Friday, November 30, 2007

Are Giuliani's Friends Attacking The Wrong Man?

The Log Cabin Republicans and Republican Majority for Choice are taking one-two punches at Mitt Romney in new advertisements to be aired in New Hampshire. Giuliani's allies apparently believe they will help their candidate by going negative. Perhaps so, but by softening up Romney, they may be unwittingly aiding a potentially more formidable foe -- Mike Huckabee.

In radio ads the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights advocacy group, don't criticize Romney for what is their real beef -- his opposition to same-sex marriage -- but rather what they call "Mitt flops" on tax issues. In contrast, the Republican Majority for Choice does not hide its agenda. The pro-choice group criticizes Romney for changing his position on abortion -- which he again acknowledged in last Wednesday's CNN YouTube GOP debate -- thus continuing with the flip-flop theme.

The Log Cabin Republicans should consider what Huckabee had to say about them at the debate. When Anderson Cooper asked Huckabee whether he "would . . . allow support from the Log Cabin Republicans," Huckabee answered: "You know, in my position in this entire election, I need the support of anybody and everybody I can get. . . I disagree with them [i.e., the gay rights advocates], strongly disagree with them on the idea of same-sex marriage, but in a democracy we can have disagreements over some policies and still agree on the greater things that make us Republicans. So would I accept their support? Of course. Would I change my position on same-sex marriage? No, I wouldn't. But if they're willing to support me, I'll be their president. I'll be anybody's president, but I'll be true to my convictions, and I think that's what Americans look for -- not someone they're going to agree with on everything, but somebody who at least has some convictions, sticks with them, and explains them, and can at least have respect for people who have different ones."

As for his stand on abortion, Huckabee's commercial during the debate said it all: "Fair doesn't just influence me. It really defines me. I don't have to wake up every day wondering what do I need to believe? Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics. Not now, not ever. I believe life begins at conception. We believe in some things. We stand by those things. We live or die by those things."

Those are no-compromise yet adroitly articulated positions coming from a candidate who, according to John McIntyre of RealClearPolitics.com, "has a real shot to be the Republican nominee." Giuliani's friends may need to rethink their media buys.

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