Giuliani Looks Ahead to Florida

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

LARGO, FLA. -- Rudy Giuliani says tests will be released soon by his doctor which Giuliani expects will show he is in perfect health last week's hospital stay.

The mayor stands by his statement that his only symptom was a "very, very bad headache."

"I feel terrific and the doctor will put out a statement very shortly -- I said after Christmas -- and I think explain[s] that every single one of the tests came back normal."

"I got checked out up and down, inside and out. I think I might, I think might have ended up being more tired from the tests afterward than I was from the headache."

The mayor spoke for a half hour with veterans at American Legion Post No. 119 in Largo, FL.

59-year-old Frank Chichillo, a Florida resident who worked as a welder in Brooklyn for most of his life, was undecided about who he would support when he walked into the roundtable discussion with the former mayor. But Chuchillo says he walked out of the meeting knowing he would vote for Giuliani.

"Just his way, just his leadership, just his presence," said Chuchillo. "I remember it back on 9/11 and watching his presence at that time. But when you watch him, when you ask him about a veteran's situation, he seems sincere."

Chichillo has previously considered voting for John McCain, but hearing Giuliani pushed his doubts about McCain winning over the top.

"He's a Vietnam vet, he's a P.O.W., but he's not electable ... He couldn't get the nomination last time and I don't think he can get it this time."

Meanwhile, Giuliani was asked by the press about how important Florida will be to winning the election. He replied that the state "will be really important to all of us, because this is the primary that takes place before the big primaries on February 5th."

"You win in Florida, it says something about your ability to win a general election. All of the primaries are important, though. But this is particularly important one."

Questioned about how he will be seen as electable if he loses several of the early primaries where he now trails, including Iowa and New Hampshire, the mayor said, "Well, look. I don't know where we're going to be on Jan. 29. No one knows that until we get there."

"I think the people of Florida will make their own decision on who they think will be the best Republican candidate. It will be based on who they think is best on dealing with terrorism, who is best for the economy."

Giuliani responded to a jab by John Edwards made earlier in the week, in which the Democrat says a Giuliani economic stimulus plan would only benefit big business.

"I think he misunderstands the nature of the American economy," said Giuliani. "It is a private economy. If you can grow the entire American economy, American families are gonna grow. If you reduce taxes on corporations, who benefits from that? People who work for the corporations. More people can get hired. More businesses come here, more jobs come here."

Giuliani continues with campaign stops in Florida tomorrow.
  • Ryan Corsaro

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