Why I Will Not Vote for Rudy Giuliani

I have recently written about the candidacy of Rudy Giuliani for president and have said that I will not vote for him because he is pro-choice. I should clarify that his pro-choice position is not the only reason that I’m not supporting Mayor Giuliani. There are many other issues that also make him an unacceptable candidate (e.g., opposition to ban on gay “marriage,” support for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research). For these reasons, it is clear that Rudy Giuliani is no more conservative on moral issues than Hillary Clinton. But my concern is not so much whether people regard him as conservative. My concern is that he stands against justice on the greatest moral issues of our time.

It is easy to understand why some conservatives might think that I am being hard-headed. “After all,” they ask, “wouldn’t you rather support Rudy than Hillary? Wouldn’t it be better to have Giuliani as President than Clinton?” My answer to that question is a resounding no. One of the worst things that could happen to the pro-life movement would be a Giuliani presidency. If Giuliani were somehow to win the Republican nomination, it would mean one of two things. (1) Either pro-lifers would have set aside their convictions about life so that they could have a Republican in the White House. (2) Or it would mean that Republicans were able to win the presidency without pro-lifers as a part of their coalition.

Consider the first alternative. Does it really help the pro-life cause to elect a President who supports abortion rights? Giuliani defenders such as Sean Hannity point to Giuliani’s promise to appoint constructionalist/originalist judges to the Supreme Court. On this reasoning, a Giuliani presidency would be good for the pro-life cause even though Giuliani himself is not pro-life. But I have no confidence in this promise. If Giuliani really believed in appointing such judges, then why didn’t he do so as mayor of New York? He didn’t. So why would we expect him to do so as President? Perhaps he would in a first term in order to placate his base, but then why would he do so for vacancies that might occur in his second term? It doesn’t seem wise for pro-lifers to pin their hopes on the word of a man who has shown, unfortunately, his willingness to break promises.

What of the second alternative? If Rudy Giuliani were to be elected as president without the support of pro-life voters it would mean that both Republicans and Democrats can win national elections without giving any heed to citizens who stand for life. Why would Giuliani (or any other Republican President following him) bother to address the concerns of pro-life voters in his appointment of judges? If Giuliani were president in this circumstance, he would have no reason to keep his promise to appoint constructionist/originalist judges and every reason not to. Those who stand for the unborn would have no voice in shaping the policies of Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) and would have a president who favors abortion rights—a president that some pro-lifers helped to elect! I fail to see how this promotes life.

I think that the way conservatives have been responding to the possibility of a Giuliani candidacy has been very telling. For instance, Sean Hannity claims to be pro-life, yet he supports Giuliani even though there are still other pro-life candidates. Hannity has shown that outlawing abortion on demand is not high on his priority list. I don’t think he views the regime of Roe v. Wade as the greatest human rights crisis of our time. In other words, he doesn’t get it.

James Dobson on the other hand does get it. That is why he and other conservatives are threatening to run a third party candidate if the Republicans nominate Rudy Giuliani. What Dobson and others are saying is that it’s more important to take a principled stand for life than for Republicans to win the Presidency. He is right, and I am with him all the way.


  • Lucas Knisely

    I find myself agreeing with you on most points, and Sean Hannity on one point. We are handing the presidency to Hillary Clinton if we cross our fingers and jump with Dobson. As much as James Dobson has done for Christians, I think he crosses into strange territory by anti-endorsing a candidate.

    Unless Fred Thompson or Huckabee build an incredible amount of steam and decide to run as an independent after losing to Giuliani, I don’t see a chance of any good coming from this “Christians telling each other how to vote” business. I really don’t see anything gained by voicing our views on abortion through Christian “group voting” only to be silenced by a Hillary victory moments later.

  • Josh H.

    Growing up in a Christian home, I have come to see that the Repulican party is the “Republican” Party, not the “Christian Party”. You are perfectly fine to choose who you want to (and don’t) want to support, but the goals and mission of a political party are DRASTICALLY different than that of Christianity. Christianity is about saving souls and bringing people back to Christ. Parties are there to promote an agenda to better America.

    I respect you, but there ARE drastic differences between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. However, you must look beyond one or two issues to see the big picture.

  • sofyst

    I think this is a magnificent quote:

    “I really don’t see anything gained by voicing our views on abortion through Christian “group voting” only to be silenced by a Hillary victory moments later.”

  • Jim Peet

    Thank you Dr Burk.

