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Three Years Ago the Miracle of American Recovery Began
FOUR MORE YEARS!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Talks Truth to Values Voters

We covered Fred Thompson yesterday. Let's take another look at Rudy:

Still no new polling data for the South Carolina horse race which has Rudy Giuliani neck and neck with Fred Thompson. The last Real Clear Politics average for SC showed Rudy and Fred with approximately 20% each followed by Romney at 16%, McCain at 14% and Huckabee a distant 5%.

Two major events are as yet unmeasured by any new polling in South Carolina: 1. Rudy's performance in the Florida debate last Sunday and 2. Rudy's appearance at the Value's Voter's Summit in Washington DC a few days earlier.

Considering the importance in South Carolina of values voters, who are overwhelmingly conservative, evangelical Christians I thought it important to give Rudy's speech to the group in Washington wider exposure.

In both the Florida debate and the Values Voters summit Rudy has had to fight against the idea that he isn't a "true" or "real" conservative. Here's are extended excerpts of his response on that score:


Mayor Giuliani’s Remarks at The Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, Washington, D.C.
Transcript from JoinRudy2008
Oct 20, 2007

... "I've come here to speak with you about our shared values and shared goals because I truly believe that what unites us is much greater than any of the things that divide us, whether it’s you and I or all the people of America. The American people want their political leaders to reason together and to find solutions to the challenges that we all face.
...
when we discuss the role of faith and values in our politics, unfortunately the discussion is all of a sudden turned around to something negative. It’s usually more about what people are against and what people are for.
...
Christians and Christianity is all about inclusiveness. It’s built around the most profound act of love in human history isn't it?...It must be a miracle behind that that people can love each other so much and care about each other so much. They can love each other so much that they can even forgive the people who persecuted them. This is a religion of inclusion. They were always looking for people to bring into the fold. They were truly defined by what they were for, not what they were against.

"I’m running for President of the United States because I believe I can bring us together. Strong leadership can help us find common solutions to our problems. When I look to the future, my head’s not down. My head is up. Nobody in this country should have their heads down. If we have our heads down in this kind of negativity, where’s the rest of the world going to go? I mean this is the greatest country on earth. We are the luckiest and most fortunate people on earth to be living here. We may have big problems, but we have bigger solutions.
...
This summer I presented 12 Commitments to the American people. I would ask you to read them and look at them and see if that doesn't define your vision for the future of this country. They’re a statement of specific principles and a statement for change. They’re optimistic, they’re challenging, and they’re all achievable. And the reason I can promise you they’re achievable is I've already achieved things very, very much like that.
...
you know that we have some areas of disagreement, but I believe we have many, many more areas of agreement and the one thing you can count on with me is I’ll always be honest with you. I’ll always listen to your ideas. I’ll always take them into consideration. And I’ll do the best I can to honestly tell you mine. I come to you today as I would if I were your President–with an open mind and an open heart and all I ask is that you do the same. Please know this— you have absolutely nothing to fear from me. I find it difficult understanding those who try to make me out as an activist for liberal causes. If you think that, just read any New York Times editorial while I was mayor of New York City.
...

Isn't it better that I tell you what I really believe instead of pretending to change all of my positions to fit the prevailing wind?
...

I believe trust is more important than 100% agreement. I worked for Ronald Reagan. He’s my hero. I modeled a lot of what I did as mayor of New York City after Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan didn't figure out what he was going to do by putting his finger in the air and figuring out where the winds were blowing. Ronald Reagan looked into his heart, his mind, his beliefs, and he asked the question. The question was what I do honestly believe is best for America? Some times that was popular, sometimes that was unpopular. But Ronald Reagan was a leader. See if I come out here and I take a poll and I try to figure out what you all believe and then I just repeat to you what you all believe, then I’m a follower. I may be a good actor if I do it well, but I’m a follower. What you’re entitled to from me is what I really believe--the sum total of my intellect, my experience, my education, my conscience, my heart, my mind, and then you have a right to agree with that, disagree with it, partially agree, partially disagree and then figure out if I’m the right person for you to support. But for me to twist myself all up to try to figure out exactly what you want to hear and today say one thing and the next day another thing and a year from now---if you do that too long, you lose the sense of what leadership is all about.

Ronald Reagan had a great way of summarizing it. He used to say my 80 percent friend is not my 100 percent enemy.
...
Our Constitution is not antagonistic to religion or faith or God. It has two principles, both of them entirely consistent with one nation under God. A prohibition against the establishment of religion and an equally strong prohibition against government interference in the free exercise of religion. When you read those two together, these guarantees make clear that our Founding Fathers wanted to have a nation where people of faith could freely practice their faith as openly as they wanted to, proclaim their faith as strongly as they would like to, and it could be as much a part of the political debate as individual minds and hearts directed.
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"George Will called my time as mayor of New York City quote, “The most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years.”

I’m sure many of you have been to New York City. How many?

I bet you’re not afraid to come there anymore, right? There might have been a time when you were. There might have been a time when you were afraid to come to New York City-in the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, and the early 90s. A once great city, America’s largest city, had fallen into a terrible cycle of violent crime, civic decay, dependence, despair.
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Times Square, which just kind of a symbol of New York City, had become a haven for drug dealers, for prostitutes, and for purveyors of pornography. My city was suffering an average of about 2,000 murders a year. That’s almost 6 per day.
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Our success in turning New York from the crime capital of America, which it was for three decades, to the safest large city in America is well known.

But other successes are less well known. We drove pornography out of Times Square and other public spaces.

