Giuliani 'Unacceptable' for President, Conservatives Say

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani enjoys "a lot of good will" from Republicans from his handling of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but his stance on social issues like abortion and gun control make him an unacceptable candidate in the 2008 presidential election, according to conservative analysts.

Giuliani, who announced Monday that he has filed papers to form an exploratory committee as the first step towards a White House run, is "absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances" as a presidential candidate, Colleen Parro, executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life, told Cybercast News Service.

"The core values of the Republican Party with respect to life issues -- which is where our main concern is -- and the issues of the homosexual movement, etc., cause his candidacy for the nomination to just be dead in the water," she said.

Giuliani has described himself as "pro-choice" and said he would not support a ban on partial-birth abortions. He promoted gun control programs and civil unions for same-sex partners during his two terms as New York City mayor.

While serving in that post, Giuliani saw his private life become a regular subject of media scrutiny, especially in 2000, when he announced at a press conference that he was seeking a separation from his second wife without first telling her of his decision.

"Despite Giuliani's charm and his obvious leadership abilities, as far as social and cultural issues are concerned, not only his personal life but his public views make him unacceptable," Parro said.

Supporters of a Giuliani bid launched a group a year ago called Draft Rudy Giuliani for President.

Co-founder Nicholas Tyszka said in a statement this week that, "with the current climate [of divisiveness] in Washington," Giuliani would be an excellent nominee, as "he has such a broad base of appeal, even cutting across political lines."

The group, whose other co-founder is veteran Republican political consultant Allen Fore, said that "America needs and wants this great man to lead our nation."

"Named Time Magazine's 'Person of the Year' in 2001, Rudy Giuliani has been a proven leader during one of the toughest periods in American history," the organization's website states.

"Giuliani exemplifies leadership, courage and compassion," it says. "Rudy Giuliani has dedicated his professional life to serving the United States, including assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department under President Reagan and as the crime-fighting U.S. attorney in the state of New York.

"He has an unrivaled record of honesty and integrity, always putting the people's interest above politics," the website continues. "His service as mayor of New York City, particularly after the devastating terrorist attacks against our country on September 11, 2001, made him America's mayor. Now it's time to make him America's president."

Although forming an exploratory committee does not guarantee that an individual will run for president, Giuliani's announcement Monday drew a quick response from the Democratic National Committee:

"It's unclear whether or not Rudy Giuliani will be able to just 'explain away' the fact that he's consistently taken positions that are completely opposite to the conservative Republican base on issues they hold near and dear," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney in a press statement.

"Throughout his career, Giuliani has tried to paint himself as a moderate, but now that he's vying for his party's nomination, will he undergo an extreme makeover in an attempt to cozy up to the far right?" Finney asked.

The DNC also issued a speedy response after Sen. John McCain made a similar announcement on Sunday.

Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for the conservative Heritage Foundation, told Cybercast News Service that "it's going to be virtually impossible for Giuliani to woo voters who put the Second Amendment and family values as their top issues."

However, Giuliani "clearly has a lot of good will with Republicans, and his goal should be to shore up his conservative credentials on the issues of federal spending and anti-terrorism," Darling said.

Since he was mayor of New York City during 9/11, Giuliani "can trumpet anti-terrorism as one of his major policies. But he also needs to talk about limiting the federal government and restricting out-of-control federal spending so he can shore up support among conservatives who care about pocketbook issues," Darling said.

While acknowledging that Giuliani is "a presumptive front-runner" for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, Darling said the former mayor is enjoying good poll numbers "merely because he has high name recognition."

Strong approval figures don't guarantee victories when the party's primaries begin, Darling noted.

"Just ask [early 2004 Democratic front-runner] Howard Dean about that," he said.

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