Network: TocqueVille | Join Rudy 2008 | Blogs for Rudy

Giuliani Pushes Hard in Florida

MIAMI – “Florida is Rudy Country,’’ the new signs and stickers say hopefully. Rudolph W. Giuliani, trying to put his humbling losses in Iowa and New Hampshire behind him, kicked off a three-day-bus tour of his must-win state – providing a second bus for journalists to follow him for only the second time this year – by speaking about his relationship with God at El Rey Jesus, an evangelical mega-church and riding a fire truck along the route of the Three Kings Parade in Little Havana.

Mr. Giuliani, who in the past has tended to keep his faith private, quoted the Bible and opened up about religion at the church, where he gave a sermon-like version of his stump speech, and at one point clapped along as the choir rapped “I’m somewhere in the future and I look much better than I do right now’’ to a hip-hop beat. “I have deep respect for the power of faith,’’ Mr. Giuliani said at the church. “I received a religious education for most of my life, until the time I attended law school. And as you realize, law school is not a religious education.’’

“But up until then I started every day of class making the sign of the cross, praying to Jesus, praying to Mary and asking for help, asking for assistance, and it built into my very being an understanding that we have to pray for help, that we have to pray for guidance, we have to pray to seek God’s will, and we have to pray to make us better people, to live the life that God wants for us,’’ he said. Giuliani supporters along the parade route in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. And Mr. Giuliani, ho is distributing fliers here talking about his faith, as he did in Iowa but not in New Hampshire, said that the seeing the church reminded him of “how faith can transform lives, making families stronger, making communities better, giving people of despair, hope, and giving people a much better understanding of what life is really all about: service to God, and service to others.’’

(...) Mr. Giuliani continues to place all his hopes on winning Florida’s primary on Jan. 29 – which has left him somewhat marginalized both by his distant losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, and by the fact that the other Republican are taking up most of the political oxygen with their hard-fought contests in Michigan and South Carolina. Mr. Giuliani drew a healthy crowd at a senior center in Bradenton on Saturday night, and got a warm reception at the parade in Little Miami (...).

At times Mr. Giuliani seemed to joke about his circumstances. At a dinner in Port Charlotte on Saturday night, he was urging the audience to vote early – Florida permits early voting, beginning Monday – when a woman in the audience called out, “I already voted, by absentee ballot.’’“Do I have a vote?’’ he asked, and as she indicated that he did, he said: “At least I won’t get wiped out! That’s great!” On Sunday morning, in the church, he spoke about his campaign as “a test of faith’’ And his strategy of waiting for a late win is testing the faith of some supporters. “I’m running for president of the United States,’’ he said. “It is marathon, not a sprint. And in many ways it’s a test of strength, and it’s a test of faith. 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. Anything can be challenging us. Good, bad, difficult. But if we believe in God, fear not, be strong, and of good courage, that is the way to provide real leadership.”

“That’s what I’ve strived to do all of my life,’’ he said. “I’ve faced odds that were at times seemingly impossible. Situations where people had given up hope. But we didn’t Listen to the doubters. We didn’t listen to the naysayers. You know how many of them there are: it can’t be done, it hasn’t been done before, we can’t handle
this, we can’t accomplish this, no one’s ever done it before. Oh, there are so many that are naysayers. But don’t listen to them. Don’t pay attention to them. Fear not, be strong, and of good courage.’’

Michael Cooper, The Caucus (NYT).


Post a Comment