By Hilary White

  SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, October 2, 2007 ( – “If the Republican Party nominates a pro-abortion candidate we will consider running a third-party candidate.” So said a group of prominent U.S. social conservatives alarmed at the possibility that the Republicans will nominate the pro-gay “marriage” and pro-abortion Rudolph Giuliani for President.

  The New York Times reports the statement came from a break-away group at a meeting Saturday of the Council for National Policy in Salt Lake City. The statement comes as Giuliani is making a strong showing in the polls as the Republican candidate choice.

  Giuliani has long held the “personally opposed but” position on abortion adopted by many Catholic political candidates supportive of abortion. This position, known as the “Cuomo dodge,” was first formulated by the notorious abortion supporter and congressman-priest, Fr. Robert Drinan, and popularised in 1984 by then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo. The position has been denounced as a “deal with the devil” by faithful Catholics.
  Giuliani told a group of Republican voters in South Carolina in April, “Ultimately I believe it’s an individual right and a woman should make that choice.” He previously stated that although he “personally opposed” abortion, “you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience, and you have to respect the choice that somebody makes.”

  The conservative group at the Salt Lake City meeting included Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. The group told media they had not yet identified a candidate but that most of the participants of the smaller meeting supported the resolution.

  Conservative activist Richard Viguerie, one of the meeting’s participants said the issue is “beyond abortion”, though that is the most visible issue. “There’s a general feeling among social conservatives, as well as economic conservatives, that they have been betrayed by the Republican Party,” Viguerie said.

  Conservatives have warned that a Giuliani nomination could split the Republican party, in which social conservatives represent a major voting bloc, thus guaranteeing a win for the Democrat candidate. Most Republican conservatives believe that infamous abortion militant Hillary Clinton will take the Democrat nomination.

  Read related coverage:

  Rudy Giuliani Tells South Carolina Conservatives: I’m personally opposed to abortion but it’s a woman’s choice

  Denver Archbishop: Catholic Politician’s Abortion Compromise a “Deal with the Devil”

  Bishop Blasts Rudy Guiliani Position on Abortion as “Pathetic”, “Confusing”, “Hypocritical”

  Giuliani Outrages Conservatives With “Get Beyond” Abortion Snipe

  Giuliani Does Abortion-Adoption Dance for GOP Voters

  Lightning Cuts Off Mic Twice During Giuliani’s Defense of Abortion Support