One of the most powerful Republican U.S. House Members from California is also one of the most vigorous advocates of Rudy Giuliani for President — and he let me know today why, in no uncertain terms.
Walking through the U.S. Capitol today, I encountered Rep. David Dreier, twenty-seven-year Member of Congress from Los Angeles County, former chairman of the House Rules Committee, and confidant of both President Bush (they met when they were both first-term candidates for Congress in 1978 — both lost, but Dreier rebounded and won two years later) and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dreier, whom I have known throughout his congressional career, is someone who is, to deploy a well-worn phrase, “wired” when it comes to national Republican politics.
After escorting me into the private Capitol office of the Rules Committee (where he now serves in the minority), introducing me to some staffers, and showing me a window that the British shattered when they attacked the Capitol during the War of 1812 (“The exact date was August 13, 1814,” Dreier informed me, asking how the site might be commemorated), the Californian suddenly asked: “What do we do to get HUMAN EVENTS to come out with a strong editorial for Rudy Giuliani for President?”
In all the years we’ve known one another, David Dreier has always come right to the point. So did I, at least today, when I told him that this was something that was a long way off –if it was in fact possible — that the editors of the 63-year-old national conservative weekly might have some questions about the former New York mayor’s stand on issues such as abortion, immigration, or gun control.
“Rudy as President will be as pro-life as Ronald Reagan,” fired back Dreier, pointing out that the New Yorker has said he will appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts (with whom the California lawmaker had dinner with last night) and Sam Alito, that the number of abortions went down when he was mayor of New York from 1993-2001, that he has taken a “strong stand” against partial birth abortion (he did, sort of, on Sean Hannity’s television program on February 5th of this year, when the presidential hopeful said the ban on the practice would stand because it had a “life of the mother” exception; prior to that point, his most recent statements were in 1999 and, cited in the New York Times, Giuliani stated his opposition to a ban on partial birth abortion, period.)
“On an issue like abortion, Rudy said he wouldn’t alter current federal law and that public funding for abortion in New York City was New York funding,” Dreier added, “He would not impose New York City’s abortion policies on other states [sic]. His view is the same as mine — that in a federalist system, states should set their own policies.”
Dreier also insisted that Giuliani didn’t favor an amnesty and that he would take a hard line on border security. Giuliani is also, according to Dreier, a strong fiscal conservative who cut city taxes 23 times, supports eliminating the death tax, and making the Bush tax cuts permanent.