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Rudy officially in... and why I believe he's just about out

Rune

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S ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Former New York mayor and 2008 presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani said Wednesday he is not sure the tide will turn in the war in Iraq, as President Bush has said.

"I'm not confident it's all going to turn around," Giuliani told CNN's "Admin King Live." "Who knows that? I mean, you never know that in the middle of the war.

"I'm confident that we have to try to make a turnaround, and we just can't walk out, and that it is critical to us that things get to the point in Iraq that we have some degree of stability and not the way they are now," Giuliani continued. "Because if we leave it the way it is now and we run out, then we're going to face further difficulties in the future." (Watch Giuliani refuse to assign blame )

Earlier this month Giuliani, a Republican, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. In November he filed paperwork setting up an exploratory committee.

He confirmed it Wednesday, telling King, "Yes, I'm running. ... I think I can make a difference. I believe that the country needs leadership."

In a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 77 percent of those polled said they wanted to see Giuliani run for president.

In the same poll, conducted January 19-21, Giuliani led the list of potential Republican candidates, with 32 percent saying they would choose him.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona trailed Giuliani with 26 percent. Other candidates were in single digits.

However, Giuliani's positions favoring abortion rights, gay rights and gun control may not be well received by the more conservative elements of the Republican party.

King pointed out that Giuliani has said that if he won the presidency he would appoint judges who are strict constructionists and might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

"I don't know that," Giuliani replied. "You don't know that."

"I am pro-choice, yes," he said. "But I'm also, as you know, always have been, against abortion -- hate abortion, don't like it, wouldn't personally advise anyone to have an abortion.

"But I believe a woman has a right to choose, and you can't have criminal penalties. ... I think that would be wrong.

"I would select judges who try to interpret the Constitution rather than invent it," he said.

Giuliani also addressed gay rights and gun control.

"Gays should be protected. ... But the way I'm portrayed by my opponents -- and I guess to drive people away from me -- is that I'm in favor of gay marriage. I am not."

However, Giuliani said he does favor domestic-partnership laws for gay and lesbian couples.

And while he favors gun control, "I understand the Second Amendment," he said. "I understand the right to bear arms.

"I think that a lot of these things have to be resolved on a state-by-state basis," he said. "And I used to say also when I was the mayor, it's one thing for New York, it's something different for Texas."

Giuliani, 62, was mayor of New York from 1994 to 2002 and was widely credited with the city's revitalization during the 1990s, when crime dropped significantly and the economy boomed.

Giuliani's stock also rose in the public's eye during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Asked whether his relationship with his former aide, Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty last year to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts while working as New York's corrections commissioner, and his own divorce and personal life might be ammunition for his opponents, Giuliani said he expects it.

"They'll bring all of that up, and they'll probably bring up things that aren't even true," he said. "And they'll bring up things that are true and, I think, the way I deal with that is, hey, I'm a human being. I made mistakes. I'm not perfect. I keep trying to learn from them. ...

"There may be a perfect candidate in this race. I don't know which one that is. I wouldn't want to be the one that is the perfect candidate."

The people who try to take this road never turn out well, and it's such a p***y response it's incredible. Rudy very much has a shot at winning the primary if he's honest and doesn't try to cloud some of these issues but when he acts like this, he's just asking to be steamrolled much like Kerry in 04.

Ooooh, Rudy what a brave stance you're taking. You believe abortion is wrong, but believe that woman should have the right to choose. Guess what, that's the position of just about every pro-choice person in the country. It's not exactly radical thinking to say you don't enjoy seeing fetuses being killed.

Just say what your position is on the matter, back it up with a straightforward answer, and you'll get the respect of most of the electorate, but when you muddy up the issues you're going to steamrolled.

Bank on it.
 

MarlinFan10

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Rudy is a strong candidate and I'd vote for him in a second. Not taking a stance on abortion should actually help him in the republican primary. Rational republicans aren't going to vote against someone because they're pro choice, but he can't appear pro abortion to the religous crazies since he needs at least some of their votes.

I hate that abortion is still a campaign issue.
 

FreshFish

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I think he responded very well to the questions.

Nothing wrong with his views on abortion
 

Hotcorner

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I don't really get why that's a bad stance for him.
 

