Giuliani greets a future voter on the campaign trail in Iowa.
(CNN) — Campaigning in Iowa just days before the state’s Republican straw poll in Ames, Rudy Giuliani says his decision to skip the event was not meant as a dismissal of the poll’s significance.
“It was a strategic decision. We got started late. We had to focus on [whether] we [can] divide our resources in half, straw poll and caucuses,” the former New York mayor said while campaigning Wednesday in Council Bluffs. “We decided [to] put all our emphasis on the caucuses because we can reach the widest number of voters that way, and we’ll get the maximum effect out of the money and the time that we have. I think it’s going to be a good decision,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani and Arizona Senator John McCain both announced in June that they would not participate in Saturday’s non-binding straw poll. Former Senator Fred Thompson, who is expected to formally enter the presidential race next month, will also not participate.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Duncan Hunter and Rep. Ron Paul all plan to participate.
Wrapping up four days of campaigning in the Hawkeye state, Giuliani said he now plans to spend more time campaigning there than he has to date. He also said he felt good about his prospects for the caucuses. “I think our ideas connect with the Republican voters in Iowa better than anyone else.”
Giuliani said he would return to Iowa on August 15.
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford