Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Giuliani Announces: Federalism on Abortion & Guns

Do Bush and Giuliani agree on abortion?

Give him credit for this: as he announces, he's not trimming his sails on abortion (as far as I can see). On gun control, he says that New York City - and other densely-populated cities - probably ought to have a different approach than rural areas and other areas. He endorses a federalist approach.

The transcript:

HANNITY: .... Let's talk about the controversial issues. You will be asked about them. Where does Rudy Giuliaini stand on abortion? And do you think roe v. wade is a good law or bad law.

GIULANI: I oppose it. I don't like it. I hate it. I think abortion is something that is a personal matter I would advise something against. However, I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that. I think ultimately you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience and have to respect the choice that somebody makes. So what I do say to conservatives because then you want to look at well okay what can we look to that is similar to the way you think. I think the appointment of judges that I would make would be very similar to if not exactly the same as the last two judges that were appointed. Chief Justice Roberts is somebody I work with, somebody I admire. Justice Alito, someone I knew when he was US attorney, also admire. If I had been president over the last four years, I can't think of any— that I'd do anything different with that. I guess the key is and I appointed over 100 judges when I was the mayor so it's something I take very, very seriously. I would appoint judges that interpreted the constitution rather than invented it. Understood the difference of being a judge and a legislator. And having argued a case before the Supreme Court, having argued in many, many courts is something I would take very seriously.

HANNITY: So you would look for a Scalia, Roberts, Alito.

GIULIANI: Scalia is another former colleague of mine and somebody I consider to be a great judge. You are never going to get somebody exactly the same. I don't think you have a litmus test. But I do think you have a general philosophical approach that you want from a justice. I think a strict instruction would be probably the way I describe it.

HANNITY: Is Roe bad?

GIULIANI: I think that's up to the court to decide. There are questions about the way it was decided and some of the basis for it. At this point it's precedent. It's going be very interesting to see what Chief Justice Roberts what Justices Scalia and Alito do with it. i think they're probably going to limit it rather than overturn it. In other words, they'll accept some of the limitations that different states have placed on it or the federal government has placed on it.

HANNITY: Partial birth?

GIULIANI: I think that's going to be upheld. I think it should be. as long as there's provision for the life of the mother then that's something that should be done.

HANNITY: There's a misconception that you support a partial birth abortion.

GIULIANI: If it doesn't have provision for the mother I wouldn't support the legislation. If it has provision for the life of the mother I would support

HANNITY: Parental notification.

GIULIANI: I think you have to have a judicial bypass. I think the court— I mean that's the kind of thing i think the court will do with abortion. The other thing I should emphasize is while I was the mayor there's a column just written about it, abortions in New York wept down and adoptions went way up. Because we work odd adoptions as an alternative. so it would be a real choice. So that ultimately you respect a woman's choice. But it should be a real choice. adoption or if they make that choice I don't think the criminal law can deal with it.

HANNITY: I think conservatives would be happy with choices of Roberts, Scalia and Alito but there will be a disagreement on abortions.

GIULIANI: There are always disagreements. And then some people just won't be able to vote for you. You got to live with that. Reality is you got to be who you are. You got to be honest with people. If your views change you got to be willing to express it. When I was mayor my views changed. I began as mayor thinking I could reform the school system. After four years I became an advocate of choice, of scholarships and vouchers and parental choice because I thought that was the only way to really change the school system. When I started as mayor, I didn't believe that. When I went through three or four years of experience, that's what it taught me. I think you have to be willing— you have strong ideas, strong views. but then you have to be willing to look at experience.

HANNITY: The issue of guns has come up a lot. When people talk about mayor Rudy Giuliani New York city had some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Do you support the right of people to carry handguns.

GIULANI: I understand the second amendment. People have the right to bear arms. As mayor of New York I took over at a very, very difficult time. We were averaging—

HANNITY: You inherited the gun laws in New York.

GIULIANI: Yeah. And I used them to help bring down homicide. We reduced homicide I think by 65, 70%. And some of it was by taking guns out of the streets of New York City. So if you are talking about a city like New York, a densely populated area like New York, I think it's appropriate. You might have different laws other places and maybe a lot of this gets resolved based on different states, different communities, making decisions. We do have a federal system of government in which you have the ability to accomplish that.

HANNITY: So you would support the state's rights to choose on specific gun laws?

GIUILANI: Yeah. A place like New York that is densely populated or maybe a place that is experiencing a serious crime problem like a few cities are now. Thank goodness not New York but some other cities. Maybe you have one solution there and in other place more rural, more suburban, other issues you have a different set of rule.

HANNITY: Generally speaking do you think it's acceptable if citizens have the right to carry a handgun?

GIULIANI: It's part of the constitution. People have the right to bear arms. Then restrictions have to be reasonable and sensible. You can't just remove that right. You got to regulate consistent with the second amendment

HANNITY: How do you feel about the Brady Bill on assault ban.

GIULIANI: I was in favor of that as part of the crime bill. Because I thought it was necessary to get the crime bill passed and also necessary with the 2000 murders or so we were looking at, 1800 to 2000 murders that I could use that in a tactical way to reduce crime. And I did.

HANNITY: Let me ask you about gay marriage. What do you think about the definition of marriage? Should it be between a man and woman.

GIULIANI: Marriage should be between a man and a woman. here is exactly the position I've always had. It's the same-- I feel the same way today that I did eight, ten years ago when i signed the domestic partnership legislation. Marriage should be between a man and woman and should remain that way. we should be tolerant, fair, open and understand the rights that all people have in society I. thought the best answer was domestic partnership as a way of dealing with that. so that you are recognizing the rights of people who are gay and protect them...

Could we say that his position on abortion is that it should be 'safe, legal, and rare?'

Note that Giuliani believes there should be a judicial bypass for parental notification, and an exception to a partial-birth abortion ban for the life of the mother.

Taking an effectively 'federalist' approach on both abortion and guns is an interesting approach. First off, even in this initial statement he makes clear that he would support some federal restrictions on abortion. Combine that with strict-constructionist judges and you don't you have something very close to the pro-life stance of Bush and some other national Republicans?

Further, using 'federalism' as a calling card allows him to emphasize his successes in New York City. He'll essentially be saying 'if you give latitude to state and local governments, look what they can accomplish.'

Update: Read too, Captain Ed's assessment - as well as the full transcript. It includes commentary on immigration as well.

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