Skip to comments.Evangelical leader sizes up GOP field, says Giulianiís campaign is doomed
Posted on 02/16/2007 4:56:04 AM PST by Spiff
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said Wednesday night he is making a bid for the White House, will not be Americas 44th president because he supports abortion rights and gay rights and has been married three times.
At least so says Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Land is considered an influential evangelical leader, and he has a new book, due out next month, entitled The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives Are Missing in the God-and-Country Shouting Match with a foreword written by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn).
Land told The Hill in an interview this week that as it stands now, the top tier of Republican presidential hopefuls lacks a candidate social conservatives can be fully comfortable voting for.
Beginning with Giuliani, Land said the vast majority of social conservative voters will not vote for the former mayor even if he gets the nomination and faces off against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
If he wins, hell do so without social conservatives, Land said.
While Giulianis moderate to liberal stances on social issues are beginning to be discussed more and more in conservative circles, Land said the mayors annulment, divorce and subsequent third marriage will seal the deal against hizzoner for social conservatives.
Its got to surface at some point, Land said. There are too many social conservatives talking about it, and it applies to [Newt] Gingrich, too.
Land talks often about the weight social conservatives carry within the Republican Party, citing exit polling and warning GOP candidates that they can no more win without conservative voters than a Democrat can without overwhelming support from blacks.
Thats the reality of politics in the early 21st century, he said.
Land looked at the current field of Republican candidates and offered his appraisal not endorsement of those he views to be in contention.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has to convince social conservatives his conversions on issues such as abortion and gay rights are authentic rather than politically motivated, Land said, adding that many conservatives will likely give Romney the benefit of the doubt on his changed abortion position.
Conservatives would see that as Hes seen the light, Land said. They would see it as less of a flip-flop than as a journey.
Of Romneys Mormon religion, Land said its not a deal-killer.
Land said he has encouraged the former governor to reach out to social conservatives about his religion and appeal to the American peoples sense of fair play, much as President Kennedy addressed his Catholicism in front of the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960.
As for oft-perceived Republican frontrunner Sen. John McCain, Land paused, then said the Arizona senators strengths with independent voters are what is hurting him with socially conservative voters.
McCains maverick streak may be a winning personality trait for reporters and independents, but social conservatives consider it to be a sign of unpredictability.
They dont like being surprised, Land said.
Though Land doesnt question McCains consistency on abortion issues, he said McCains involvement in the Gang of 14 the bipartisan Senate group that prevented the nuclear option on judicial nominees and his refusal to support anti-gay marriage proposals severely hurts his chances with traditional-values voters.
In the end, Land said, social conservatives are concerned about the kind of judges a President McCain would nominate.
Voting pro-life is not enough, Land said. He has got to express himself in other venues.
Add that to the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law, legislation that sparked an outcry in religious organizations, and McCain, despite a conservative record and his continued, loyal backing of President Bush, does not come in as a favorite of the religious right.
But Land said the second tier of candidates offers voters of his ilk two contenders so-called values voters could get behind Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).
Both men are considered long-shots at this early stage of the game, but Land said impressive fundraising or gains in the polls could open a door to either candidate through which social conservatives might run.
They dont have to convince other social conservatives theyre one of them, Land said. They just have to convince other social conservatives they can win.
Land called Huckabee a Republican Bill Clinton, praising the longtime governors charisma and affability with voters.
I think he could catch fire, Land said.
As it stands today, probably a good 10 months away from the first votes, Land said Romney and McCain get the first chance to close the deal, but concedes with those two as the frontrunners, social conservatives are left without a candidate who makes them 100 percent comfortable.
Thats why if I were a Brownback supporter or a Romney supporter, I wouldnt be all that discouraged, he said.
As for Democrats, Land challenges the assumption held by many that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, giving her 50-50 chances.
He said as he talks to conservative voters, he hears the word calculating used most often to describe the former first lady and cites Clinton-Bush fatigue as one of the factors working against her.
When people talk to me about her, their facial expressions change, he said.
[GEORGE] WILL: Is your support of partial birth abortion firm?
Mayor GIULIANI: All of my positions are firm. I have strong viewpoints. I express them. And I--I do not think that it makes sense to be changing your position....
