January 13th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Giuliani: Florida victory is 'critical'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/13/art.giulianifla.ap.jpg caption=" Giuliani said winning in Florida is "critical" to his presidential bid."]

(CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that victory in the Florida primary is "critical" to his campaign - but he stopped short of saying a loss in that contest would be a death knell to his campaign.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," the former New York mayor was asked whether he needs to win in Florida to stay in the race.

"It's fair to say that it's a critical state for us, an important state for us. I don't think any candidate would ever say 'have to,' but... it's real important."

Giuliani had once planned to campaign heavily in other early states, but pulled his ads and paid staff.

"The reality is as these primaries played out, certain people were very strong in some, and you had to look for the opportunity where you had the best chance to demonstrate your strength," he said Sunday. "And it turned out that the analysis was that Florida was the best place for us to do it."

Giuliani - once considered a national front-runner - called the Florida contest "kind of a gate opener to the February 5th primaries." On Feb. 5, known as "Super Tuesday," more than 20 states will hold their nominating contests.

Filed under: Florida • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Ryan, New York, NY

    George January 13, 2008 5:23 pm ET

    My guess is Rudy is not going to win the nomination. He is just hanging around so the eventual winner picks him as a vice president. That will indeed be sad for America.

    Dick Cheney redux?

    January 14, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. pam Eugene OR

    Too little...Too late. You have wasted a lot of time Rudy while all the others have been working their tails off you thought you could just kick back and let your name recognition work for you. Your campaign manager should be fired. You are all but forgotten before you begin!
    Bye Bye Rudy

    January 14, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Jon

    Nobody wants a president that is dishonest, cheater, a womanizer, power hungry and does not support the republican values, if he really cared about the american people he would be campaigning in every state not just Florida.

    January 14, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Wanda Niven

    GO RUDY GO !!! You Got my Vote

    January 14, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Take note Florida

    The "America's Mayor" halo that crowned Giuliani since 9/11 finally is being pealed away, exposing him for what he really is. For beneath that false, toothy, fuzzy, wide- dimpled smile, lies the real Giuliani. And who is he? He is the ego-driven, mean-spirited, dictatorial, former Mayor of NYC, who through his unabashed arrogance, was the most divisive Mayor in the ciiy's history. And this is the man who will bring unity to our troubled country???!!! He's the same one who had a concrete barricade built around City Hall through which only "Yes Rudy-people"
    could gain entrance. Indeed on 9/10 he was so unpopular that he could not have been elected to the lowliest office in town. And then came the disaster of 9/11 and with it, the 180 degree turn in his political and financial fortunes. Overnight he was being hailed as "the hero of 9/11"{I don't recall his running up the stairs of the towers warning the firemen and police to evacuate], a badge he flashed on his sleeve while cashing in as one of the biggest profiteers of the worst disaster in our nation's history. Draping himself with the mantle of "saviour", he became the self-appointed super tour guide as he paraded President Bush, congressional leaders, monarchs and world leaders, through the rubble of the smoking disaster site of ground zero. With such familiar props as a cloth mask hanging below his chin, microphone in hand [which no one else could pry away- not even New York's governor], and surrounded by the world press, he played the PR game as the city's only leader who could keep it from destruction, so masterfully, that he even wanted to be rewarded with a third mayoral term despite term limits enacted previously by the legislature. But even as he was lobbying for an imperial throne, he was already forming "Giuliani Partners"-a consulting firm that would step up and play the 9/11 card to corral deep pocket corporations who wanted a leg-up on lucrative security and defense contracts. Of course he brought over a number of his cronies from City Hall, including Bernie Kerik, his police commissioner, [now facing 16 federal felony counts], and the man Giuliani personally vouched for to protect the American people, as its chief of homeland security. Further, the man who aspires to keep our nation safe from terrorists- Rudy Giuliani- resigned form the Iraq Study Group since its meetings were interfering with his lucrative speaking engagements for which he was receiving upwards of $100,000.00 per booking. Obviously, it was more important for him to fatten his pockets [as a direct result of 9/11], than serving his country at a time of such national peril. But perhaps one of the presidential candidates had it right when he stated in one of the debates:"You can describe Giuliani in three words-a noun, a verb, and 9/11." Those combined words were not only a master of brevity, but of truth, and if carried to their logical conclusion means simply, that Rudy Giuliani does not possess the requisite qualities to become the standard bearer of his party, let alone the President of the United States.

    January 14, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Reformer

    How is Guiliani going to explain his vilification of lawful gun-ownership to a state that has over 300,000 licensed concealed weapon carriers?

    January 14, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Take note Florida

    Add this to "Take note Florida" above. Guiliani boasts that, "Florida is Rudy country". Let's examine that "humble" statement. Fact: Forty percent of the registered Republicans in the Sunshine State are either veterans or military-connected. This does not look like "Rudy Country". Fact: Guilliani is doing poorly in the panhandle and more rural communities. This does not look like "Rudy Country". He claims his most loyal support in the southeast- more particularly Dade and Palm Beach counties since many retired New Yorkers have migrated there. Fact: The greatest majority of that group are registered Democrats- not Republicans. Fact: The Republican Jewish vote he is relying on in the Miami area will soon have a major surrogate by the name of Senator Joseph Lieberman- who will be campaigning very hard for another candidate. And considering Lieberman's strong support within his constituency, it does not translate into "Rudy Country". As to the Hispanic vote, Guilliani was no great hero when he was arrogantly separating himself from the minority community as New York City's most divisive Mayor. So where is the "Rudy Country" of which he boasts? Fact: "Florida is Rudy country" exists only in his ego-driven imagination, and should be viewed as a campaign PR insult to serious minded Floridians.

    January 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Take note Florida

    Add this to the above. Rudy Giuliani continues to pound his chest as the one who will bring about the largest tax decrease in the nation's history when he is elected president. This bravado pronouncement comes as his ship is steadily following the course of the Titanic, while he struggles to even hold on to a lowly third spot in the Florida presidential sweepstakes to be held on January 29. But back to his tax reduction proclamation: In support of his "great expertise" in economics when he was New York City's mayor [I am hard-pressed to find one single reference that Giuliani was ever singled out by any objective historical source that he saved the City from financial ruin while mayor ], Giuliani claims that he single-handedly turned New York City's economic gloom into great prosperity under his leadership. How disingenuous! The fact is that during his imperial reign, the nation's economy started to turn upward, as did the stock market with its high-flying technology boom. New York City [the financial capital of the world], and Wall Street, enjoyed one of the highest financial spikes in the country- not as a result of any specific Giuliani program- but because of the fantastic bull-like momentum that fueled the national and international markets. But then again- taking all the credit for what succeeds, is consistent with Rudy Giuliani's power-hungry ego even when he has little or nothing to do with its success. I write as one who was born , raised, and schooled in New York City [presently living in NY and Florida], and who has followed Giuliani's career closely. So take note Florida- January 29 is a crucial day- one that can propel an undeserving, vengeful, egocentric candidate forward, or a day that will put an end to the raw ambitions of a man whose real and sole claim to fame just happened to be that on that tragic day of 9/11, he was fortuitously, the mayor at the time. I cannot think of any other mayor in New York City's history- from Fiorello LaGuardia up to Michael Bloomberg [and everyone in between] who would not have responded in an appropriate manner after the towers came down. But to reward a Rudy Giuliani with the prospect of the highest office IN THE WORLD- because he did what any responsible mayor would have done on 9/11- translates to a disaster for our country, and the 300 million Americans who cherish our land.

    January 24, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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