In 1987, there were 35 pornographic theaters and shops on just one stretch of 42nd Street. When I left office, there were zero—none.
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This fight wasn't just limited to the battlefields like Times Square was at that time. It extended throughout the city. We significantly reduced pornography throughout the city of New York and we took on other institutions like the Brooklyn Museum of Art which was using taxpayers’ funds to display an exhibit that showed the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung. It was just another example of the double standard that exists for people of faith. There’s just no outrage among the politically correct crowd when Christian icons are desecrated. We stood up and we said enough. And I led the effort. Some of the liberals were furious. Go back and read the New York Times editorials.
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[G]overnment should never be required to give out taxpayer money to desecrate religion. It’s just plain wrong.
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And we need to stand up to those who try to drive traditional expressions of religion out of our public life. Whether it’s lawsuits that attempt to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance or institutional resistance to having the word God appear on certificates that accompany flags which are flown over the capitol dome. Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion.
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We instituted the largest welfare to work initiative in the country. We work with faith-based organizations to achieve that change. ...the fact that there are 640,000 fewer New Yorkers on welfare and many of those people are working and they’re working in good jobs and they’re taking care of themselves and they’re taking care of their families has a lot to do with why New York City turned from being the crime capital of America to the now being not just the safest large city in America.
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Because I believe that if individual take responsibility for their own lives, they develop to their full potential. That’s why I’m also such a strong supported of school choice....I’m the product of parochial schools. St. Francis of Assisi Grammar School, St. Anne’s Grammar School, Bishop Loughlin High School, and Manhattan College. The first time I attended a class in which a prayer wasn't said at the beginning of class was my first day at NYU Law School. I was so confused I began by making the sign of the cross and then I looked around and realized people were staring at me. It helped my development a lot in many, many ways that I don’t have time to describe. But every parent in America should have the right to send their child to the school of their choice.
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As I told you before, I've made 12 Commitments to the American people. One of them is I made a commitment to decrease adoptions and increase---to decrease abortions and increase adoptions....the most important thing for a child is to be in a loving family. So we did everything that we could to increase adoptions in New York City. We worked with the Dave Thomas Foundation. We did adoption fairs. We did outreach. I participated in it. I led it. We increased adoption by 133 percent over the eight years before I came into office. And we found that abortions went down by 18 percent during that period of time. I believe we can do that in the United States. People of good conscience come to different conclusions about whether abortions should be legal in some circumstances. But you and I—and I believe almost all Americans share the same goal: a country without abortion. Achieved by changing the minds and hearts/
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I will veto any reduction in the impact of the Hyde Amendment or other existing limits on abortions or the public funding of abortions....I support parental notification and will continue to and I supported and continue to support the ban on partial-birth abortion...I’ll make the $10,000 adoption tax credit permanent and my administration will work with Congress through the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives to find new ways to support organizations that promote alternatives to abortions like Elaine Bennett’s Best Friends Program.
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no set of decisions the next President makes will be more important than the judges that that president appoints....look at the members of my judicial advisory board. It’s chaired by Ted Olson, a close friend of mine for many years in the Reagan administration and former Solicitor General of the United States. It includes among its members Larry Thompson, Miguel Estrada, Steven Calabresi and until recently Attorney General designate Mike Mukasky..if you need a yard stick of what kind of judges would he appoint, then I can tell you I would appoint Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Justice Scali, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, or Chief Justice Roberts.
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The next President needs to have learned the lessons from the past and the mistakes that were made in the negotiations with Yasser Arafat, which I believe were terribly mistaken and went very much in the wrong direction. If Israel is to have a true peace it will only be achieved if the Palestinians accomplish these three things. If they accomplish these three things I believe there is a realistic road map to peace. But the responsibly on these three issues belongs with the Palestinians.

First, they have to accept the right of Israel to exist as a true state.
Second, they have to forsake terrorism and eliminate it.
And third, they must begin to create a responsible government taking accountability for the problems of its people.
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If we expect perfection from our political leaders, we’re just asking to be disappointed. We lose trust in political leaders not because they are imperfect – after all they’re human. We lose trust with them when they’re not honest with us.
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Likewise if we’re honest with each other, trust will follow. We might agree, we might not always agree. I don’t always agree with myself. But I’ll give you a reason to trust me and you’ll always know where I stand.

This conversation that we've had about shared values and goals is a beginning, it’s not an ending. I want to work with the community of faith to develop new ideas that can protect our shared vision, building a more civil society, restoring the social contract, promoting a culture of personal responsibility and in the process we’ll achieve our shared goals, protecting our children’s’ innocence and defending the expression of religious faith, strengthening parents’ rights and expanding school choice, advancing toward a culture of life by decreasing abortions and increasing adoptions, appointing strict constructionist judges, and winning the Terrorists’ War on Us. Because the more we all talk together, the more we share ideas, the more we all respect each other, the more we can achieve. I’ll continue to extend my hand to you and I hope that you’ll take it. Together we can help our country rise to new heights and continue to form a more perfect union. May God bless all of us and may God continue to bless our great nation, the United States of America. Thank you.

Video of all the speeches at the Values Voter's Summit, including that of the other GOP presidential candidates who attended (no Democrat candidates attended) is here. Scroll down to see the entire list.

It's unfortunate to see how some single issue voters are deriding Rudy and other candidates as not being "true conservatives." Seems to me that a record of succeeding in reducing crime, pornography, abortions and welfare while supporting a strong national defense and allies like Israel demonstrates a proven commitment to conservative values.

And after the we lost control of both house of Congress in part because of "principled" complaints from many of these same voters it's curious that they seem hell bent on repeating that mistake.

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