It was a mistake for Rudy Giuliani to speak out a few weeks ago - almost haphazardly - in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion. His comments seemed poorly thought out, and they furthered the contradictions in his statements over abortion. Nevertheless, the criticism of those comments died down.
So what did Giuliani do this weekend? He stated that the GOP needs to 'get beyond' issues like abortion:
Giuliani made his sharpest case for moving beyond social issues this weekend in Iowa, telling The Des Moines Register, "Our party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what we're for, not if we're a party that's known for what we're against."
Asked about abortion, he said, "Our party has to get beyond issues like that."
Giuliani upset conservatives - and surprised supporters - by saying in a CNN interview that he favored public funding for abortion in some cases.
His campaign quickly noted that he wasn't proposing any changes to current federal laws.
It's possible that in the first case, Giuliani was trying to create a 'Sister Soulja' moment. He might have been intentionally picking a fight to demonstrate his maverick views on abortion. But why would he do it again?
I called the earlier instance 'a stick in the eye.' Once delivered, it's best to leave it alone. Instead of doing that however, the Mayor seems to want to convince primary voters not to support him, by reminding them that he really means it.