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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rudy: 'We have to win Florida, and we will'



Rudy Giuliani to reporters moments ago:

"We're going to have people in Florida right to the very end because we know how important it is. And we know we have to win Florida, and we will. Everything we see is enormous enthusiasm all through the state of Florida. I think there's a real growing sense that as you get down to the end, John McCain is the right man for the country and the right man for the state."

Giuliani was joined on a conference call with Sen. Mel Martinez, who declared equal optimism for McCain in the closing moments of the race. "I know what it takes to close in this state is to close strong and I think we are closing strong."

Asked about robo calls blasting Obama, Martinez said he had heard some from Democrats suggesting that seniors could lose Social Security benefits. That's an old tactic, Martinez said, adding, "I guess we can call that Lawton Chiles style of campaigning." He quickly qualified his remark to say he was not speaking ill of the dead.

Giuliani got a kick out of a question about what the McCain could have done differently in Florida. While Sen. Obama and Clinton were off fighting, the McCain campaign was slow to ramp up its effort here.

"The Sunday before the election is not the time to be talking about what the campaign could have done different," Giuliani said. "Any campaign could do things differently. I have a lot of thoughts about what my campaign could have done differently. But the reality is, we are where we are and I think John McCain is going to win Florida. No matter what you did in Florida, this is a one, two, three point election. I don’t care what kind of campaign you ran here.  It is a close state. It all comes down to who's got the better ground game and the best issues as the end. And I think we do."

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:44pm]


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