    Would you vote for Rudy if a pro-life candidate were the VP candidate with him? Say Gov Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota? Gov Pawlenty is a genuinely born-again believer who is also (what else!) pro-life!

    I mention Gov Pawlenty because he is sometimes mentioned (perhaps only locally) as a potential VP running mate. He is popular in Minnesota (recent approval ratings per the Minneapolis Star Tribune were 59%). He could balance a Republican ticket with his youth and conservatism. He could help the Republican ticket carry Minnesota which has 8 electoral votes.

    I am not a Rudy fan, but am not ready to say I would never vote for him. Think of the times in history when a VP has become the President!

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for your blog, by the way!

  • AJ

    Why is it that only “Times like these make you wait with much more anticipation for “the city that is to come.””? What about those times when we conditions don’t seem quite as adverse around here?

  • Don

    Lucas makes a good point.. clinton will tax the crap out of us.. Social medicine is a failure, 5,000 bond for kids.. She will cut the military like bill the great stainmaker did… But oh that great economey we had.. All lies smoke and mirrors.. She had no control on her husband but she will sit down with leaders and get respect? Think about it.. She will pick 2 supreme court judges.. All libs…She has sandy the burgler as a advisor…Denny give us a break….

  • jeremy z

    Denny you are pretty wound up about politics. Let me ask you a question: Do you think a Christian can be a liberal, politically?

  • Justin

    I think it is not a smart thing to make a choice of a candidate based upon one issue, (or singularly about moral issues).

    Just because a candidate claims to be pro-choice does not mean that he or she will have the capability to act on that belief. for instance the only way to repeal Roe v. Wade is Constitutional amendment. There is no chance that it will happen since 60% of Americans are pro-choice( but anti-partial birth).

    Giuliani has already stated what types of judges he would appoint, those who are orginalists. Orginalists tend to oppose the expansion of abortion rights.

    I am a staunch pro-lifer and very much opposed to Giuliani as a candidate. But it is detrimental for anyone to vote for a Presidential candidate based upon one issue. That is true regardless of what you hold politically.

    I would strongly urge all evangelicals to strongly consider all the candidates, and do your homework. Do not be a one issue voter, that is intellectually irresponsible.

  • sb

    In my opinion, it’s not that there is a single issue that qualifies a candidate (such as being pro-life), but there can be a single issue that can DISQUALIFY a candidate (such as being pro-choice). This is, in fact, very responsible voting. I can’t in good conscience cast a vote for a candidate who thinks abortion on demand is ok.

    There are other things that I think would disqualify a person from public office too, such as wife beating- if a person thinks it’s ok for husbands to beat their wives, he/she can’t get my vote, no matter if I agree with him/her on EVERY OTHER SINGLE ISSUE. That candidate would be completely marginalized & would never win an election- people wouldn’t stand for it. But for some reason people are wish-washy on whether or not to vote for pro-choice candidates. I don’t get it. I am pretty surprised to hear so many people considering voting for Rudy.

  • Carlito

    Justin – I see your point, but let me give you a hypothetical situation. Say there is a potential presidential nominee who is sympathetic to Hitler – or maybe he has a plan to reinstate slavery. Granted, this is an extreme example, but abortion is comparable to both.

    Would we be justified in writing off a candidate if they held this type of ideal that blatantly contradicted our worldview / biblical convictions / conscience?

    I would say yes.

    I don’t think Denny is saying that when deciding on who to vote for, we should ignore all but one issue. I think what he’s saying is that there are certain principles and issues that we must prioritize when assessing candidates’ views – some (such as sanctity of life) that could possibly warrant our rejecting a candidate on the basis of a single factor like abortion. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider things like healthcare, taxes, foreign policy, the war in Iraq, the economy, etc.

    I also think it’s dangerous to just say “Well, he might be pro-choice, but he probably won’t really do that much harm.” That kind of logic, in my opinion, will get us nowhere in the fight against abortion. If nothing else, it negates at the very least an opportunity to make strides for life at the highest levels of gov’t.

    I will say this – if the presidential race comes down to Rudy VS Clinton (without a viable 3rd party candidate), I’ll vote for Rudy for lack of a better alternative. I do like his ideas on fiscal discipline & accountability, energy independence and healthcare policy.

  • Anthony Hawthorne

    I wonder why Ron Paul doesn’t come up more in these discussions. As an OB/GYN he is not just “politically” pro-life but rather life has been his conviction and practice for his entire professional and political career.

