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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rudy Giuliani swings by Romney's Tampa headquarters



rudi.jpgTAMPA -- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped by Republican presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney's Tampa office on Thursday afternoon to put in some good words for the man he once opposed.

About 100 people stood in the cramped office where Giuliani blamed the bad economy on President Barack Obama. He told the crowd Florida delivered the White House to the Republicans in 2000 and it needed to do so again this year.

"You saved this country once," he said. "We need you to really save it this time. The stakes are much higher this time." 

Romney had a better chance of turning around the economy because of his experience with Bain Capital.

"He will take a business approach to government," Giuliani said.

Before he spoke, Giuliani met briefly with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, state Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, and state Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg. Bondi introduced Giuliani, lauding him for his job performance after 9/11.

"You showed us strength, you showed us leadership, you showed us compassion, and you are truly our hero," Bondi said. "You will always be."

During most of his 16 minute pep talk to the Republican faithful, Giuliani mostly bashed Obama.

“He’s against for profit anything," Giuliani said. "He’s against for profit in medicine, he’s against for profit in education, he’s against for profit in small business, this is a man who wants a European model, I’m not supposed to say Socialist, I didn’t say it, I just said I wasn’t supposed to say it. He wants something that looks like a socialist economy.”

Just this past December, Giuliani was questioning Romney's presidential hopes while talking up the chances of his friend, Newt Gingrich.

“I have never seen a guy - and I’ve run a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, opposed them - never seen a guy change his positions on so many things so fast on a dime. Everything,” he said on Dec. 15.

After his speech, Giuliani explained that he had never officially endorsed anyone.

"I’m a good friend of Newt, but I never endorsed him," Giuliani said. "I had a lot of friends who where were running. Six of the people running were good friends of mine. So I thought the best thing that I could do was to watch what happens and try to figure out who the Republican Party wants because I was comfortable with most of them if not all of them. I’m very comfortable with Mitt."


[Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:34pm]


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