Luckily for Romney, his campaign did not take my advice on how to respond to the Rudy attack. (To be fair, the Romney people put out the “can’t act like Hillary” attack line last night to get the ball rolling.) Instead they simply ignore it and come back with the prospect that a Rudy nomination will spell defeat in 2008, saying: “Governor Romney is the Republican who can best represent the coalition of national security, economic and social conservatives that serve as the three pillars of the Republican Party’s foundation. Republicans can bring conservative change to Washington with a nominee like Governor Romney who is willing to speak about all three of these issue platforms, not just one or two of them.Mayor Giuliani’s positions on gay marriage and abortion are clearly at odds with many conservative Republicans. We simply disagree with those positions. If the Republican Party nominates a candidate who shares the same positions as Hillary Clinton on social issues, then we risk losing our identity as a party and we risk losing the White House to her.”
This is smarter than trying to explain the Rudy charges or getting into why his MittCare really wasn’t like HillaryCare or recapping how he came to change views on some of these issues. (On gay marriage by the way I think Rudy has said clearly he is against gay marriage. Like McCain he does not support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.) The ball will be in Rudy’s court tomorrow to explain why social conservatives should not fear him and why in a Hillary-Rudy face off he will through appointment of judges and other policy decisions be the better choice for Republicans who care about social issues.