Second-Tier GOP Prez Candidates Criticize Republican Front-Runners

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Second-Tier GOP Prez Candidates Criticize Republican Front-Runners Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 5
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Over the last few days, the second-tier candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president criticized the GOP front-runners. Those candidates who are lagging in the polls say the party should support them instead of the big three of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney because they are the real conservatives.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore led off the inter-party squabbling on Friday. He went further than some of the others in saying the leaders are phony conservatives.

Gilmore singled out the three in an advertisement he posted on YouTube, a video web site that is quickly becoming a presidential battleground.

"The three leading challengers for our party’s nomination may be good men, but they simply do not share our conservative values," Gilmore said in the ad.

Gilmore said he is entering the race for the GOP nomination because the top three don’t represent conservatives and he added he would "represent the Republican wing of the Republican Party."

However, Gilmore is technically pro-abortion — favoring legalized abortion but supporting a host of pro-life laws ranging from parental involvement to no taxpayer funding of abortions.

Ironically, that’s the same position Romney advocated before saying he converted two years ago to the pro-life position and favoring allowing states to ban abortions again as they could do before Roe v. Wade.

The bashing of top conservatives continued the 34th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Saturday.

There, publisher Jameson Campaigne summed up the feeling of many pro-life advocates when he told the Washington Times, "It’s a sense, a feeling that none of the top candidates really excite conservatives this year."

John McCain, who recently reaffirmed his position in favor of reversing Roe, didn’t do himself any favors by declining to attend the event.

During the event, Romney tried to solidy GOP support for his newfound pro-life views saying that, as governor, he stood up against promoting abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

"I fought to preserve our traditional values, and to protect the sanctity of human life," Romney said.

Candidates like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took advantage of that fact and told attendees they may be asking themselves, "Dude, where’s my candidate?"

Huckabee referenced Giuliani’s stance on abortion, saying, "I’m a little troubled when people say, ‘I hate abortion, but I don’t believe we ought to regulate it.’"

Huckabee said a lower standing in the polls and bank accounts at this point in the race isn’t that important. According to the Cybercast News Service, he told the conference, that "if celebrity and money were the most important factors in becoming president of the United States, then Paris Hilton would be president."

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback was less direct in attacking the top three but sought to continue to separate himself from them on life issues by pledging to to "rebuild the family and rebuild the culture."

"Life begins at conception, biologically," Brownback said. "With any luck, on the Supreme Court we are just one vote shy of overturning Roe v. Wade."