Lightning strikes outshine substance

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's joke after lightning disrupted the sound system at a debate hall as he started talking about his position on abortion has picked up a decent number of news notes around the Internet, in newspapers and on television newscasts. CBS News has a good summary for those of you who missed it:

The Republican frontrunner was asked to comment on a Rhode Island Catholic bishop who had criticized him for supporting abortion rights. But when Giuliani began to answer, the heavens responded with lightning.

Giuliani looked skyward.

"Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that's happening right now," he said to laughter.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and John McCain, the GOP presidential candidates flanking Giuliani on the stage, slowly and quietly backed away from Giuliani.

There's more to the story, of course. After the microphone problems went away, Giuliani described his views on abortion and how his Catholic faith affects those views. Sadly, what he said has received little mention. Bruce Tomaso of the DallasNews Religion blog says it was Giuliani's "most complete and heartfelt answer" yet to the question that has been dogging him since he announced his candidacy.

Here's what he said, as reported by UPI:

"Religion is an important thing to me and my life, but ultimately I've been in public life most of my life, and taken oaths of office to enforce the law, and I've got to make the decisions that I think are the right ones in a country like ours," he said.

"My view on abortion is that it's wrong but that ultimately, government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman."

I know the messy details of what a Catholic bishop says about a former mayor of New York City and his comparison to Pontius Pilate's role in the crucifixion of Christ was maybe less exciting than lightning strikes cutting out microphones, but it is too bad more news reports didn't include more details on the question that led up to the lightning strikes, or Giuliani's response.

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