Rudy’s friends point out that their man was the guy who cleaned up Times Square, citing a Daily News article from March 2001: “Mayor Giuliani revived his crusade to crush smut shops and X-rated clubs yesterday – vowing to seal a loophole in a 1990s law that failed to slow the topless dancing and porno video trades in many neighborhoods. … The mayor said his proposal would let city inspectors take into account other factors – such as the prominence of sex-related items – when deciding whether to shut an establishment. The proposal also would require owners to place partitions between the adult and non-adult portions of their businesses – helping to end “sham efforts” to sidestep the law, Giuliani said.”
Rudy fans also point out their man is the man who fought the Brooklyn Art Museum over its “Sensation” exhibit, over a painting of the Virgin Mary that used elephant dung. (You know, the one the New York Times kept using to illustrate its stories on the cartoons of Mohammed.) They quote the candidate in a 1999 appearance on CNBC, “Is there Catholic bashing going on? Go-go ask Cardinal O’Connor if there’s Catholic bashing going on. You take one of the most important symbols to Catholics and throw dung at it and have pictures of private parts of women splayed all over it and, of course, it’s Catholic bashing.”
When I praised Romney’s “Ocean” ad yesterday, I noted that part of its impact was Romney’s willingness to make the social conservative agenda part of his message. Rudy’s got a great record on some of these issues as well, but he needs to put them at the center of his campaign to persuade especially the values voter that the toughness with which he pursued the agenda in New York will also mark a White House tenure.