He took that position in 1989 and by god he’s sticking to it. I’ve already written about his strategy in this vein before. Suffice it to say, it’s too late for him to flip-flop convincingly, and so, with his two rivals looking squishy in their own commitment to social issues, he figures he might as well position himself as a man of his word who’ll stand on principle. Because if he’s willing to do that for principles conservatives don’t like, he’s probably also willing to do it for principles that they do.
More interesting than the abortion comments is what he says at the end in response to the question about Peter Pace’s opinion of gays. Is he suggesting that it’s inappropriate, at least for Christians, to make personal moral judgments? Or just inappropriate for Christian politicians?
Needless to say, this isn’t going to hurt him in California. Click the image to watch.
Update: Captain Ed says it’s game over for Rudy.
Update: John Dickerson of Slate was in New Hampshire on Monday for a Rudy house party:
After the house party, the mayor met with his hosts and a few influential Republicans in the bar at the hotel where he was staying and where a few reporters had also decamped. In a voice loud enough to be overheard on the other side of the room, he outlined his view that the other candidates would divide up the “right-wing,” voters, as he called them, leaving him to consolidate the moderates and the economic and military conservatives who aren’t fixated on social issues. One participant asked about John McCain: “Has his time passed?” “I think so,” responded Giuliani. McCain, he went on, “looked like he was tired and he’s cranky.”
Per the quote, according to Dickerson, Rudy’s given to referring privately to social cons, in contrast to himself, as “right-wingers.”
Update: Looks like Rudy’s people are already doing damage control for the abortion stuff. No public funding for any abortions beyond what the law now provides for, they insist — namely, cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is threatened. Except that isn’t what Rudy said in the clip. The touchstone for him is whether there’s a constitutional right, and the constitutional right when it comes to abortion certainly isn’t limited to exceptional cases. He’s spinning.