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YouTube Videos Share a
Little Too Much For Rudy


On the Internet, Giuliani's support for civil unions lives on, even if he now thinks a bill supporting them "goes too far."


Hizzoner's got a YouTube problem.

And, like other presidential candidates, it's out of his control.

In an election where the popular videosharing site is playing an increasingly bigger role, candidates can't only fret about the videos on their respective YouTube channels. They also have to worry the videos floating around the YouTubesphere. The list is growing. Former senator John Edwards can't escape the "I Feel Pretty" video . The mash-up of the Apple "1984" commercial featuring a Big Sister-like Hillary Clinton still stings for the Clinton campaign. Judging by her output -- four videos and counting -- it looks like "Obama Girl" will continue to capitalize on her crush on Sen. Barack Obama.

And for former mayor Rudy Giuliani, what hurts most are videos uploaded by YouTubers who feel that he's shying away from his previous positions on gay rights, abortion and immigration.

Two weeks ago, a satirical video called "Gays for Giuliani" was uploaded. It shows gay New Yorkers thanking Giuliani, dubbed "a gay leader," for his support on civil unions. In 2004, Giuliani told Fox News: "I'm in favor of . . . civil unions." But in April, Giuliani's said that the civil unions bill passed in New Hampshire "goes too far" because it is "the equivalent of marriage." The video is aimed to hurt Giuliani -- who has a positive record on gay rights -- with social conservative voters.

In March, a video of Giuliani's speech to women's group in 1989 was posted. In the speech, Giuliani said: "There must be public funding for abortions for poor women. We cannot deny any woman the right to make her own decision about abortion because she lacks resources."

Type "Giuliani" and "immigration" on YouTube's search engine and dozens of videos pop up, among them speeches given by Giuliani. "I wish that we would actually make America more open to immigrants . . ." he said in a video of one speech. In a video of another speech, he said, "Immigration is the key to the city's success, both historically and to this very, very day. A city that's open to people from all over the world."

What impact these videos, viewed a few thousand times on YouTube, have on Giuliani's campaign is another matter. Those uploading the videos have already made their politics clear. They're no fans of Giuliani. Tony Fabrizio, a GOP pollster, said: "To Mary Joe in Aiken, South Carolina, who doesn't read blogs, who doesn't or maybe can't get on YouTube, she may not hear about his stance on gay rights or abortion until it gets picked up by TV, or talked about in her church, or in talk radio."

Last Thursday, CNN aired a few seconds of "Gays for Giuliani."

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  August 20, 2007; 11:10 AM ET
 
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