    It seems like the silence about him simply implies that people don’t think he is a viable candidate and that he doesn’t have any chance to take the nomination. As I have followed this race, it is clear that Ron Paul’s campaign is building more steam than anyone else and that compared with the other pro-life options he has a real fighting chance (And for evangelicals is a far better option that Mitt Romney).

    -Huckabee fundraising dropped to only $1 million in the last quarter while Ron Paul increased to $5 million
    -It is unsure yet how much internet popularity will lead to votes in the polls, but if there is a strong correspondence between these, then Paul could have a fighting chance against Guliani. According to Technocrati, Facebook, Youtube, and Myspace Ron Paul is the choice of the young, educated, and dissilustioned.
    -An anti-war and non-interventionist foreign policy has historically always been stronger than the aggressive and (if I may say) arrogant foreign policy of all the other GOP candidates.
    -Ron Paul is the only candidate in the GOP that could defeat Hillary. This may seem bold to say, but I base it on the observation that for the most part, liberal voters find Ron Paul’s message veery compelling. In fact, he is the only GOP candidate who will be causing Democrats and independents to cast a Republican primary vote in this election.

    Hillary will defeat any Republican opponent who is pro-war. Whatever your personal view on the war is, the WAR will be THE issue in this election and unless the GOP can bring forward a candidate who can provide a better plan than Hillary for pulling out of Iraq, that candidate doesn’t have very little chance or winning.

  • Paul

    Here’s why Ron Paul is so refreshing: HE’S AN ACTUAL RIGHT WINGER! Keep the government out of my wallet, out of my bedroom and out of my life as much as possible. That is the truest right wing sentiment you’re likely to find. And yet it’s one that largely, you won’t find the republicans clinging to.

    Even though I’ve come to the other side of the fence (I was a dues paying member of the libertarian party for years), I still respect the message, and if someone carrying that message has a viable shot, I am going to vote for them. If nothing else, NOTHING will get done in Washington for four years, and that in and of itself would be a blessing. No attempts at congressional hearings to try to find out who killed Tupac, no corporate welfare, and no war for oil. Sounds like a great candidate if ever there was one.

    and, oh yeah, buy my CD.

  • jess

    Everyone make sure you vote pro-life in the primary! and vote for the pro-life candidate most likely to beat Giuliani. He gives money to Planned Parenthood, he is no more to the right than Hillary Clinton is, and *personally* I’m not voting for someone I don’t believe in. I will vote with my heart. He might cut taxes, but I’m still not voting for someone who has treated his wives the way he has, or supports abortion then turns around and says he doesn’t. Other times I would vote strategically, but not for Rudy Giuliani. He has NO morals. none.

  • Mark Gibson


    Good post. I just wanted to note that Sean Hannity has not endorsed Giuliani or any other GOP candidate. However, I do agree that Hannity does not see the abortion debate as one of the highest priorities. I think he objects to Dobson’s comments because they seem to split the Republican party. Why doesn’t Dobson just support one of the other candidates like Hunter, Keyes, or Tancredo?

  • Chris

    I was born in Houston in the early 1970’s. My mom has taught US Government in the same school district for over 30 years. One of the first politicians that I ever knew of was Dr. Ron Paul. It was a sad day when I realized that he was among the exceptions and not the norm for those that represent us.

    You can find his statement of faith here:


    I became active in regards to helping get Ron Paul elected the day after the 2nd GOP debate in which the “exchange” between Rudy G. and Dr. Ron took place. I was completely struck at how the process of communication broke down. The statement that Rudy G. made about the concepts of “Blowback” being absurd showed me what he was about. Instead of listening to what was said, and potentially learning, he spoke rhetoric right in line with his “Vote for me because I was the Mayor of NY during 9/11” stand.

    Here is a youtube about Rudy G. in regard to his placement of the Command Center at a known terrorist target (WTC)


    Hope this helps in the process of dialogue here.

  • jaiden

    Ron Paul is the only True Conservative running for president. Examine his voting record. He is a man with integrity. see ronpaul2008.com
    Both Clinton and Giuliani are two sides of the same coin, two wings of the same bird… members of the CRF, and guilty of crimes to numerous to detail here. Research. The Republican/Democrat paradigm is an illusion.

  • Jon

    Agreed 100% on Ron Paul.

    He is the only candidate with integrity that not only talks the talk, he walks the walk!

    A rarity in politics these days!

