Mike Long: Rudy "Not Ruled Out"

While the New York State Republican Party is moving right now to endorse Rudy Giuliani, the state Conservative Party is biding its time.

State chairman Mike Long said that he and his party aren’t endorsing any of the Republican presidential candidates yet. (Which is a departure from their strategy in the governors race, which was to endorse their candidate before the Republicans did.)

“It’s very early and there’s no need for the Conservative Party to jump on any bandwagon yet until we hear from all the candidates,” Long told me in a telephone interview just now.

“There’s a hesitation as to really seeing who will develop into the strongest candidate and will enunciate the best conservative message,” he said.

I asked if Giuliani’s conditionally pro-choice position on abortion was a factor in their wait-and-see attitude.

“He’s not ruled out. He’s made his change on partial-birth abortion — I guess you can say moving in the right direction on the issue,” Long said.

“A lot can happen between now and the end of this year and I think that’s the real time-table. There’s no sense in closing the door to potential candidates."