Rival campaign: Rudy gave to Planned Parenthood

Oh, the hits keep on coming for the flip-floppers running for president in the GOP. They are starting the hardball pronto.

Since Giuliani made a big splash at the debate last week talking about how he finds abortion abhorrent and wouldn’t mind if Roe v. Wade was overturned, why has he repeatedly donated to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services?

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the ’90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country’s leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions.

Federal tax returns made public by the former New York mayor show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.

The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani’s support for Planned Parenthood — along with e-mailed copies of the returns — was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified.

…Asked how Giuliani could reconcile personal opposition to abortion with a contribution to Planned Parenthood, a Giuliani spokeswoman reiterated the former mayor’s stump message and took what could be construed as a shot against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has recently become an opponent of abortion rights.

“Mayor Giuliani has been consistent in his position — he is personally opposed to abortion, but at the same time he understands it is a personal and emotional decision that should ultimately be left up to the woman,” said Maria Comella.

I saw fundie Ralph Reed on AC 360 (debating James Carville) desperately trying to avoid reconciling Rudy’s positions or criticizing him. Ralphie, face it, Rudy’s attempt to sell himself as pro-life is about as convincing as the adulterer’s conviction about the sanctity of marriage.

See the exchange after the flip.

COOPER: How is this going to impact Giuliani’s presidential efforts? It certainly does not help him among conservatives.

RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that Mayor Giuliani is going to speak to that issue as to what the reason for those contributions were.

But he has said that he abhors abortion. He has said that he supports the Hyde amendment. Obviously, he’s not where the conservative base of the party is on that issue. And that’s what the dialogue and discussion will be about. And I don’t think he will be the only candidate that will wrestle with that issue.

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He’s done wrestling with it. […] But he said that he — again, if you say you hate abortion, and you make $900 checks out, I think there’s a question there. I think a lot of — and I think a lot of religious conservatives are very, very upset about this.

REED: All of our candidates oppose federal funding and taxpayer funding of abortion. All the Democrats…

CARVILLE: No, Giuliani does not.

REED: … support that federal funding.

He said he supported the Hyde amendment the other night.

CARVILLE: No, but that allows the state to do it. And he said he supported the state of New York providing money for abortions. That’s just a fact.

Planned Parenthood — let’s be factual here — is a group that provides information on birth control and is an abortion provider. And he contributed $900, and he stands up and he says he hates abortion.

I don’t know, but, if I were, as many members of my own family, are very pro-life, I would think that they would be upset.

And I noticed this Mr. Richard Land down at the Southern Baptist Convention, I don’t think he’s too impressed with this whole thing. And I think there are a lot of Christian conservatives who are pro- life that don’t really believe that Giuliani really hates abortion. If you’re pro-life, it’s pretty hard to reconcile.

If somebody said they were anti-discrimination and gave four checks to the Klan, I would probably be skeptical of them.

REED: Well, I — look, I think this is an issue that is going to be debated in our party.

It’s going to be debated in your party, James.

I love it — so which campaign do you think is shuffling this one around? McCain? Romney? One of the second-tier choice foes like Brownback?

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