WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani may be able to overcome his support for abortion rights with primary voters who oppose abortion, GOP lawmakers said Sunday.
"I think it's an uphill fight on that issue," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "But I think a lot of Republican voters see Rudy Giuliani as competent and able to do the job."
The former New York mayor, who leads GOP candidates in public opinion polls, has drawn criticism for supporting abortion rights and public money for some abortions.
Giuliani says he would appoint conservative justices similar to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, President Bush's appointees.
In a GOP debate last week, Giuliani said "it would be OK" if the Supreme Court upholds Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. "It would be OK to repeal it. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist viewed it as precedent," Giuliani said.
The other nine GOP candidates want the landmark ruling overturned.
Yet one of them, Rep. Tom Tancredo, agreed it is possible for Giuliani to win the nomination.
"Because one of the things that happens, of course, is that Republicans start looking at alternatives and saying, `Oh my gosh, even if Mayor Giuliani is a pro-choice, or at least a flip-flop, candidate on this issue, maybe he will appoint strict constructionists and that sort of thing," Tancredo said.
"And God knows we don't want the alternative, being whoever the Democrats have in place," Tancredo said.
Boehner was on "FOX News Sunday," while Tancredo appeared on "This Week" on ABC.