The Corner

Giving Giuliani “Respect”

Responding to my Giuliani and abortion post, an emailer writes:

Please give Rudy some “respect” by allowing [that] his position is in fact the mainstream position, of both Republicans as well as Dems and independents.

It’s true that the American public is somewhat muddled on abortion. Polls show that a majority support restrictions of some sort. However, a majority also support keeping some access to abortion, and voters tend to get antsy when anyone talks about overturning Roe (likely owing in some part to the fact that many don’t entirely grasp what effect Roe would have on abortion access in the country). As Ramesh Ponnuru has pointed out, poll results can vary significantly based on wording. Still, I’ll agree that you might be able to make an argument that Giuliani’s less than straightforward reasoning (hate it, want to end it, but, erm, won’t) reflects voters’ anxieties regarding abortion, and maybe even that his mirroring voter uncertainty on the issue will help him. But that doesn’t mean that his have-it-both-ways language isn’t worth pointing out or that it shouldn’t give socially conservative voters serious pause.

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