Rudy Hops On The Bus And Gets Candid

Jan 14, 2008 7:36pm

ABC News’ Jan Simmonds Reports: Following a retail stop at Mel’s Diner in Sarasota, Florida this evening, Rudy Giuliani made an unprecedented detour to the press bus to make an impromptu availability to "just talk".

While the discussion began with a sports debate about the New York Football Giants’ win last night in Dallas, it quickly turned to an on the record (no video cameras) briefing.

Among the subjects raised was the Republican primary election set for tomorrow in Michigan. While the Mayor is not actively competing there, whom the winner is still will have a great effect on his campaign. That said, he was not about to give any hints about whom he would like to see come out on top.

"You know I’m not gonna tell you that, if I know what the right strategic result is," said Giuliani. "There is sort of a… even a debate within my camp about what the right strategic result is."

"The answer is I can’t control it, I can’t control it, so I’m not gonna have an opinion about it," he added. "We are just gonna react to it. Whichever way it comes out, it has a different set of challenges."

Keying on the issues of race and gender, that are playing so prevalently in the Democratic contest, a reporter queried about whether those issues should play an important role in presidential politics.

"I believe that we are beyond that, I really do," said Giuliani. "I think America is beyond race and gender. I think America is about who is gonna be the best, who agrees the most with me as an individual citizen… And I think all people vote differently."

Turning to the ups and downs of living through a presidential campaign, Giuliani said "there are parts of it that are hard, there are parts of it that are enjoyable."

"You learn so much about people, about policy, about things that you have an interest in but you don’t go into that kind of depth about intellectually. It’s an enormously stimulating experience," he added.

At the end of the press’ questioning, a question rose about our questions. Asked why he continues to answer questions about Bernard Kerik while no new developments in the case have arisen in recent weeks, Giuliani answered because he thought those questions were "appropriate."

"You have a right to ask questions about who I appointed and who was good and who wasn’t. You have an absolute right to ask that questions," said the former Mayor. "I made a lot of appointments when I was U.S. Attorney, Associate Attorney General, Mayor of New York City. Most of them turned out to be really good appointments, some turned out to be mistakes."

With strong crowds and great reactions here in Florida, it appears Giuliani has decided to shake it up a bit. With 14 days remaining till the Florida Primary, possibly the most important election of his political career, it may be just what his campaign needs to pull itself through.

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