Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during the Republican party of Iowa’s Abraham Lincoln Unity Dinner, Saturday, April 14, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani warned GOP activists in Des Moines on Saturday that if they insist on a nominee who always agrees with them, it will spell defeat in 2008.
â€œOur party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what weâ€™re for, not if weâ€™re a party thatâ€™s known for what weâ€™re against,â€ the former New York mayor said at a midday campaign stop.
Republicans can win, he said, if they nominate a candidate committed to the fight against terrorism and high taxes, rather than a pure social conservative.
â€œOur party has to get beyond issues like that,â€ Giuliani said, a reference to abortion rights, which he supports.
Giuliani made his remarks at a campaign stop before a speech to about 1,000 of the leadoff caucus stateâ€™s most active Republicans, some of whom have voiced unease about his moderate social positions.
It was Giulianiâ€™s second trip to Iowa, where he leads in early polls but has put in far fewer campaign hours than his rivals.
Almost all of them joined Giuliani at the Polk County Convention Complex for an evening Iowa GOP fundraiser.
Giuliani was the first of nine presidential candidates to speak at the partyâ€™s annual Lincoln Day dinner, expected to serve as the unofficial kickoff of the 2008 caucus campaign.
West Des Moines Republican Linda Robel, who supports Giuliani, said she worries that social issues will irreparably damage party unity in the primary campaign.
â€œI believe that because of the abortion issue in the Republican Party, it is dividing this party so badly that we may not be able to elect a Republican president,â€ said Robel, who attended Giulianiâ€™s early event at Noahâ€™s Ark restaurant.
After the house party, the mayor met with his hosts and a few influential Republicans in the bar at the hotel where he was staying and where a few reporters had also decamped. In a voice loud enough to be overheard on the other side of the room, he outlined his view that the other candidates would divide up the “right-wing,” voters, as he called them, leaving him to consolidate the moderates and the economic and military conservatives who aren’t fixated on social issues.
And, a Fred Thompson candidacy adds more division of conservative votes without adding a candidate to challenge the “experience/competency factor” of Hizzoner.
Giuliani is smart and the GOP WILL LOSE the White House unless they learn from the Mayor and nominate a candidate to directly compete with pro-choice Hillary Clinton.
Not ONE of the rest of the GOP candidate field CAN beat her.
Republican presidential hopeful former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani autographs a baseball for Patrick Smith, of Kansas City, Saturday, April 14, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa.
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