It should be said — and I’m saying it here — that the Giuliani campaign’s blistering press release comparing Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton (see post below) was issued today in response to a leaked section of the speech Romney is scheduled to deliver tonight at the Values Voters summit in Washington. In it, Romney is the one doing the comparing of a fellow Republican to Senator Clinton:
Actually, I’m pleased that so many people of many faiths have come to endorse my candidacy and my message. My campaign is about changing Washington to strengthen America: I want to build a stronger military, a stronger economy, and stronger families. I call these the three legs of the Republican stool. These three unite the coalition of conservatives that Ronald Reagan championed—defense conservatives, economic conservatives, and social conservatives.
We won’t win the White House with only 2 out of 3 or 1 out of 3. Republicans win the White House by motivating all 3 parts of our coalition to carry us to victory. We’re not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton.
While he’s clearly referring to Giuliani, Romney does not mention the former New York mayor by name. He is trying to be polite while sticking in the knife. He should have expected the Giuliani camp wouldn’t be so polite in response. In response, Giuliani pulled out a gun.
UPDATE: I recevied an email from Romney spokesman Kevin Madden with a response to my first post. Here it is:
“Governor Romney is the Republican who can best represent the coalition of national security, economic and social conservatives that serve as the three pillars of the Republican Party’s foundation. Republicans can bring conservative change to Washington with a nominee like Governor Romney who is willing to speak about all three of these issue platforms, not just one or two of them.
“Mayor Giuliani’s positions on gay marriage and abortion are at odds with many conservative Republicans. If the Republican Party nominates a candidate who shares the same positions as Hillary Clinton on social issues, then we risk losing our identity as a party and we risk losing the White House to her.”
-Kevin Madden, Romney for President campaign spokesman
Something tells me this isn’t the end of the matter.