Mark DeMoss, a conservative Christian publicist, is generating a lot of news with his open letter sent to some 150 right-wing leaders urging them to rally behind Mitt Romney for the sole purpose of denying Rudy Giuliani the Republican presidential nomination.
DeMoss has been a supporter of Romney for months, organizing a meeting between the candidate and various right-wing leaders, and serving as a member of his Faith and Values Steering Committee. Given all the talk lately of right-wing leaders and activists bolting the GOP should Giuliani win the nomination, DeMoss apparently sensed an opportunity to pitch his candidate to the disenchanted and urge them to back Romney not only because he shares their values but, most importantly, to prevent Giuliani from winning:
As certain as it seems that Hillary will represent the Democratic Party, it now appears the GOP representative will be either Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Governor Mitt Romney (based on polls in early states, money raised and on hand, staff and organization, etc.). And, if it is not Mitt Romney, we would, for the first time in my memory, be faced with a general election contest between two “pro-choice” candidates.
And you don’t just have to take DeMoss’s word that Romney is the real deal – apparently even Jerry Falwell would have supported him, had he not died:
Just about six months before his death, Jerry accepted my invitation to a meeting with Gov. Romney at his home outside Boston. He joined me, and about 15 other evangelicals, for an intimate discussion with the Governor and his wife Ann. Jerry was one of several that day who said, “Governor, I don’t have a problem with your being Mormon, but I want to ask you how you would deal with Islamic jihadists…or with illegal immigration…or how you would choose justices for the Supreme Court…,” and so on.
While Jerry Falwell never told me how he intended to vote in the upcoming election, I think I know how he would not have voted. I also know he would not have “sat this one out” and given up on the Supreme Court for a generation.
Aside from assuring his right-wing allies that Romney is everything they are looking for, the focus of his the letter is on capitalizing on the Right’s antipathy toward, and fear of, Giuliani :
Currently, conservatives (whether evangelical or not) are dividing their support among several candidates. In the long run, this only helps Rudy Giuliani, who clearly does not share our values on so many issues … Talk of a possible third party candidate draft movement only helps Giuliani (or, worse yet, Clinton), in my view. While I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. James Dobson that not having a pro-life nominee of either major party presents an unacceptable predicament, I would rather work hard to ensure we do nominate a pro-life candidate than to launch an 11th-hour third party campaign. Mike Huckabee affirmed this concern when he told the Washington Post last week, “I think a third party only helps elect Hillary Clinton.”
“Hey, you hate Giuliani and are unimpressed by everyone else, so why not back Romney?” seems to be DeMoss’s message – one that, for a lot of panicked right-wing leaders, just might be a lifesaver, since they have placed themselves in a situation where they are faced with the unpleasant prospect of having to abandon the GOP all together.