The Republican establishment has failed to rally around a candidate in this election. Sam Brownback has endorsed John McCain. Bob Jones III is behind Mitt Romney. The biggest surprise of all came when Pat Robertson announced his support for Rudy Giuliani. Some conservatives were surprised by this, in no small part because they think Giuliani’s nomination would mean a different Republican party.
However, I am convinced that most Republicans will have no problem with him if they really examine his stands on the issues. Anyone happy with George Bush and Ronald Reagan will be happy with Rudy Giuliani.
The issue most preoccupying Republican voters right now is the War on Terrorism. Giuliani’s rhetoric gives us every reason to believe he’ll be just as tough as any of them want. He is on record saying that terrorists “follow a violent ideology: radical Islamic fascism, which uses the mask of religion to further totalitarian goals and aims to destroy the existing international system … The purpose of this fight must be to defeat the terrorists and the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Like diehard neocons, Giuliani is convinced that Iraq is the critical front in the war on terrorism. Although he initially equivocated on the surge — like most other Republican contenders — he has long since backed it. On the stump he goes out of his way to remind us that he will do anything to win it.
To win the war on terrorism, Giuliani will use everything in the Bush toolbox, if not more. He has pointedly refused to rule out using water boarding, and other interrogation techniques widely regarded as torture. When asked about sleep deprivation he demurred, saying that, “They talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly.”
Similarly any Republican who liked Reagan’s economic policy will be pleased with Giuliani’s. As Mayor of New York, Giuliani cut a plethora of taxes; by the time he left he could take credit for cutting income taxes, sales taxes, and commercial rent taxes among others. All told, the city cut taxes by at least $5.8 billion — or $9 billion if you buy Giuliani’s numbers. Either way, his tax cuts were significant.