The Giuliani campaign is now going after John McCain on judges. Mike DuHaime, Rudy Giuliani's Campaign Manager tells The Brody File the following:
"On important issues from the appointment of conservative judges to the passing of the Bush tax cuts, John McCain repeatedly sided with Democrats in the US Senate."
So far the criticism had just been on McCain's tax record. Now we have some new territory: judges. I asked DuHaime what he was referring to exactly and he mentioned the gang of 14 compromise in the Senate.
For those of you who don't know, John McCain was a key player in striking a deal with moderate Democrats on the filibuster of judges. Conservative Republicans were none too happy with him at the time because many in the Republican Senate leadership were ready to change the Senate rules so Democrats couldn't filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees anymore. When McCain struck the deal, it was looked at as thwarting the conservatives master plan to get ALL of President Bush's nominees through. Instead, only some got through, not all. Rush Limbaugh has been ripping McCain on this and outs it this way:
"How many of us can forget the Gang of 14 debacle? Remember that, ladies and gentlemen? The Gang of 14 "prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees." You never had to have 60 votes to get a judicial nominee approved. The Democrats started filibustering, you needed 60 votes. We were going to pull the trigger on the nuclear option to get rid of this once and for all and McCain rides in with Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty and others, to form the Gang of 14."
I contacted the McCain campaign and this is what Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's National Spokeswoman told me:
Rudy Giuliani's judicial appointments during his eight years as mayor of New York won praise from the likes of pro-choice groups like NARAL. That should tell you all you need to know about Rudy Giuliani's record. John McCain is a proven pro-life advocate, stands for traditional family values and will appoint strict constructionist conservative judges.
They also sent me a long list of evidence on how Giuliani is suspect on judges including quotes from the past that talk about how more than 80 percent of Giuliani's judicial appointees were Democrats.
The war rooms in both of these campaigns are ready for all out war. Florida may be the GOP Alamo.