Giuliani Fights To Get Message Out

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

ESTERO, FLA. -- Rudy Giuliani is fighting to get his message out to Florida voters, despite the media's attention to his sagging poll numbers and his campaign's risk in counting on a strong showing in next Tuesday's Florida primary to create momentum for his candidacy leading up to Super Tuesday.

"Some people would say we face crises," he told a crowd of hundreds at a rally in southwest Florida today. "I've faced big crises before. I've faced big problems before."

While his statement was directed at the teetering numbers on Wall Street, the same can be said about his chances of forging on in this election race.

Giuliani has spent more time in Florida than any other candidate, but support for him in the polls has begun to taper off in the past few weeks.

Asked about new numbers that show he's behind Mike Huckabee for last place in the Florida primary, Giuliani was defiant.

"I think the reality is, we are gaining support and you're going to see that in the next week," he said.

Giuliani is now positioning himself as the answer to America's ailing economy. Touting his success in turning around the economy of New York City, the solution Giuliani offers is a major tax cut plan and an optional one page tax return form, which he says will keep money in Americans' pockets, rather than the government's.

In situations both political and economical, the former mayor is pushing for optimism.

"You have to realize the psychology of this," said Giuliani, maintaining his belief that an America "with their head down is one that businesses in other countries will not flock to."

The same might be said for the candidate American voters want. Conservative and independent voters are flocking to John McCain, who continues to rise in polls -- not only in Florida, but in the states that form Giuliani's geographical base: Connecticut, New Jersey, and even New York.

Refusing to attack his fellow Republican candidates, Giuliani did not mention their names this morning.

When pitching his proposal for a National Catastrophic Relief Fund, which he says will save Floridians from being without insurance in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, his only allusion to his rivals was to say, "I am the only Republican who supports this."
  • Ryan Corsaro

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