, and it is impossible for him to take that position without committing the flip flop of the century. His past statements and his record on the issue are a given. It’s pretty clear that his attempts to mollify social conservatives (i.e. talking about how much he hates abortion) haven’t won him fans in the pro-life community either. Instead, his nuanced statements have caused more confusion, prompted more questions, and made him look like a bumbling mess. At this point, it’s hard to see how being unapologetically pro-choice will cost him that much more support than he has already lost by muddling the issue. So, I don’t see much downside risk in this new strategy. On the upside, by having one clear answer to the abortion question, it will cut down on the confusion, which in turn may reduce the amount of time he has to spend explaining himself on an issue that he would obviously prefer not to talk about. (The Planned Parenthood story became a much bigger deal because he keeps talking about how much he hates abortion.) At the same time, at least by taking a clear stand, he’ll come across as the self-confident straight-shooting Rudy that is many people find appealing. This is not to suggest that the issue will cease to be a problem for him, but it’s the best play he can make.

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