Giuliani Defends Iowa Absence

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

MT. PLEASANT, IOWA --Rudy Giuliani, who has spent considerably less time in Iowa than any other top tier candidate, defended last minute campaigning in the state when questioned by a voter today.

Asked why he visits Iowa so rarely, Giuliani responded by saying, "we have spent time everywhere."

"We spent a lot of time in Iowa, we spent a lot of time in New Hampshire, we spent a lot of time in California and Florida and South Carolina and Michigan, and we tried to run a proportionate campaign because we have 29 primaries and caucuses between the third of January and the fifth of February."

Feb. 5, known as Super Duper Tuesday, is where the Giuliani chips are stacked in hopes to knock off the popularity of candidates who win Iowa and New Hampshire.

"So our whole theory was we're going spend enough time in each one of the places. We can't spend all our time in just one place."

And Giuliani has not spent time in one place. In the past two weeks, he has campaigned in New Hampshire, Missouri, and Florida, but this is his first visit to Iowa since Dec. 12.

Giuliani made a brief appearance at Funaro's sandwich shop in Indianola, where he focused on pushing his belief that he is the "most electable" of the Republican candidates, and because of his experience on Sept. 11, that he is aware of the importance of keeping the country on offense against terrorism.

Asked about the release of a new message allegedly from Osama Bin Laden that threatens to attack Israel, Giuliani said "any statement like this has to be taken seriously."

"It should underscore the close relationship that we have and the fact that we both, Israel and the United States, have mutual interests in our own safety and security."

"I probably understand that more than most, because I remember going to Israel one time when there were bombings and the mayor of Jerusalem asked me to come. I remember going there for Rabin's funeral, and then I remember going there right after September 11 after they had an attack, they had given us so much moral support and assistance."

Giuliani turns his attention to New Hampshire in the days leading up to next week's caucus.
  • Ryan Corsaro

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