Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, right, laughs in reaction to comments from Winifred Stearns of Hanover, N.H. during a campaign stop in White River Junction, Vt., Wednesday, May 23, 2007. ——— AP Photo / Toby Talbot
CONCORD — A conservative organization has formed in 34 states that opposes the naming of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the Republican nominee for president based on his pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-gay rights positions.
Recently, the Conservative Declaration of Independence announced a chapter in New Hampshire to oppose the candidacy of Rudy Giuliani, even if he wins the Republican nomination.
The Conservative Declaration of Independence was introduced Friday, March 16, in Macomb County, Mich., to promote conservative values and highlight the need for the Republican Party to nominate a 2008 presidential candidate who supports and upholds basic conservative principles.
The group put out a press release recently that targeted Giuliani.
"We hereby agree that Mr. Giuliani is an American hero for his performance in the aftermath of 9/11; however his liberal record as mayor, appointment of liberal judges and the conduct of his personal life make it impossible for us to support his candidacy under any circumstances," the release said.
The group's New Hampshire chapter is being led by Paul Nagy. Nagy was Pat Buchanan's 1992 Northeast director and served as the Northeast director for the Christian Coalition from 1994 to 1999.
Maria Comella, spokeswoman for the Giuliani campaign, said this effort to block her candidate's nomination or election does not concern the former New York mayor.
"The mayor has always been straightforward on the issues and where he stands, and Republicans across the country have responded to that," Comella said. "At the end of the day, it's the results that the mayor has had that are important."
A similar opposition group has been formed to oppose Giuliani in Iowa. On April 3, the group received a flood of additional declaration signatures from Iowa conservative Republicans who vow not to support Giuliani.
Tom McMillin, one of the authors and original co-signers of the declaration, sent out an e-mail to Iowa conservatives before a recent trip to that state by the former mayor notifying Republican voters of Rudy Giuliani's upcoming trip to Iowa and asking for their support in defending conservative values.
"We're focusing on all the early primary states," McMillin said. "Our goal is to force the mayor out of the race or to defeat him in the primary or in the general election.
"We want to make sure we inform true Republicans so they know all about Mr. Giuliani, including some of the things he's not talking about in the campaign," McMillin said.
According to the declaration author, Iowa conservatives were very anti-Giuliani in the leadup to his first trip to Iowa in April.
"As conservatives in Iowa learn that Giuliani supports government-funded abortion, partial-birth abortion, homosexual marriage, and gun registration, they quickly agree that we need this Declaration of Independence," McMillin said.
More than 100 conservative Iowa Republicans reportedly signed the Conservative Declaration of Independence in the leadup to the Giuliani trip to Iowa.
On March 15, the group wrote a letter to conservatives across the country opposing Giuliani's candidacy.
"Rudy Giuliani is an unacceptable Republican nominee for president of the United States," the letter states. "He is pro-abortion, pro-partial-birth abortion, pro-registration of handguns and pro-homosexual rights. He is the most liberal Republican candidate for president in our nation's history.
"Conservatives should leave no doubt that we will not support his candidacy under any circumstances," the group wrote. "Therefore, we have created the Conservative Declaration of Independence to publicly state our position regarding the Republican Party's consideration of a liberal as our presidential nominee."
The group has asked conservatives to send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to add their names to the list of declaration signers.
"We have hundreds of co-signers from across the country," the letter states. "We hope (to) develop organized movements in every state."
The letter was signed by leaders in the conservative movement. They include Mark Forton, chairman of Michigan Conservative Union, state chairman of Buchanan for president in 1996 and 2000, county Republican chairman of Macomb County Republican Party from 1994 to 1996; McMillin, state field director of the Christian Coalition of Michigan from 1994 to 1998, Issues Committee chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 2005 to 2007, and present board member of American Family Association of Michigan; and Nagy, Draft Buchanan 1992 Northeast director, Buchanan 1992 Northeast director, and Christian Coalition from 1994 to 1999.