Jonathan Bernstein believes that a possible Rudy Giuliani campaign for president is doomed from the start. Why? Because he’s pro-choice.
Rudy also happens to be a social liberal – and a socially liberal Republican nominee in 2012 is simply not possible. Not going to happen. Giuliani may think that abortion is an important issue mainly for one limited faction of Republicans. But that’s just not true. It’s an issue, and probably a voting issue, for large majorities of Republicans nationwide. It’s one thing to speculate on whether those voters will be willing to accept a Mitt Romney, who is a late and possibly insincere convert to their cause. It’s something else entirely to wonder whether they would accept someone who disagrees with core party issues. They won’t.
Gary Johnson also faces this same obstacle (among others). After he was excluded from Monday’s CNN debate, he complained that primary voters wouldn’t have someone to represent “those who believe that individual rights extend to women who face choices about abortion, Americans who happen to be gay, and those who don’t place other asterisks on freedom.” On that basis, CNN was right to count him out.
All the other declared candidates are strongly pro-life, with the exception of Romney, for a reason. And Romney might be the exception that proves the rule, because his pro-choice past could easily prevent him from winning the nomination.