  • David Leavins

    Totally agree. I will not vote for Rudy. He himself said a few years back that Pres. Clinton and he were not much different (I dont have the exact quote).
    There is an effort to shoot down the two truly conservative canidates out there by everyone including Sean Hannity. I used to love listening to Hannity but now all he can talk about is beating Clinton. He is willing to lay his beliefs down for Liberal Rudy or Flip-Flopper Romney. It would be better to vote our convictions and lose than to alow either one of those guys in office.
    Even though I am a fan of Gov. Mike Huckabee I would consider voting for Ron Paul (the only thing is I do not like his anti-war mentality)if he was was the nominee. I will vote for Gov. Huckabee first and then see how everything else shakes out.
    Oh by the way anybody in the top tier on the Republican side can beat Clinton because she has no executive experience. She would be one of the worst senate nominees for President that the Liberals could nominate. So I truly hope she is nominated.

  • Teresa

    I think there should be a rule somewhere that says if there are public photos of you in DRAG you should NOT run for President. LOL. Can you imagine the smear campaign between hillary & rudy?

    I am a christian SAHM of 4 young children and I can’t stand to see those Giuliani pics! If he gets the nomination I am going to be literally sick.

    Also – just something I keep seeing: Why do some republicans keep thinking Ron Paul is some kind of liberal or that he is an anti-war candidate? That is NOT exactly true. I believe RON PAUL would go to war legally if it came to that, but as Americans we did not declare war correctly and that needs to change. Even if we want revenge for 9/11- a war on terrorism has no clear goal. My main fear in this election is MY CHILDREN – one born just weeks before 9/11. Are they to be drafted and sent to fight a war out of pride?

    Huckabee came across as a nice guy at first, but the more I learn – the less I like. Not only would a “Preacher turned President” infuriate the enemy and make more attacks likely – he just does not seem to be telling the truth. The flat tax is a good start and – but I just do not know if he has the legal/financial know how to help us with all the other taxes and cuts that MUST be made. When it comes to foreign policy and economic knowledge – Ron Paul just seems like a logical choice.

  • ALEX

    OK to start off i am a republic. im trying to keep my mouth as shut as possible im only 19 and may be ignorant BUT NOT NAIVE!!! ok first (war topic) as it seems the majority of americans thinks its time to come back and get out!! way an amazing super silly idea!i cant really say what i wanna say with all you christians and catholics (ALTHOUGH I AM ONE MYSELF) thats completely wrong idea perfect and exact analogy you cars boke down your mechanic looks at it diagnoses (the presidents cabinet debates) and then starts taking apart after a week (army and that fight for 7 years) and he actually found out that what he took apart wast the problem at all!!! SEE WHERE IM GOING! and continue to fix the other problem and hes 90% done on the actual problem but still has to put back together what he initially messed up (the president invade iraq for WOMD doesnt find any and moves to pakistan and afganistan and has help build iraq) but then the mechanic just stops working on it and gives to the customer the way he left it 90% fixed and one other unrelated problem left dismantled! HHMMMMMMM!!!! PERFECT ENDING ACCORDING TO ALL WHO WANT OUT! and im aware of are tax dollars going to war instead of education and healthcare but with HILARY or OBAMA they’d be raised anyways cuz democrats know how to do that well! SECONDLY THIS IS F—EN AMERICA I DONT CARE IF YOUR ON A PROLIFE CAMPAIGN IF SOMEONE DOES NOT WANT A BABY AND DOESNT WANT TO LIVE IN POVERTY THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHOOSE AND ITS NOT JUST FOR THE SCEW UPS OOPS TYPE DEALIF THERE RAPED MALESTED ETC… AND IF THEY DO SET UP ADOPTION GUESS WHAT THAT ARE TAX DOLLARS CUZ ORPHANS NEED TO HIRE MORE WORKER (YES MANY ARE NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER) BUT SOME ARENT AND THATS LESS YOUNG FEMALES TAKING DISABILTY SO ITS A 2 WAY STREET YOU THINK YOU REVIVING MORALE AND WAY AMERICA USED TO BE BUT YOUR DEEP DOWN HURTING US. IM A GOSH DARN MALE AND IM SAYING THIS, ALSO IM FROM NY AND SAW FIRST HAND HOW EXCELLENT OF A LEADER AND WHAT PROGRESS HE HAS MADE FIRST HAND!!! AND HE INCREASED NY REVENUE BY LOWERING TAXES AND AT THE SAME TIME INCREASING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SO HE IS BY FAR AN FINE BUSINESS PERSON AND A GREAT LEADER!!!!!!!!!

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