ABC News February 6, 2000
TUCHMAN: Giuliani was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions, something Bush strongly supports.
GIULIANI: No, I have not supported that, and I don't see my position on that changing.
- CNN December 2, 1999
MR. RUSSERT: A banning of late-term abortions, so-called partial-birth abortions--you're against that?
MAYOR GIULIANI: I'm against it in New York, because in New York...
MR. RUSSERT: Well, if you were a senator, would you vote with the president or against the president? [Note: President Clinton was in office in 2000]
MAYOR GIULIANI: I would vote to preserve the option for women. I think that choice is a very difficult one. It's a very, very--it's one in which people of conscious have very, very different opinions. I think the better thing for America to do is to leave that choice to the woman, because it affects her probably more than anyone else....
MR. RUSSERT: So you won't change your view on late-term abortion in order to get the Conservative Party endorsement?
MAYOR GIULIANI: It isn't just that. We shouldn't limit this to one issue. I'm generally not going to change my views
- NBC Meet the Press, February 6, 2000
For more reasons than just that.
With the latest poll here, it is pretty clear that a Rudy run would meet an ugly end in the general election.
In fact, if enoug of the undecideds decide to follow their convictions and vote for the Constitution Party in the general election, the constitution Party will outpoll the Pubbies.
So, if Rudy gets the GOP nomination we should all vote for the democrat? You gotta be kidding me?
(((((STOP RUDY PING)))))
most of Clintons Policies are very similar to most of mine... Rudy Giuliani 1996
On AbortionIve said that Ill uphold a womans right to choice, that I will fund abortions so that a poor woman is not deprived of a right others can exercise Rudy Giuliani 1989.
On Gun Control This is an industry that is profiting from the suffering of innocent people. Whats worse, its profits rest on a number of illegal and immoral practices. This lawsuit is meant to end the free pass that the gun industry has so long enjoyed... Rudy Giuliani 2000 after filing suit against gun makers and distributors.
On Gun Control We need a federal law that bans all assault weapons, and if in fact you do need a handgun you should be subjected to at least the same restrictions-and really stronger ones-that exist for driving an automobile... Rudy Giuliani 1997
Keep in mind that a vote for a 'third' party is a vote for the Democratic candidate.
Exactly. Why don't we see who wins the primaries first. Personally I'll vote for Rudy in the primaries, but even if someone I didn't want got the nomination, I'd vote for him.
I didn't vote for GW in the primaries, but I did in the general election.
I also love (sarcasm here) how the author talks about a "journey" for Mitt Romney, but if Rudy expresses more conservative thoughts on social issues, it's dismissed.
Too many photos of Rudy dressed as a woman floating around. That would be okay if he was running for British PM but for POTUS, it's a killer; more so than any of his policies.
It isn't the only issue that will sink Rudy. His anti-gun record makes Ray Naggin seem like Wayne LaPierre.
The point is to PREVENT Rudy from getting the nomination.
Look at the poll. 20 million third party votes will be an earthquake in American politics.
Scare tactitcs don't work anymore.
You miss the point of what Land said. He's not advocating that evangelicals vote third party or not at all. He's telling you that they won't vote for Giuliani if he's the nominee.
In other words, he's telling you that if you build an airplane out of solid cement, gravity won't let it fly and it will crumble under its own weight if you try. The evangelical and social conservative Christian vote is not going to go to Rudy. It can't. It is a force like gravity and you can't change it, you have to understand it and work with it. As a conservative Christian there are no circumstances where I can vote for a person who supports abortion. Giuliani is the worst Republican candidate, in that respect, that has ever been a frontrunner. If he gets the nomination, the Democrat will win.
No but many will go third party or just stay home rather then vote for Rino Rudy.
It's only a pol, and we have an entire year before the primaries. A lot could happen before then. And a lot could happen from that time to the general election as well.
MSM may well have made up their minds and elected the next POTUS, but the general public haven't. All of MSM's efforts to step over the people and select a Presidents of their choosing could go up in smoke should something drastic happen.
Have you ever voted for a democrat? If so who?
Thereby guaranteeing a victory for the dems at all levels.
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