Searching for Mr. Right

Publication: New York Times

Author: Patrick Healy

02/11/2007 - Having lost Congress and faith, at times, in President Bush, social conservatives are now holding out for a hero in the 2008 Republican presidential campaign.But who? And what kind of hero?

Is it the hero of 9/11, Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose support of abortion rights is anything but heroic to social conservatives? Is it the hero against gay marriage in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, who nevertheless once championed gay rights? Or is it a hero of wartime, John McCain, who has also betrayed them on issues like federal judicial appointments?

Eleven months before the first presidential caucuses, social conservatives are in no mood to compromise; many don't want to settle for Senator McCain, nor can they abide Mr. Giuliani. They want a true believer, reliably opposed to abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, tough on immigration and a supporter of conservative judicial appointments.

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