TAMPA — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped by Republican 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 huddled in a 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."
The visit was part of two-day swing through Florida. Giuliani later Thursday attended a meet-and-greet in Miami.
On Friday, he plans a brief visit to a Miami cafe and then he's off to the opening of Romney's Boca Raton campaign office.
In Tampa, Giuliani was introduced by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who lauded him for his job performance after Sept. 11.
"You showed us strength, you showed us leadership, you showed us compassion," Bondi said. "You are truly our hero."
During much of his 16-minute pep talk to the Republican faithful, Giuliani mostly bashed Obama.
"He's against for-profit anything," Giuliani said. "He wants something that looks like a socialist economy."
Not so long ago, Giuliani questioned Romney's presidential credentials while talking up his friend, Newt Gingrich.
"I have ... never seen a guy change his positions on so many things so fast on a dime. Everything," he said on Dec. 15.
Giuliani, who ran for president in 2008, explained Thursday that he had never officially endorsed anyone in the 2012 Republican primary campaign.
"I'm a good friend of Newt, but I never endorsed him," Giuliani said. "I'm very comfortable with Mitt."