Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani participated in tonight’s ten-way Republican Presidential candidate debate against Senators, Congressmen, and Governors who were trying to grab the title of “Reagan-esque.” During the debate, Giuliani was twisting in the wind, giving eloquent non-answers to questions on Iran, on the treatment of African-Americans while in New York, saying: We reduced crime… it helped the poor, not all of them African-American, and we reduced the number of people on welfare.
Giuliani on overturning Roe v. Wade (when every other candidate, in one word, answered that it would be a good idea): It’d be O.K. It’d also be O.K. if a strict constructionist judge saw Roe v. Wade as precedent. In his winding answer, he also said that he felt the issue should be left to the states, and likened the issue to states rights, especially regarding public funding for abortion.
Giuliani on Christian Conservatives (whether their growing influence is good): Neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice… we’d need to include everyone. Again, he avoids answering the question, instead choosing to point out his tenure as mayor of New York City.
Giuliani on his own “nuanced” stance on abortion: I hate abortion… in New York, I encouraged adoption. However, I would respect the woman’s right to make a different choice. You have to respect the woman’s right to choose.
Giuliani on using federal funding for embryonic stem cells research: I would support it with some limitations. It should be said that McCain was a maverick on this one and supported it (while giving credit to former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who was in attendance), but he gave a straight answer while Giuliani again attempted to avoid answering the question directly.
Giuliani on “any tax he’d like to cut (aside from Bush tax cuts)”: Reduce the Alternative Minimum Tax… reduce the income tax wherever we can. Other candidates were talking about eliminating the income tax and going to a fair tax (Tancredo), with Ron Paul getting rid of a lot of other taxes. Giuliani’s answers were about reductions, while only cutting the death tax.
During one of the interactive rounds, Giuliani was asked the difference between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims (why this was a question, I don’t know…), and he seemed to get to the answer after stumbling about (revolves around an elected vs. handpicked caliphate).
Giuliani on his biggest weakness as a Presidential candidate: No one is endorsing me… and went on to talk about he was an optimist in the way of Ronald Reagan.
Giuliani on a national I.D. card: I support a National I.D. card for foreigners To his credit, some other candidates supported the card, such as Mitt Romney.
All-in-all, Giuliani seemed to avoid giving straight answers on questions, even when he was asked for a straight-forward yes or no question. He did finally come out as pro-choice, even though he said that he personally hates abortion. In terms of conservatism, Giuliani is certainly not the front-runner of the party.