Giuliani Calls Florida 'Microcosm of the Country'

ABC News’ Jan Simmonds reports:  Rudy Giuliani again touted his Florida strategy this morning during an interview with "This Week’s" George Stephanopoulos, calling the Sunshine State a “microcosm of the country.” 

“It's a large state.  It has virtually every, you know, diverse group that you can think of in different parts of the state, different economies in different parts of the state, different industries,” said Giuliani.  “This is a state that reflects America to a large extent, and we know this is the state that determined our president in the year 2000, so it's a state that's also very politically aware.”

Turning to economic issues, Giuliani was asked if he thought President Bush’s economic stimulus package was a good move considering its short-term, $140 to $150 billion plan of tax rebates for people who pay income taxes now.

The former New York City Mayor was not ready to endorse the proposal, saying he needed to see all the details but did note that in concept it was a “good idea.”   

“The concept is a good idea,” he said.  “The president has only put it out in concept.  As a concept, I think it's one worth pursuing.  But now, it's got to get negotiated with the Democrats in Congress.  Let's see how much that concept moves, you know, to something else.”

During a rally appearance yesterday, Giuliani drew contrast with his Republican opponent John McCain by pointing out that the Arizona senator voted against the Bush tax cuts twice.

“John voted against the Bush tax cuts, I think on both occasions, and sided with the Democrats,” Giuliani repeated to Stephanopoulos.  “I have great respect for John.  He is a very good friend of mine.  But in the area of fiscal conservatism, I think I'm the strongest fiscal conservative in the race, and I have had experience in foreign policy.”

McCain, who has already picked up at least two newspaper endorsements in Florida, is looking to be Giuliani's chief rival there as they fight over the support of similar voters.

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