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“The Next Debate”

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My Townhall.com column looks ahead to Tuesday night’s debate among the GOP 10 in Columbia, South Carolina.

If the New York Times is correct, however, Rudy will do exactly the opposite of what I suggest is his best course on the topic of abortion:

After months of conflicting signals on abortion, Rudolph W. Giuliani is planning to offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days, despite the potential for bad consequences among some conservative voters already wary of his views, aides said yesterday.

At the same time, Mr. Giuliani’s campaign – seeking to accomplish the unusual task of persuading Republicans to nominate an abortion rights supporter – is eyeing a path to the nomination that would try to de-emphasize the early states in which abortion opponents wield a great deal of influence. Instead they would focus on the so-called mega-primary of Feb. 5, in which voters in states like California, New York and New Jersey are likely to be more receptive to Mr. Giuliani’s social views than voters in Iowa and South Carolina.

This had better be a trial balloon launched by staff, because it will not work.  Rich Lowry has it exactly right:

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the conservative magazine, said, “You can’t win as a pro-choicer who is going to deliberately set on challenging the party’s orthodoxy on the issue.”

More in my ABCNews.com column later today.

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