June 6, 2007 / 1:53 AM / 10 years ago

Electrical glitch worries Giuliani at debate

<p>Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (L) jokes about being the last one left onstage after lightning loudly struck the debate hall and scattered the candidates as U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), watches during a debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire June 5, 2007. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - An electrical glitch at a debate of Republican presidential candidates had Rudy Giuliani joking on Tuesday that he was about to be struck by lightning for differing with a Catholic bishop.

An electrical sound interrupted Giuliani, a Roman Catholic, as he was trying to answer a question from debate moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN about a Rhode Island bishop who compared him to Pontius Pilate for his views on abortion.

“Look, for someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a very frightening thing that’s happening right now,” Giuliani chuckled.

Giuliani, who is leading national polls in his party’s presidential race, has drawn fire from conservative critics for not being a stronger opponent of abortion.

“My view on abortion is that it’s wrong, but that ultimately government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman,” he said.

Mitt Romney defended his position on abortion. As the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney tolerated a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, but hardened his opposition in what critics said was an effort attract conservative support for his presidential run.

Romney would be the first Mormon to win the White House and still faces doubts about his religion and questions about his policy switches to oppose abortion rights and gay rights.

“I also believe that there are some pundits out there that are hoping that I’ll distance myself from my church so that’ll help me politically,” Romney said. “That’s not going to happen.”

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