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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rudy fans if not Rudy voters




PUNTA GORDA -- Rudy Giuliani's tour hit the Village Fish Market and Restaurant, and Nick and Sue Randall were more than happy to oblige. Even if they can't vote.

Giuliani held a meet and greet at the market, and the British transplants were among his hosts. They wrote to the campaign: "My husband Nick and I moved to America 5 years ago, from England, and it was the events of 911 and Rudy's tremendous handling of such a traumatic event that made me decide that I wanted to live in such an amazing country. I would love to be able to say: 'I'm proud to be American' for now it's, 'I am proud to be in America'."

That of course fits into the message about the 9/11 attacks and national security. Right now, the campaign is just happy to be arriving this minute in Clearwater for a town hall meeting with Pinellas Republicans. The visit is two hours late, even later than the arrival at Mel's Diner in Sarasota. Giuliani was supposed to be in Lakeland right now.

UPDATE: Rudy thanks the throngs at Tucson's Southwest Grille for their patience and acknowledged his late arrival. No one complained, and one man had him sign his Giuliani campaign flier. Onward!

UPDATE 2.0: Giuliani finished his second day with a briefer than planned (and later ) but still drew a crowd of supporters. And his usual anti-abortion heckler. And a throng of Ron Paul supporters waving signs. After urging people to vote, he acknowledged the Ron Paul supporters right to be there.

"I still don't know who Ron Paul is," chirped one bystander.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:15pm]


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