Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani is known as a straight talker–an earlier, skinnier version of New Jersey governor Chris Christie–even if you didn’t always like what he said.
But his presidential run in 2008 was a disaster as he adopted a contrarian strategy of bypassing the early states–Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina–to start his campaign in Florida. The conventional wisdom proved right this time: Giuliani, who led national polls for most of 2007, finished third in the Sunshine State. He promptly dropped out of the race and endorsed Sen. John McCain, the eventual winner.
On Sunday, Giuliani appeared on “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer, and he had some cautionary words for the Republican Party and its likely nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
When Schieffer asked whether he was “sorry he didn’t run this time,” Giuliani replied:
No, no, no, no. If Mitt Romney having changed all those positions isn’t conservative enough yet, believe me, I wouldn’t have had a chance. I’m realistic enough to know how Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida…would vote. And they would like me on economics, they would like me on national security, but they wouldn’t like me on my social views and I’m not about to change them.
Then Schieffer followed up by asking, “are there moderate Republicans out there anymore?” Giuliani’s response:
…When I look at the whole picture of Republicans, on two areas, gay rights and…on choice, I would be considered a moderate… And both of those positions are positions of conscience to me. …Even if I could be elected president, I couldn’t change those positions. I wouldn’t be able to function, I think, properly and honestly if I did.
Note what Giuliani is actually saying:
- The Republican electorate has moved so far to the right, particularly on social issues, with so many litmus tests that it enforces conformity of opinion on those who aspire to be the party’s standard bearer.