Of greatest interest to social conservatives is Giuliani's pledge to nominate only "strict constructionists" to the federal courts. Why would a supporter of "choice" on abortion nominate judges likely to overturn Roe v. Wade? "My view of a strict constructionist or originalist judge who sticks with the plain meaning of the Constitution comes from my judicial philosophy. It's not that I want one particular decision changed." He added that originalists might have "different views on this" and that precedent might trump even a wrongly decided case like Roe. Or, he said, the justices could overturn it. He cited the Second Amendment case the Supreme Court agreed to consider as a fine example of strict constructionism and noted that Judge Laurence Silberman read "The Federalist Papers" and other writings and speeches at the time the Bill of Rights was written to see what the authors intended.
With Hillary Clinton's numbers declining in Iowa, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll (his are, too) does he have a Plan B in case Obama wins the nomination? "It's the same plan," he said. "The electoral map is roughly the same for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama." But this time, he said, Republicans can't afford to allow the election to come down to one state as occurred in 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio). He thinks he can compete better in states that are close and even where Democrats are strong, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest.
On personal matters, such as his three marriages, Giuliani says he should be judged on his ability to do the job. He mentions that some of our greatest presidents had personal failings. True, but let's see if he can sell that to the "values voters." If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, he might. Possibly less so if it's Obama.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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