MANCHESTER, N.H. -- It's farewell to New Hampshire and the winners of its primary – Rudy Giuliani says his real fight for the Republican nomination begins in Florida on January 29.
"This is just the beginning. Think of it as the kickoff. This is a kickoff in what's going to be a very long and a very tough game," said Giuliani.
"By February 5th, it's going to to be clear that we're the nominee of the party."
The former mayor gave his speech to a few hundred supporters well before definitive primary results were announced. He spent just under ten minutes thanking his supporters and campaign members in New Hampshire before immediately boarding a direct flight out of the Granite State.
"We're going to leave in a few minutes for Florida and fight it out there," he declared.
Giuliani gave a positive forecast for his run at the presidency, and despite losing races in both here and in Iowa, he said the next month is when he planned to do his hardest campaigning all along.
"The race is wide open. Maybe we've lulled our opponents into a false sense of confidence now," said Giuliani.
Promising to deliver a series of new proposals in the next three weeks, Giuliani says he'll start this week with unveiling a "tax reform and tax cutting plan that stimulates our economy in a way it's never been stimulated before."
Although his numbers have dipped, Giuliani leads in the majority of polls in Florida and is still considered to be the national Republican frontrunner, but that could all change overnight as primary results roll in. John McCain, tonight's winner, could see a substantial surge in popularity, and Mike Huckabee remains a contender after his win in Iowa.
A campaign source says that by the beginning of February, Giuliani plans to "completely change the way the primary season is viewed in future elections."
Tomorrow he will surface with what he says is "renewed vigor ... renewed spirit" in Melbourne, Florida.