GOP presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, viewed skeptically by many of his party's so-called “values voters," will make a direct, personal appeal to them later this month.
Giuliani has agreed to make an appearance at Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit.
Slated to run Oct. 19-21 in the nation’s capital, the gathering is sponsored by the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Values, the Alliance Defense Fund, and the High Impact Leadership Coalition.
In addition to Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney, other GOP candidates who plan to appear include Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, and Tom Tancredo. GOP maverick Ron Paul has also tentatively agreed to appear.
What sort of reception Giuliani can expect from an audience of social conservatives remains to be seen. His stance on abortion and gay rights keeps him at odds with values voters.
“I think that’s hard to say,” FRC’s senior vice president, Connie Mackey, tells NewsMax. “The luxury all the candidates have is that this is not a debate. They will be able to speak from their own script.
“This is a very polite group of people,” she adds, “and they will listen to what the candidates have to say.”
Giuliani may not have to wait long to gauge the effectiveness of his appeal to the conservatives in the crowd. The three-day event will also include an in-person and online straw poll that the FRC describes as “the first pulse-taking of values voter activists now that the field is complete.”
Organizers say that the Democratic presidential candidates were also offered speaking time at the event — but all declined.
Joining the GOP candidates at the gathering will be conservative notables such as Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Chuck Colson, Gary Bauer, John Fund, Ed Meese, Bill Bennett, Phyllis Schlafly, and Robert Bork.
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