What a shame; Rudy Giuliani had been doing so well in convincing conservatives that he could represent them even while differing on social policy. He had advanced the argument that he would appoint strict constructionist judges to the federal bench, relying on textual references for Constitutional debates rather than "living document" notions that have driven conservatives up the wall. All of that work appears to have flown out the window with this CNN interview today:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN Wednesday he supports public funding for some abortions, a position he advocated as mayor and one that will likely put the GOP presidential candidate at odds with social conservatives in his party.
"Ultimately, it's a constitutional right, and therefore if it's a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected," Giuliani said in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash in Florida's capital city. ...
When asked directly Wednesday if he still supported the use of public funding for abortions, Giuliani said "Yes."
"If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right," he explained, "If that's the status of the law, yes."
This is an absurd statement on two levels. First, while Roe v Wade acts as precedent for the Constitutionality of abortion, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government must provide its citizens with what it allows. If that were true, the federal government would be required to arm every citizen. After all, the Second Amendment explicitly states that citizens have the right to bear arms, in language that actually appears in the document. If Giuliani's logic prevails, he should be arguing for a government plan to disperse guns, rifles, and ammunition -- as any impediment to access to a Constitutional right becomes the government's job to overcome.
On the second level, it is precisely this kind of judicial overreach that has put conservatives in a position to demand strict constructionists that will leave legislation to the legislature and to the states. Did Giuliani think that Republicans want to end judicial activism just to enshrine its idiocy of the past? Even conservatives who adopt the more libertarian position on abortion as a personal choice object to the government funding of those procedures under any circumstances. Personal choice does not equate to government financing -- which makes each abortion so funded a public policy by definition.
It's hard to see where conservatives of any stripe -- social or fiscal -- can support Giuliani after this assertion. He won't do anything to reverse abortion, and he wants to use tax money to fund them. If someone can find the conservative in there, as Giuliani argues, they must have to stare very hard into that abyss.