William Rusher

Immigration? In November 2006, he supported the Senate plan for guest workers, with a path to citizenship -- a plan that was stopped dead in its tracks by a subsequent tidal wave of public opposition.

Now, it's perfectly true that Giuliani's positions on these and practically all other social issues are matched -- and indeed outmatched -- by those of any likely Democratic contender. So it's fair to argue that, however unsatisfactory Giuliani might be as president, "he wouldn't be as bad as Hillary!"

But if it is true that the Democrats are overwhelmingly likely to win in 2008, then Giuliani won't have the chance to be a better president than Hillary. He will simply be the image that the Republican Party chooses to offer the public next year: a tough New York politician who knows how to wage a good fight, but differs with his conservative fellow Republicans on just about every social issue.

I cannot believe the American people will respect the Republican Party more if it is willing to abandon some of its core principles, believing that they are transiently unpopular. Far better to lose, if lose we must, with a Mitt Romney or a Fred Thompson than with a Giuliani. For with Giuliani, we will not only lose the election but the core values that represent the only reason to hope for victory.

William Rusher

William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .

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