by Steven Ertelt
January 17, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani apparently knows his pro-abortion position isn’t going to play well in the heartland of America. Just over a week after an internal strategy memo leaked out acknowledging that fact, the mayor appointed a pro-life former congressman to help head his Iowa campaign.
Giuliani tapped pro-life former Rep. Jim Nussle to be a leader on his presidential exploratory committee.
Nussle had a 100 percent pro-life voting record during his last two years in Congress, according to the National Right to Life Committee. He lost a bid to become Iowa governor last November.
“I’m honored to have Jim Nussle join our team as I explore a campaign for president of the United States,” Giuliani said in a statement.
The appointment, and others, display the greater likelihood that Giuliani will move from considering a presidential campaign to announcing one.
Earlier this month, Giuliani hired Maria Comella, Nussle’s former campaign communications director, as regional communications director. Ironically, Nussle formed the Iowa consulting firm Navigating Strategies with his former chief of staff, Steve Greiner, just a week ago.
The appointment could be Giuliani’s first attempt to soften his pro-abortion position following the release of the memo, even though he played it down in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America last week.
“I sure have strengths and weaknesses,” but added, “I think that sort of puts me in the same category as just about everybody else that’s running.”
His views on key pro-life issues will be a considerable weakness in a state that has consistently turned back pro-abortion Republican presidential candidates like Pete Wilson and Arlen Specter.
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 interview 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.
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.
Giuliani also backs making taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to cure any patients and involves the destruction of human life.
Other potential Republican candidates include Arizona Sen. John McCain, recent pro-life convert and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 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 Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Tom Tancredo of Colorado.