Rudy Giuliani, the pro-abortion former New York City mayor, is reportedly considering a bid for the Republican nomination for president despite faring poorly the last time around.
Although pro-life Republican voters rejected the pro-abortion but otherwise well-regarded New York City mayor for the GOP nomination in 2008, Rudy Giuliani is reportedly considering a second run. Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign won him just one delegate, as he failed to resonate either in conservative Iowa or South Carolina or more moderate New Hampshire. Although he was seen as leading the polls as late as the end of 2007, Giuliani fizzled when the pro-life Republican voters who dominate primary and caucus campaigns showed up to the polls.
“So far I haven’t found any political advisors to round up,” Giuliani said in an appearance on MSNBC, adding, “of course I keep [running] in the back of my mind.”
But Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication, says “two reliable sources” inform him “Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.”
Rudy’s theory of the race: In the fall of 2007, he decided he couldn’t compete with both Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire, and disastrously decided to try to pull back there and pitch his tent in Florida. This year, he’ll commit everything to New Hampshire, where he thinks he has a good shot at beating Romney—whom he criticized there earlier this week. He then thinks he can beat whichever more socially conservative candidate(s) is left by winning what are still likely to be winner-take-all primaries in big states like California, New York, and New Jersey.
Rudy’s message: I’m tough enough to put our fiscal house in order and to protect us from enemies abroad. The U.S. in 2012 is in bad shape—like New York in 1993. The budget crisis is as severe—and seemingly intractable—as the crime/welfare crisis was in New York then. Rudy dealt with that when people said it couldn’t be done. He’ll deal with this.
Isn’t his abysmal 2008 campaign a disqualifier? Rudy’s answer: Consider the New York parallel. Rudy lost to David Dinkins in 1989, making several unforced errors and running without a focused message. In 1993, as the streets of New York plunged into crisis, Rudy ran a disciplined campaign pledging to turn the city around. He won, and in a disciplined first term, he governed successfully.
It seems implausible that Rudy Giuliani could win the nomination. But it’s an implausible year.
Giuliani would, if he runs again, get no love from the pro-life community — especially because of remarks from 2007 where he told pro-life voters to get over the abortion issue.
“Our party has to get beyond issues like that,” he told the Des Moines Register newspaper.
But a June 2008 poll conducted by the Polling Company for National Right to Life found 30 percent of voters say that the issue of abortion will affect their vote, with 20 percent of self-identified pro-life voters saying so and only 9 percent of pro-abortion voters saying so.
Breaking down the numbers further, 17 percent of voters said they would only vote for a candidate who shares their view on abortion, regardless of that view. Looking at that group, 12 percent said they would only vote for a pro-life candidate and just 4 percent said they would only support a candidate who backs abortion.
That gives pro-life candidates an eight percent advantage on the issue of abortion, says David O’Steen, the executive director of National Right to Life.