Romney: Rudy 'Like Hillary'

Speaking to Christian conservatives at the second annual "Values Voters Summit" tomorrow, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will assail former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with a new line of attack, saying, "We're not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton."

The line does not mention Giuliani by name, but it will be interpreted as aimed at the former New York mayor, who has a liberal history on many social issues such as abortion and immigration. 

Romney maintains that no Republican can win the election without utilizing the three legs of the GOP stool -- economic conservatives, national security conservatives and social conservatives.  Giuliani is, in effect, trying to replace one of those legs with anti-Islamic-terrorism conservatives, while also arguing that according to polls he poses the strongest challenge to Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and would make normally blue states like New Jersey and California competitive.

In response, Giuliani campaign communications director Katie Levinson told ABC News that "Mitt Romney's transparent pandering to anyone and everyone who wiill listen to him is clearly not going to end any time soon.  Mitt's positions of the day and personal attacks scream of desperation from a candidate who has spent millions upon millions of his own money only to find Republican voters want something he cannot offer -- true leadership."

Romney's attack comes a few days after former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., told ABC News (and then the Conservative Party of New York) that "some think we can best beat the Democrats nexy year by becoming more like them. I don't," which was also intended as a criticism of Giuliani.

-- jpt

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