- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

Two leading Republican lawmakers said yesterday that former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s pro-choice stance on abortion should not disqualify him from becoming their party’s presidential nominee or from receiving the support of conservative voters.

Making the comments were House Majority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, one of Mr. Giuliani’s rivals for the nomination. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, a social conservative also running for the party’s nomination, said during the Republican presidential debate last week that he could accept a candidate with differing views on abortion.

“I think it’s an uphill fight on that issue,” Mr. Boehner said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “But I think a lot of Republican voters see Rudy Giuliani as competent and able to do the job.”

Mr. Boehner has not endorsed the Giuliani campaign. He noted the large delegation of House Republicans who met with former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee two weeks ago and said voters are open to a range of primary candidates.

Mr. Giuliani said during the debate that it would be “OK” if Roe v. Wade were either overturned or upheld, giving no clear approval to reversing the 1973 decision that established abortion as a constitutional right. His nine rivals on the stage strongly approved of overturning Roe.

“It would be OK to repeal it,” Mr. Giuliani said. “It would be OK also if a strict constructionist viewed it as precedent.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Tancredo said other factors could make a pro-choice candidate acceptable to conservatives.

“Because one of the things that happens, of course, is that Republicans start looking at alternatives and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, even if Mayor Giuliani is a pro-choice, or at least a flip-flop candidate on this issue, maybe he will appoint strict constructionists and that sort of thing,” he said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “And God knows we don’t want the alternative, being whoever the Democrats have in place.”

Mr. Brownback said during the debate that he could support a pro-choice nominee.

“I could because I believe in the Ronald Reagan principle: that somebody that’s with you 80 percent of the time is not your enemy, that’s your friend and that’s your ally,” he said. “This is a big coalition party. And it’s a coalition party that’s governed for a number of years in this country.”

When asked about his own opinion of overturning Roe, Mr. Brownback said, “It would be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.”

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