At least six times, maybe more, according to copies of his tax returns provided to Politico “by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.” The obvious (if unpersuasive) spin would be to insist that the money was meant for lobbying, to defend the right of privacy, not for the actual performance of abortions, which of course Rudy deeply, personally opposes. Instead his camp offered this non-answer:

“Mayor Giuliani has been consistent in his position — he is personally opposed to abortion, but at the same time he understands it is a personal and emotional decision that should ultimately be left up to the woman,” said Maria Comella.

Comella added that, “from the start, Mayor Giuliani has been straight with the American people about where he stands on the issues and saying exactly what he thinks.

“Ultimately, this election is about leadership, and it’s a sign of leadership to stand by your position in the face of political expediency.”

It’s a sign of leadership to insist that you despise abortion after having donated six times to America’s most notorious abortion provider?

Rudy may already be starting to crumble, but hopefully it’ll be a long, long while before he’s out of the race for good so that we can keep this increasingly amusing game of abortion follies going. First he declared himself pro-choice; then he reiterated his support for public funding of abortions in certain limited circumstances; now it turns out he used to hit the PayPal for Planned Parenthood. The only thing left would be to find out he was allowed to do the honors himself a few times during some PP clinic tour back when he was mayor. No doubt Romney’s people are looking into that as we speak.

Update: Anybody but Hillary!

Update: “Giuliani has been pounded by pundits for his answers on abortion at the first GOP debate. But he didn’t commit a gaffe. He only suffered from the contradictions of a position that appears to be the product of poorly thought-out political calculation.”