EricWiener

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I don't really get why that's a bad stance for him.

Because nobody that cares enough about the issue to vote on the issue likes his stance.
 

Hotcorner

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I dunno, I admire him for not caving in. The easy thing would be for him to say he's for making abortions illegal.

I'm sure there are some other pro-choice republicans out there somewhere hiding in the bushes.
 

Rune

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The problem is it looks weak, and a major cop out. As I stated, you're not exactly being bold by saying you don't like abortions. This is going to be a major issue for him, he can't afford to make the waters murky, and allow his opponents to slam every move he takes on these issues, and that's exactly what hes doing. Make his stance known, and defend it, but don't try to grab both sides and keep it together. It never works.
 

Shaq-Man

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The problem is it looks weak, and a major cop out. As I stated, you're not exactly being bold by saying you don't like abortions.
Every pro-choice presidential candidate in history has said that.

That's standard.

"I'm pro-choice and support a woman's right to choose. However, I am personally against / don't like abortions."
 

Flying_Mollusk

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It's not going to save him. Hillary has the same position. Nobody likes abortions. Maybe some wacko who thinks dems like abortions and therefore this shows Rudy is no dem will change his vote. But the religious right wants abortion illegal.

Here is another one-how does Rudy explain his pro-gun control position? How is the NRA going to approach this guy?
 

FutureGM

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I would have to say that right now, the White House is the DNC's to lose, as they have the two strongest candidates (Obama and Hillary). McCain is my very early pick to win the GOP nomination, but I have a feeling that his willingness to increase troops in Iraq is going to hurt him. Plus, barring major public failures in Congress by the DNC, hopefully the public will decide to try a Democrat as President again, after 8 mediocre at best years of Bush.
 
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I would have to say that right now, the White House is the DNC's to lose, as they have the two strongest candidates (Obama and Hillary). McCain is my very early pick to win the GOP nomination, but I have a feeling that his willingness to increase troops in Iraq is going to hurt him. Plus, barring major public failures in Congress by the DNC, hopefully the public will decide to try a Democrat as President again, after 8 mediocre at best years of Bush.


How is the White House the DNC's to lose if every poll shows Giuliani beating both Obama and Hillary. It also shows every poll with McCain beating Hillary and Obama. Where do you receive your data?
 

Fishfan79

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Can the media call a republican canidate on actually flip flopping like they seem to enjoy doing to democrats?

If so there is one right there.
 

BullDurham

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Maybe Rudy should actually look at the positions of some of these "strict constructionists". He can't straddle both sides of the debate forever.
 

Dodge

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I happened to really relate to what he said in this article and I think he'd make a helluva candidate. If it came down to him vs. Obama I would probably choose Giuliani. He's probably the only Republican I would vote for over Obama. Can you imagine a Giuliani vs. Obama election? That's a lot of ethnicity there and I believe an election like that would really hurt turnout in the Southern States.
 

Juanky

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I would have to say that right now, the White House is the DNC's to lose
Like 04?
 

TSwift25

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I don't get the big deal on the abortion issue. The two big guns for the Republican party, McCain and Rudy, both are ambiguous and if anything pro-choice.
 

FutureGM

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I would have to say that right now, the White House is the DNC's to lose
Like 04?
I never said that. Kerry was a lousy candidate, but at least he didn't lose by that much. It's tough to beat an incumbent President in re-elections anymore.
 

Flying_Mollusk

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I would have to say that right now, the White House is the DNC's to lose
Like 04?

Going into that election season, Bush was seen as a unbeatable post 9-11, wartime president. I'm not sure where anybody ever said that going into 04. But there is basis to think this about 08. I wouldn't say it's the Democrats to lose. But it's a lot harder for a party to hold onto the WH after an 8 year run. The first Bush was probably the exception to the rule. This is bolstered by Bush's unpopularity which precludes the Republican from using him much the way Al Gore avoided, to his detriment, using Clinton on his campaign and the same way Republicans in 06 avoided him like the plague.

FutureGM is right. McCain's attachment to the war is going to hurt him. Edwards was smart enough to call this surge the McCain doctrine.

Of course 1 year is an eternity in politics.
 

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