Skipping Early States All Part of Giuliani's Plan
By Juliet Eilperin
BEDFORD, N.H.--While some might have questioned whether former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has spent enough time in New Hampshire lately, he was the one presidential candidate of either party in the state today. All the others, of course, were working to get out the vote in Iowa.
In a meeting with several dozen Segway employees, the Republican made his usual points about the need to fight terrorists--"the defining mission, focus, of our era"--while expanding the economy. Giuliani also seemed tempted to try out one of the company's products himself, though his aides convinced him to give it a pass.
"Maybe instead of giving a speech I should just ride one of these things, back and forth, back and forth," he said, eyeing a Segway. "What do you think?"
After the event, Giuliani defended his decision to skip Iowa the day of the caucus.
"This is the strategy that we selected pretty close to Day One," he told reporters. "We were not going to emphasize Iowa in the way two or three other candidates did. We see this as a very different election. Something different is going to win this election."
The fact that states such as Florida have moved up their primaries--and the fact that early voting has already begun there and in California--helps justify the campaign's tactics, Giuliani said, adding that at least 30 percent of Florida's electorate is poised to vote before the primary takes place there Jan. 29.
"That's one of the reasons we're going to Florida today," said Giuliani, who left the near-freezing temperatures of New Hampshire to hold a rally in Hialeah, Fla. late this afternoon.
But Giuliani promised he would return to New Hampshire tomorrow and stay through the state's primary on Jan. 8. "None of this concerns me," he said of speculation that his campaign is flagging in early voting states. "These are all tactics."
And Giuliani also elaborated on his foreign policy experience in a chat with reporters, saying that since leaving the mayor's office he had visited at least 34 countries in more than 90 separate trips. He said he had not traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries he frequently talks about on the trail, but noted he had met with Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai a year ago in India.
"I'm very current on the world. I don't know the whole world," he said, adding when it comes to his GOP presidential rival Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), "He has had a lot of experience. But so have I....As mayor of New York, I got involved in every foreign policy dispute that exists."
While Giuliani told a New Hampshire audience last night that he admired former secretaries of state such as George Shultz, Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell, most of those men have already declared their support for McCain. Both Shultz and Kissinger endorsed the senator months ago, while Powell--who has yet to endorse anybody publicly--gave McCain a campaign contribution in August.
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