Stop me when I've written too much on Giuliani and abortion.
There is a virtue to Giuliani's pro-choice position - at least so far: no flip-flopping.
It appears that there's contest going in between McCain and Romney to see who can more exasperate pro-lifers with shifting positions. Hotline's Blogometer summarizes:
MCCAIN II: Needs To Work On Preaching To The Choir
The Brody File is putting McCain's pro-life record "under the microscope." First Brody compares a 1999 San Francisco Chronicle editorial board meeting with McCain (where he says "I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade") to his words on Meet The Press later that year ("There are many areas we can work together ; adoption, foster care, education") and then writes: "You see, here's the problem that the pro-life community may have. That line above where McCain says "There are many areas we can work together, adoption, foster care, education", while that may be true, among the dedicated pro-life community it is code for being wishy washy."
Brody adds: "So, to me, the question for John McCain isn't really whether he is pro-life or not. The question for John McCain is if he's President, how strongly will he fight for the pro-life issues including using his soapbox to speak out on the life issue and the eventual repeal of Roe vs Wade?"
Later, Brody also voices his displeasure with McCain's telling the Politico "I don't know anything, physically I can do to reduce abortions." Brody responds: "when you're trying to court Evangelicals and other devoted pro-life social conservatives, they don't want to hear a potential future President say something like that. A better answer may have been, "Well, I'll appoint strict constructionists to the bench, I'll sign the fetal pain bill, etc..."ROMNEY: The Unconverted
RedState director Erick Erickson officially announced the withdrawal of his support for "Multiple Choice" Mitt Romney 2/17. Detailing the "Too Many Straws On This Camel's Back" Erickson identifies the stories that changed his mind:
- First there was abortion. He was for it, then really for it, then really, really for it, then indifferent to it, and now against it.
- Then there was campaign finance reform. Mitt was for it more than McCain before he was against it more than McCain He's tried to caveat his way out of it, but his caveats have been so nuanced as to be meaningless.
- Let's not forget taxes. Multiple Choice Mitt opposed President Bush's tax cuts and favored a federal gas tax hike as late as 2003.
- Oh, there is homosexuality too. Mitt was going to be more gay and more abortion friendly than Ted Kennedy in 1994. Now he's not.
- Finally, there is voting for Paul Tsongas. In 1992, Mitt Romney voted for Tsongas. He explains this now as trying to pick the weakest guy to go up against George H. W. Bush.
Erickson concludes: "I'm tired of running into these stories. I'm tired of the hedges. I'm tired of the dodges. And I'm tired of the caveated nuance." Fellow RedStaterKowalski was moved to remind readers he was still for Romney: "Maybe I have a greater tolerance for liberal-esqe "flipflopping" having been a liberal "flipflopper" myself.
Not commenting on Erickson's defection, but still on the flip-flopping theme, The Corner's Yuval Levin links to more revelations on Romney's abortion policy past and writes: "It's hard to know quite what to do with this suggestion that Romney was pro-life before he was pro-choice before he was pro-life. ... Flip flops on abortion are a fairly common feature of political resumes in the past few decades. But Romney's flip flops are both more recent and apparently more frequent than most."
It seems that each of the leading Republican contenders will benefit from this long campaign. They all seem to need to hone their positions and histories.