It seemed for the past few months that former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani could keep Republican voters so mesmerized by talking about 9/11 that he wouldn't have to confront the fact his politics are quite liberal for conservatives -- and way out of touch with evangelical Christians, who have been essential to Republican success since the early '80s.
But last month Giuliani's popularity began sliding. A week later, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, a man who's had Bush's ear, opined -- divined? -- that "Rudy's not the one." It seemed Giuliani's pro-choice, liberal leanings -- and his incredibly messy personal life (he married his second cousin and via news conference told his second wife he was filing for divorce) -- were just too much too swallow.
Today, Christianity Today, the sentinel of evangelicalism, added to the criticism, reporting "Conservative leaders doubt his support among evangelicals will last."
"I think a lot of evangelicals are just getting to know Rudy," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
"As they get to know him—not as the hero of 9/11 but as a supporter of tax-funded abortions—his support will decline precipitously."