Sunday, February 11, 2007

Giuliani Shoots Self in Foot with Gun Control Comment

Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani made a statement about gun control at a Saturday news conference that is certain to get the NRA moving to block a potential GOP presidential run in 2008. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

SACRAMENTO - Rudy Giuliani addressed a potentially troublesome issue with conservative voters, saying his policies as mayor to get handguns off the street helped reduce crime in New York.

"I used gun control as mayor," he said at a news conference Saturday during a swing through California. But "I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms." He said what he did as mayor would have no effect on hunting.

Asked when he would make a formal announcement that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination, Giuliani said: "Well, formally announce? I don't know." He then alluded to making an announcement in multiple locations "so we get more attention" but provided no details.

Rational people will read what Giuliani said in the second paragraph of the excerpt and fully understand the distinction he is making. However, NRA supporters will likely ignore the latter part of his statement, and attempt to apply pressure on him to change his stance if he starts to poll well (if and when he finally announces that he is a candidate).

At that point, Rudy will either: One, stand by his original statement and back it up with evidence from his time as NYC mayor. Or two, he will capitulate to the Guns for Jesus crowd and apologize for his intransigence.

Giuliani has a lot of problems for conservatives, especially extreme Christian conservatives. Chief among these: He has been divorced. He is pro-choice in the abortion debate. He is, or at least has been, in favor of reducing the availability of guns to criminals. Time will tell how these things play with the current GOP base.

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