Earlier today I mentioned Jennifer Rubin’s claim that Rudy Giuliani is a “new social conservative” — one who favors keeping abortions legal and legalizing gay marriage. It happens that I met Rubin at the NRO conservative summit. During our encounter, she tried to persuade me that Giuliani is the true heir to Ronald Reagan.
Since then, Rubin has published attack pieces against at least two of Giuliani’s potential rivals — Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Either I missed her McCain hit piece or the Senator’s stock is sinking faster than I thought.
The first anti-Romney piece, in the Weekly Standard, calls attention to major differences between the former Massachusetts governor’s positions on abortion and stem cell research in 2002 and his positions today. The attack on Huckabee, in NRO, takes him to task for raising taxes and increasing the size of the Arkansas government, and questions whether Huckabee is “an authentic conservative.” I’m far from sold on Huckabee as a presidential candidate, but reading him out of the conservative movement strikes me as about as bizarre as declaring Giuliani a social conservative.
At Power Line, we have sharply criticized Republicans such as Chuck Hagel and Lindsey Graham when we strongly disagreed with their positions on issues under current debate. However, we try to refrain from attacking capable center-right politicians who may end up being the Republican party’s standard bearer merely because they are not our preferred choice for president.
But that’s just us. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Romney either for important positions he took in 2002 or for inconsistency in these positions. Similarly, it’s certainly fair to attack Huckabee for excessive taxing and spending in Arkansas.
However, Rubin’s latest attack on Romney is just a cheap shot. In a piece for the ABC News site called “Why So Few Jews Vote For Republicans,” Rubin goes after Romney for kicking off his presidential campaign at the Henry Ford Museum. Romney chose this location because of his family’s connection to the automobile industry, his own theme of innovation, and his desire to win votes in Michigan where he was born and raised.
Noting, however, that Ford was an anti-semite, Rubin argues that Romney’s selection of this venue is indicative of “a lack of sensitivity to the concerns many Jews have about their place in American society.” She then projects this alleged insensitivity upon Republicans as a whole, and claims that until Republicans overcome this perception of insensitivity (presumably by nominating her man Giuliani) Jews will continue to vote Democratc.
But, as the Republican Jewish Coalition pointed out in a quotation Rubin cites, Bill Clinton also praised Henry Ford. Jews had no hesitation about voting for him. And Jews have remained loyal Democrats even as the party has become a haven for all manner of genuine anti-semites and/or Israel haters. Moreover, as Dean Barnett explains in an excellent take-down of Rubin, “Henry Ford
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