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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rudy's tour finishes a soft Day 1



POMPANO BEACH -- Rudy Giuliani's barnstorming bus tour didn't pack much storm during its Sunday start. He concluded the day with a seven-minute stump speech and some advice to Floridians: take part in early voting starting Monday.

Aboard the campaign bus afterward, Giuliani also downplayed any financial worries spawned by news his senior staff are working for free to help pay for the campaigning here this month.

"We're in good shape, we really are. The reality is we have enough money to get through. ... The people who did that, did it out of an excess of generosity," Giuliani said following a day when Katherine Harris and a couple hecklers of his liberal abortion stances creating small oddities.

Given his circumstances -- down in polls, all his marbles on winning Florida -- his word choice early in the day was apt. "The Bible reminds us, Joshua 10:25, fear not, be strong and of good courage. That's the way to face the future. Whatever is ahead, we don't know," he said at the evangelical Hispanic mega-church El Rey Jesus in Miami, where Harris showed up.

The tour included a shuffle through a Coconut Grove cafe, a Little Havana parade and a rally at his Broward County headquarters. Day 2 begins in Naples, heading up the Gulf Coast for a day of events concluding in Clearwater and Lakeland.

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


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