Defending Giuliani Is Matthew's New Passion

Chris Matthews is flabbergasted that a Catholic group would oppose Rudy Giuliani over his pro-choice stance. He mugs the guy for two segments. Two se

dillard.jpg Chris Matthews is flabbergasted that a Catholic group would oppose Rudy Giuliani over his pro-choice stance. He mugs the guy for two segments. Two segments. Dillard should not mess with Tweety's "cop on the street," crush...

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It's OK for Chris to obsess on Hillary's marriage and Gore's weight, but keep your dang Rudy criticisms to yourself.

MATTHEWS: Would the day that Roe V. Wade is repealed be a good day for America?

RUDOLPH GIULIANI ®, FMR NYC MAYOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It‘d be OK.

MATTHEWS: OK to repeal?

GIULIANI: It‘d be OK to repeal. It‘d be OK also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent, and I think a judge has to make that...

MATTHEWS: Would it be OK if they didn‘t repeal it?

GIULIANI: I think that—I think the court has to make that decision, and then the country can deal with it. We‘re a federalist system of government, and states could make their own decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: And what‘s your reaction, Mr. Dillard, to that response, set of responses?

DILLARD: Well, my reaction would be that Rudy Giuliani‘s statements since he‘s been campaigning for the GOP nomination are different than statements he made when he was mayor of New York. I mean, he‘s trying to tone down his record. But you know, the truth is, this is a man who supports public financing of abortion. This is a man who didn‘t even oppose partial-birth abortion, which is infanticide. I mean, he has a very he‘s given money to Planned Parenthood. This is a man who has a very extremist record on abortion.

MATTHEWS: Extremist? OK, Mr. E.J. Dionne, thank you, sir, for joining us. What do you think will be the impact, if any, of a group like this on the blogosphere or elsewhere that opposes Rudy Giuliani because he isn‘t conforming to his religion, you might argue?

E.J. DIONNE, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, I think this is a very important test of the right-to-life movement, because, for some time, some of us have suspected that the abortion issue is hauled out during an election campaign to be used against Democrats.

And, at some level, I respect right-to-lifers who are saying, no, we‘re not using this issue just as a club to beat Democrats with. We really believe this. And we‘re willing to do it in a Republican primary.

And I think Giuliani‘s problem is, to the extent that this focuses on Catholics, Catholics who vote in Republican primaries are, almost by definition, far more pro-life, anti-abortion, than Catholics who vote elsewhere, so they could have an impact.

Ramesh Ponnuru in “The National Review” had what I thought was a very good analysis of this. He‘s a very strong pro-lifer. And he argues that, in Republican primaries, you have got about a third pro-choice, a third pro-life who will never vote for a pro-choice candidate, and a third who are basically against abortion, but might not vote on that issue.

And I think the battle is going to be in that middle group, sort of pro—pro-life, but open to Giuliani. And that‘s where he‘s got to get votes.

MATTHEWS: Why, Mr. Dillard, are you making abortion rights an issue of—we call it in politics a voting issue, where people should decide who they pick for president on that issue? Why are you saying that...

DILLARD: Well, I mean, our...

MATTHEWS: ... one issue?

DILLARD: Well, because keep in mind that our Web site is going to be targeted to faithful Catholics, to inform them about Rudy Giuliani‘s record...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: No, but you‘re telling them—you‘re telling them not to vote for Rudy Giuliani because of his abortion position, aren‘t you?

DILLARD: That—that‘s correct, because this is a man who holds himself out...

MATTHEWS: Well, that—then, in other words, you‘re saying...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Look, let me ask you this.

DILLARD: Sure.

MATTHEWS: Where are you on the war in Iraq?

DILLARD: In what way?

MATTHEWS: Where are you? Do you think the war should have been fought?

DILLARD: I mean, I think it‘s been mis—I think it‘s been...

MATTHEWS: No, no, no.

DILLARD: I think it‘s been mismanaged.

MATTHEWS: Do you think the war should have been—no, you think the war should have been waged, we should have invaded Iraq?

DILLARD: I do. I think that...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, the Catholic Church doesn‘t agree with that. the Catholic Church doesn‘t take that position.

DILLARD: Well, I don‘t—I—with—with respect, I don‘t think that‘s a fair characterization.

The pope, Pope John Paul at the time, said that he was not in favor of it. I don‘t think the church took an official stance. That depends on—on whether or not you believe it meets the just-war criteria. And there‘s a—a debate one can make about that.

MATTHEWS: Are you for capital punishment?

DILLARD: But I‘m—I...

MATTHEWS: Are you for capital punishment, sir?

DILLARD: No, I am absolutely—I am opposed to capital punishment in all instances.

MATTHEWS: I‘m just trying to find out why you single out an issue and say that‘s how a Catholic should vote, when Catholics are like any other voter. They have to measure their position on a number of issues. And they have to say...

DILLARD: No, I‘m—I‘m against...

MATTHEWS: ... what‘s the most important concern for them.

DILLARD: ... torture. I‘m against torture in all instances. I oppose the death penalty.

I—I—you know, I—I mean, I oppose abortion. I—I feel like I‘m—much like Senator Brownback, I‘m whole life...

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, that‘s...

DILLARD: ... across the board. I‘m for intervening in Darfur and doing whatever we can to stop the genocide.

MATTHEWS: So, but, bottom line, no matter...

DILLARD: I mean, I believe that...

MATTHEWS: OK.

But, bottom line, no matter what Giuliani says on any issue, whether it‘s poverty, it‘s the war, it‘s concern for anyone in any other way, as long as he believes that, ultimately, a woman has to decide about an abortion, and it‘s not up to the state to say she can‘t, as long as he takes that position, you will not—you say Catholics shouldn‘t vote for him?

DILLARD: It‘s a disqualifier.

MATTHEWS: OK.

DILLARD: Abortion is the civil rights issue of our time.

MATTHEWS: OK.


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