When former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign announced he would focus on Florida and the Feb. 5 states instead of the traditional early voters, Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign insisted the “radically different election calendar” meant a new strategy.
Giuliani’s campaign never planned on pulling out all the stops to bid for a win in Iowa.
“Our rivals seemingly have built campaigns based on the old calendars’ strategies — a couple of very early state wins to propel them deeper in to the nomination process. To the contrary, our plan allocates time and resources to the many states which vote a bit later — on January 29 (Florida) and February 5,” Giuliani’s strategy director Brent Seabornm told CBS News.
Giuliani skipped Iowa’s straw poll in August and has campaigned little in the Hawkeye State — only 42 visits since January 2007, according to the washingtonpost.com
But the remaining candidates stuck to Iowa where the media spotlight was focused. Christian conservatives helped launch former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee from single digits into the lead in some national polls, and he now represents a major threat to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa. By contrast, an average of recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics,com puts Giuliani in sixth behind Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
Giuliani’s strategy certainly has its skeptics, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who told the Des Moines Register on New Year’s Day it was a “big mistake.”
Of course, Giuliani doesn’t want voters to forget about him — or his new tagline: Tested. Ready. Now — while watching the caucus coverage. He bought national airtime on Jan. 3 for a new ad titled “Ready,” another ad — this one more graphic — stressing the threats of terrorism.
“The ad is about national security and the context of what we’re facing,” said Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella to CBS News. “It’s about the big challenge of what we’re facing and a brutal reminder of the war on terror.”
In a speech on Wednesday, Giuliani called for a “surge” of American troops in Afghanistan and for an overall increase in the size of the U.S. military.
“One of the things we should do … immediately, we should double the number of our troops, our American-led combat troops in Afghanistan,” Giuliani said in New Hampshire.
On Thursday, his campaign also released a radio ad in Spanish to air in Florida called ’ “Liderazo, ” or “Leadership.”
With all the national media focused on contenders in Iowa, Giuliani still grabbed the top story of the satirical newspaper the Onion: “Giuliani To Run for President Of 9/11.”