RealTime: Giuliani Tanks in Florida

Yesterday, I wondered whether Rudy Giuliani would able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the Florida primary, redeeming himself and his curious campaign strategy — in which he claimed he hadn't bothered to campaign and didn't expect to win in states with early primaries. You heard it already: he didn't. Coming in a distant third with 15% of the popular vote, Giuliani finished far behind rivals Sen. John McCain (who finished with 36%) and Mitt Romney (31%). And though Giuliani didn't withdraw from the race in his concession speech, the buzz predicts that today, he will endorse McCain.

Did Giuliani's insufficiently shameless pandering on abortion and gay rights do him in? In the New York Times, Republican consultant Nelson Warfield stated, "It bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee…Rudy didn't even care enough about conservatives to lie to us. The problem wasn't the calendar; it was the candidate."

Care enough to lie? Do you lie to show you care? Perhaps — just on this one issue — he cared enough about the Party and its future to tell the truth.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • invalid-0

    The conservative movement isn’t really about ending abortion or restoring traditional sexual mores.

    The conservative movement is really about public affirmation of conservative values. The conservative movement values talk over action.

    This is why they are so adamant about criminalizing abortion, yet “safe, legal, and rare” is anathema. An anti-abortion statute validates their values, while if abortion is legal, then the public has rejected their values, no matter how many abortions are performed.

    This also explains the strange opposition to contraception by those who oppose abortion. The law can’t approve of those who have teh secks, even though almost everyone does. It’s all about symbolism. The Connecticut law that was overturned in Griswold was almost never enforced. (The plaintiffs got thrown out of court on their first attempt to overturn it for that very reason. After this, they openly flouted the law in order to get a test case.)

    This also explains conservative opposition to gay marriage. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is right: There is “no rational basis” for restricting marriage to heterosexuals. The state should support homosexuals who want to live together for the rest of their lives and form a family. People should have the right to contract with whoever they want to contract with. Furthermore, it’s not like these people are interested in being straight. Likewise, even though gay couples are getting married, I don’t know of any heterosexuals who have decided to “change teams” because of this.

    However, when we look at this from the “approval of values” perspective, then conservative opposition to gay marriage can be explained. The Bible says homosexual conduct is wrong and allowing homosexuals to marry is a social rejection of that value. It doesn’t matter that the gay couples will still be gay and still be together even if they can’t marry, conservative values must be publicly promoted.

    Plenty of other “unusually silly laws” can be explained by the conservative need for public approval of their values: sodomy laws, blue laws (no beer on Sunday), sex toy bans, etc.

    These people must be very insecure if social approval is necessary for their values to survive.

    Since Giuliani wouldn’t give conservative voters the affirmation they need, then yes, he doesn’t care enough to lie.