Guiliani momentum stalling?

05/18/07 Mitch E. Perry
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A prominent Christian leader said yesterday that "my conscience and my moral convictions" prevent him from voting for Rudy Giuliani should he win the Republican nomination.In a blistering online column, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson wrote that, should the former New York mayor become the nominee, "I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran - or if worse comes to worst - not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life."

Dobson said he was speaking only for himself, but his opinion matters in the world of Christian Conservatives.  He is said to have around 7 million listeners to his daily radio show.


Mark Proctor is a local Republican Political consultant.  He says that Guiliani’s glow from his days immediately after the 9/11 attacks is still stronger for some in the GOP than his more liberal stances on  some social issues (roll tape#1 o.q.”took place there”)


But perhaps Guiliani’s positions on abortion, gun control and immigration are starting to weigh him down.


The Cook Political Report today has Guiliani leading John McCain by just a percentage point – that’s down from a 7 point lead last month.  While a Gallup shows Guiliani’s lead over McCain has shrunk by 8 points in the last 2 months.


Karen Finney is with the Democratic National Committee.(roll tape#2o.q.”            the less they’re going to like”)


Rudy Guiliani’s high national ratings stem in large part from his perceived toughness on terrorism – which many Americans rank as their most pressing issue when they go to the polls.


Last year, a survey by the Pew Research Center found that the biggest social issues, abortion and gay marriage, ranked at the bottom of a list of 19 issues that voters judged important. 


And with the death of Jerry Falwell, some say that the Christain Right is not the force they once were within Republican Ranks.  That seems to be the case in Florida, where moderate Charlie Crist trounced newly turned arch conservative Tom Gallagher in the GOP race for Governor last year (roll tape#2 o.q.”at this point”) 

As Rudy Guiliani’s shoutdown of Texas Congressman Ron Paul purportedly demonstrated earlier this week, no one owns the tough on terrorism, 9/11 heroic persona more than Guiliani, called America’s Mayor in the immediate days after the terrorist attack.


But that image may slowly be chipped away.  A critical story in the New York Times this week looked at the thousands of people who worked at Ground Zero who have become sick – and the fact that Guiliani seized control and largely limited the influence of experienced federal agencies there.


And there are other issues that his GOP opponents may go after.  Again, Karen Finney, from the Democratic National Committee in Washington (roll tape#4 o.q.”recommendations”)   

Back to Focus On The Family’s James Dobson.  He also called  Giuliani an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand" and criticized him for signing a bill in 1997 creating domestic-partnership benefits in New York City.

He said there were other "moral concerns" with Giuliani, including that he's on his third marriage to "his mistress" from his second marriage and "appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife."

 WMNF attempted to speak with one of the leading Christain conservatives in Florida, John Stemberger.  But he was unable to return our phone call by airtime.

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