Giuliani's Closing Argument
TAMPA -- Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani made what his campaign called his "closing argument" before an enthusiastic crowd of about 250 people at the Tampa Convention Center, talking broadly and optimistically about the kind of country he would lead after becoming the president.
"I don't pray for miracles," he told the crowd in the new speech. "I don't just hope for miracles. I expect miracles."
Giuiliani has made Florida the linchpin of his campaign, a place where he says he will win big even if he falls behind in earlier contests. The small crowd roared with appreciation when he acknowledged his kinship with their state, saying "we embrace each other."
The former mayor is known for his casual speaking style on the stump, preferring off-the-cuff conversations to big speeches or rallies. But his campaign has decided to put him behind a podium in the final weeks before voting begins. As he began the speech, he was clearly uncomfortable with it, but warmed to the feisty crowd.
Prior to the speech, the campaign unveiled a new video meant to highlight the campaign's core message: that Guliani has the experience under pressure to lead the country in a time of war and other challenges. To see the video, which will be played at rallies during the next weeks, click here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSWu6kyYSKw)
In the speech, Giuliani unveiled his new theme: "Tested. Ready. Now." And he offered a thoroughly optimistic assessment of the country's strengths as it meets the challenges of terrorism, the economy, the environment and education.
"My solutions all begin with a simple thought, a simple philosophy," he said. "Give people more power. America is not unique because of its central government. America is great because of self government."
The campaign hired a professional film crew at the event, suggesting that a television commercial featuring the speech is not far behind.
--Michael D. Shear
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