Audio: Mike Gallagher interviews Rudy Giuliani

We’re fair and balanced around here. This is from earlier today. Rudy talks about the Robertson endorsement and social conservatives. It gets fun when Gallagher brings up Hillary’s flip-flopping. Maybe it’s just me, but Giuliani is at his best when contrasting himself with the likes of Hillary Clinton. Ditto for Thompson, Romney and McCain, fwiw.

Let me speculate a bit about Giuliani and social cons. It may be, and I’m just throwing this out there, but it may be that Giuliani’s weakness on social issues ends up forcing him to stick more closely to conservative issues if he wins. One of the problems we’ve had with Bush is that, apart from the three huge issues of the war, taxes and judges, Bush has not governed as a conservative. No Child Left Behind is not a conservative initiative. The prescription drug bill and a whole range of other spending issues haven’t broken the conservative way, and part of the reason for that is that we as conservatives gave Bush a pass for too long. We gave him a pass because we tended to assume that he was one of us, so whatever he was doing would end up reflecting our values at some point even if it didn’t appear to from the get-go.

Giuliani has had to spend quite a bit of time courting the social con vote and drawing out where there might be common ground. Supposing he wins, social cons aren’t going to give Rudy as long as leash as we gave Bush. We’re just not. And in what we can presume to be a hostile congressional environment, Giuliani will need a solid base of support. Independents don’t provide that base, and if he goes too far left the social cons will have little problem turning on him. He’ll be aware of that, so he may be less likely to test their limits than Bush has, because he’ll know that he can get away with a lot less than Bush has gotten away with.

As I said, it’s all just rumination and doesn’t reflect me moving toward or away from any candidate. Just throwing it out there, half expecting a backlash.

And yes, similar arguments can be made for Mitt Romney, John McCain and to a lesser extent Fred Thompson on some issues.

More: Rich Lowry has some interesting quotes.