by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Although he said over the weekend he hasn’t made up his mind yet about a presidential bid, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has taken the first steps towards putting a candidacy together. He filed legal papers allowing him to establish an exploratory committee.
The move gives him the chance to begin raising funds for a potential candidacy and to pay for trips to early primary and caucus states with the money from the committee.
"Mayor Giuliani has not made a decision yet," Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said in a statement Monday night.
"With the filing of this document, we have taken the necessary legal steps so an organization can be put in place and money can be raised to explore a possible presidential run in 2008," Mindel said.
Giuliani spoke with the New York Times over the weekend about a possible candidacy and said "I haven’t made up my mind, nor has anybody else."
The former mayor’s views backing abortion are well established.
When asked to respond to social issues on CNN’s Inside Politics in a 1999 interview, Giuliani replied, "I’m pro-choice."
In the same CNN he also indicated he does not support even a modest ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure saying, "No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing."
Giuliani also indicated he would have upheld President Clinton’s veto of the partial-birth abortion ban.
"Yes. I said I then that I support him, so I have no reason to change my mind about it," he told the New York Times in November 1999.
Giuliani will likely have a difficult time capturing the GOP nod for president as a result. His current high standings in 2008 presidential polls are likely the result of his elevated name identification following his efforts to help New York City following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Republicans haven’t had a pro-abortion nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Leading pro-abortion presidential candidates in past primaries, such as former California Gov. Pete Wilson or Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, have fared poorly. Both failed to build traction with pro-life Republican caucus-goers in Iowa and left the campaigns well in advance of other candidates.
An August RT Strategies/Cook Political Report poll asked Republican voters whether they would support Giuliani knowing his position in favor of abortion.
Some 56 percent of registered Republicans said the party should still pick the former mayor. But that will likely change when the presidential campaign begins in earnest this time next year and pro-life groups begin educating voters about Giuliani’s pro-abortion position.
The former mayor also backs making taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to cure any patients and involves the destruction of human life.
Arizona Sen. John McCain put together an exploratory campaign over the weekend. McCain said he is "doing things organizationally and legally" to prepare for a presidential bid but will not make a final decision until sometime early next year.
Other potential Republican candidates include Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who recently converted to the pro-life position; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who opposes abortion but backs embryonic funding; pro-life former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pro-life Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, pro-life Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and pro-life Rep. Duncan Hunter of California.