Wash. Post's Balz asserted Giuliani "[a]t odds" with GOP "on abortion, guns and gays," despite moving to the right on those issues

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

A Washington Post article by Dan Balz described Rudy Giuliani as "[a]t odds with the majority of his party on abortion, guns and gays," but failed to note that Giuliani has shifted his position on these issues, moving toward more conservative stances on them, since launching his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

In a December 16 article, Washington Post staff writer Dan Balz asserted that "[f]ormer New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has defied political gravity. At odds with the majority of his [Republican] party on abortion, guns and gays, he has nonetheless led in national polls all year. But as 2008 nears, the question is whether his luck can hold." At no point in the article did Balz describe Giuliani's positions on "abortion, guns and gays," nor did Balz point out that, since launching his 2008 presidential campaign, Giuliani has shifted his position on these three issues, moving toward more conservative stances on them. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented (here, here, here, and here) Giuliani has shifted his stance on abortion, going so far as to say "[i]t would be OK to repeal" Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision finding that the Constitution protects a women's right to an abortion. In addition, Giuliani has changed his position on gun control, backing away from his support of federal gun laws. Further, an August 13 Boston Globe article reported that "Giuliani continues to discard the moderate and liberal positions of his past. The latest is civil unions for same-sex couples, which the Republican presidential candidate has been backing away from in recent months."

Abortion

While media figures like Balz often report that Giuliani supports abortion rights, as Media Matters has repeatedly documented, Giuliani has said on several occasions that if elected president, he would appoint "strict constructionist" judges and has specifically "pledge[d] to use ... as model appointments" Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, both of whom have declared their support for overturning Roe v. Wade. Indeed, during the May 3 Republican presidential debate Giuliani said that "[i]t would be OK to repeal" Roe v. Wade, but that "[i]t would be also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent, and I think a judge has to make that decision," as Media Matters documented.

Gun control

On June 26, the issues section of Giuliani's website (accessed through the Internet Archive) read, "Rudy Giuliani is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. When he was Mayor of a city suffering an average of almost 2000 murders a year, he protected people by getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals. As a result, shootings fell by 72% and the murder rate was cut by two-thirds. But Rudy understands that what works in New York doesn't necessarily work in Mississippi or Montana." By contrast, as mayor, Giuliani supported federal gun control laws that affected all 50 states, as Media Matters documented. Indeed, Giuliani supported the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and the national assault weapons ban signed by President Clinton in 1994, which has since expired. Further, on the February 6, 2000, edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Giuliani voiced his support for the uniform licensing of handguns, saying: "[A] person who wants to possess a handgun should pass a written test, should be able to pass a physical test in the actual use of the gun, and should have to demonstrate good moral character and a reason to have the gun. ... [E]ssentially, there should be a uniform law passed by Congress that says that every state has to administer that, the way we say that we're not going to let you drive an automobile if you're too young." More recently, in the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican presidential candidate debate, Giuliani claimed that the "states can have a little bit of leeway" in establishing gun control regulations" while claiming that the federal government "can impose reasonable regulations ... about criminal background, background of mental instability. ... And if those regulations go beyond that, then those are unconstitutional."

Gay rights

Giuliani has also reportedly shifted his stance on civil unions for gay couples. An April 27 New York Sun article reported:

In a startling departure from his previously stated position on civil unions, Mayor Giuliani came out to The New York Sun yesterday evening in opposition to the civil union law just passed by the New Hampshire state Senate.

"Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly," the Giuliani campaign said in a written response to a question from the Sun. "In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it."

The Sun further reported, "Despite Mr. Giuliani's long history of supporting gay rights -- or rather, because of it -- yesterday's statement is likely to lead many observers to question whether the former mayor is concerned that his socially liberal record and positions aren't flying in the Republican primary."

Posted In
Elections, Health Care, Reproductive Rights
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Dan Balz
Stories/Interests
Rudy Giuliani, 2008 Elections
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