Once poised as the strongest front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pundits said Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took a beating over his position on abortion at the first GOP debate on May 3.

Now, his claims on adoptions have found tought scrutiny from the fact checking unit of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

According to the group’s Web site, FactCheck.org, Giuliani exaggerated figures on an alleged increase in the number of adoptions during his tenure as mayor.

At the debate, held at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Giuliani said he encouraged adoptions so much as mayor, adoptions jumped to 65 to 70 percent.

In reality, FactCheck.org says, adoptions in New York City were only bolstered to 17 percent by the end of his tenure in 2000, according to figures by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

The figures Giuliani referred to, the study reported, was a peak of 73 percent seen in his first three years in office, between 1994 and 1997.

The peak dropped, however, by 32 percent before he left office, wiping away the initial gain.

The Democratic National Committee said the latest campaign snafu raises important questions about the Republican’s credibility.

A press release made available April 27 while Giuliani stumped in North Carolina illustrated a change in his positions on a federal abortion ban.

DNC spokesperson Amaya Smith said Giuliani needed to be clear with Americans during the course of the campaign season.

“Rudy Giuliani needs to answer for his recent inconsistencies,” she said. “Rudy’s rhetoric sounds like more of the same misleading leadership we’ve had to suffer for the past six years.”

Despite the claims made in the debate, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., told Jon Fleischman’s FlashReport Giuliani is poised to win the nomination.

“The polls look the way they do for a reason,” he said. “He was thoughtful. He was authentic. And he made clear that he plans to take the Reagan conservative principles he used … to the White House.”

Brandon De Hoyos is a journalist in Houston, Texas. He can be reached at brandon.dehoyos@yahoo.com.

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