HOUSTON — After a week of criticism over his ambiguous views on abortion, Republican presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani Friday directly addressed his views on abortion, gay rights and gun control, and forthrightly supported a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Okay, are you all ready for the drum roll? Are any surprises about to come forth?
Giuliani, a New York Catholic who once considered becoming a priest, chose to make his stand before a conservative, anti-abortion audience at Houston Baptist University here, in an address that was arranged just last Wednesday.
Giuliani told the audience that the two most important issues in the presidential campaign were fighting terrorism and preserving the tax cuts, deregulation and privatization of the economy, and that the social issues were secondary.
Amen, though I guess my Evangelical upbringing is coming forth, as that is not typical interaction with Catholics, then again, he was speaking to Baptists, so perhaps I am covered.
He also downplayed his differences with conservatives on gay rights — saying marriage should be only between a man and a woman — and guns — saying the Constitution protects an individual’s right to having a gun.
But I want a bazooka! I NEED a gun capable of throwing 600 rds/minute downrange for “personal security”. Sheesh, I hope that this quiets up two of the nervous Nellies of the right of the GOP.
But he acknowledged many conservatives might disagree with his stand on abortion, which he described as supporting a woman’s right to have one, but also allows restrictions such as the late-term abortion ban upheld by the high court recently and restrictions on federal funding of abortions.
Don’t worry, because most Conservatives these days can’t even agree on what a Conservative is anymore. The
current ilk of Conservatives wouldn’t like Barry Goldwater’s (AKA the Founder of Modern Conservativism) views.
Seeking to clearly define his views on abortion after blurring them a week ago in a Republican debate, Giuliani described what he called “two pillars” of core belief.
“One, I believe abortion is wrong,” he said, adding he would counsel a pregnant woman to keep the child and put him or her up for adoption rather than abort.
And secondly, he said abortion supporters, especially women, are “equally moral, equally decent, and equally religious” and fervent in their beliefs as abortion foes, yet have come to a different conclusion.
“So therefore,” Giuliani said, “I would grant to women the right to make that choice.”
But he also stressed that he, like most thinking people, also had an evolving view of abortion, and proceeded to lay out a more nuanced position.
What heresy! You mean you dare to be conflicted about a moral issue and government’s involvement in a moral issue. Why, we “want” government snooping into ALL areas of our private life and choices, isn’t that what “Conservativism” is all about?!?! Furthermore, the heresy that YOUR beliefs shouldn’t always be translated into Federal law, why Mr. Giuliani, don’t you support the idea of ruling by caveat and the fiat of your will (to borrow a quote from John Calvin about – GOD). That people could actually see “shades of grey” in an ethical decision, why that’s just plain out too reasonable!
His belief in those two principles will guide his decision-making on abortion, he said.
“It means I am open to considering ways to limit abortion,” he said. “It means I’m open to seeking ways to reduce the number of abortions.
Afterward, some members of the audience conceded they admired his principled stand, even if they disagreed with it.
Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University, afterward agreed that Giuliani’s appearance was a little bit like entering the lion’s den, both because he is Catholic and because of his views on social issues.
The last quote highlighted says it all, it’s called principaled LEADERSHIP. Now, I happen to share similar views to Mr. Giuliani, although they also have shifted, as once I was rabidly anti-abortion. While I still don’t like the practice, I realize that my likes and dislikes often are not best translated into national policy. I am more likely than ever to vote for Mr. Giuliani because of his reasonable position on a complex issue, and the guts he has to speak out about it.
That he is likely the only GOP contender who can win nationally, is just a bonus.