- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2008

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Presidential hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani brought his Florida road show to familiar surroundings yesterday, as transplanted or vacationing New Yorkers turned out for a lively rally here in which their former mayor said his campaign is built on more than just national security.

Mr. Giuliani said he would introduce the largest tax cuts in U.S. history. He proposes to make President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax breaks, which expire in 2010, permanent and would reduce the capital-gains tax and eliminate the estate tax — often called the death tax.

“This will put more money in your pocket — Democrats want to take money out of your pocket,” said Mr. Giuliani, who took the stage to the tune of Van Halen’s “Best of Both Worlds.”

Still, Mr. Giuliani, who has been hailed by supporters for his actions as New York’s mayor during the days and weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, mentioned national security several times, saying he would beef up the military and continue the fight against terrorism at home and abroad.

“The only way to deal with Islamic terrorism is to be on the offensive,” he said. “No more defense. … Let’s not be lulled into a false sense of security because nothing has happened in a while.”

Mr. Giuliani is desperate to win Tuesday’s Florida Republican primary after all but ignoring all earlier state contests. Winning Florida also would give him crucial momentum heading to Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, when 24 states, including delegate-heavy California, New York and Illinois will hold primaries or caucuses.

Most polls, however, show him tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in third place, trailing Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Florida.

Mr. Giuliani is looking for help here from the throngs of New Yorkers that call Florida home. It’s the top destination for people relocating from New York and New Jersey.

“There are so many New Yorkers that live here. … Floridians, by and large, like New Yorkers,” Mr. Giuliani said. “It’s not that everyone comes from New York, but everybody here is in contact with people who come from New York.”

The more than 100 people who packed into a small hotel ballroom cheered at every opportunity.

“My man is Rudy,” said Janet Norizsan, who came from nearby Deerfield Beach to hear Mr. Giuliani. “We used to live in New York and when 9/11 happened, he was my hero.”

Boca Raton resident and native New Yorker Virginia Davis was excited by Mr. Giuliani’s enthusiasm.

“I like John McCain, but he isn’t a take-care person like Giuliani,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. McCain held a larger but significantly more subdued “town hall meeting” about 25 miles north in West Palm Beach.

Speaking before a convention center crowd of about 200 that included many elderly, the Arizona senator focused on veterans and national defense issues.

“I can tell you that there is no more friendly, affectionate state for the men and women in the military than Florida,” he said.

Mr. McCain chastised the Democrats in general and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York specifically for advocating a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops in Iraq.

“They want to set a date to surrender,” he said. “I’m not going to let that happen.

“Al Qaeda is on the run, but they’re not defeated.”

Mr. McCain also said he would help stimulate the slumping economy by lowering taxes and government spending, cutting corporate tax rates and repealing the alternative minimum tax.

Joseph Curl contributed to this article.

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