by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life advocate says he thinks Rudy Giuliani is too pro-abortion to deserve support form the overwhelming majority of Republican voters who are pro-life. Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says he doesn’t think the former New York mayor will be able to capture the party’s nod.
Giuliani moved another step closer to a full-fledged candidacy on Monday by filing a statement of candidacy and removing the words "testing the waters" from his exploratory committee papers.
He has a high standing the polls both nationally and in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire but Perkins says that’s simply because of his high name identification.
"At this point most people have no idea where candidates stand on the issues, the polls simply reflect name ID," Perkins told CBN.
"Giuliani is known for his impressive leadership in the wake of 9/11, but most pro-family Americans do not yet realize how far outside of the mainstream of conservative thought that Mayor Giuliani social views really are," Perkins added. "Once people focus on this election and the candidates Giuliani’s lead will diminish."
Should Giuliani get the party’s nod for president, Perkins said it would likely hand the White House over to the Democratic candidate because pro-life voters would have no one to support.
The last several elections have been between pro-life Republican and pro-life Democratic candidates and a Giuliani nomination would change that dynamic.
"If by some chance Giuliani were to gain the Republican nomination it would set up a very similar scenario that we had last November," Perkins told CBN. "A unenthusiastic Republican base which will suppress turnout and set up a Democratic victory."
Republican voters have previously turned away pro-abortion candidates from capturing the primary nod, including former California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. Republicans haven’t had a pro-abortion nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976.
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.
The former mayor also backs embryonic stem cell research, which pro-life groups oppose because it requires the destruction of human life to obtain the stem cells.
Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are the top two candidates in the polls apart from Giuliani.
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are also running and drawing significant support from the pro-life community.
Other potential Republican candidates include pro-life former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pro-life Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, pro-life Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Tom Tancredo of Colorado, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson.