Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s visit to Iowa on Wednesday was his first trip here since his staff announced he would not "financially participate" in the Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll.
Giuliani was in Des Moines to present his ideas for cutting federal government waste. It’s the first of a dozen "commitments" to the country that Giuliani plans to talk about, in detail, in speeches around the country.
"I’m here in Iowa because I know how important Iowa is," Giuliani said.
But it’s Giuliani’s lack of commitment to the Iowa Straw Poll that was the focus of some of the questions from reporters after the speech. Giuliani brushed aside the idea his campaign would suffer too much from skipping the Straw Poll.
"Iowa voters are common sense voters," Giuliani said. "That’s kind of the way I govern and kind of the way I look at things."
Giuliani said he was disappointed Michael Bloomberg, his successor as Mayor of New York, has switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent. But Giuliani refused to speculate on a 2008 general election show down for the White House that might feature the former mayor against the current mayor.
"He says he’s not running. I’ve got to take him at his word," Giuliani said. "If he does run, he has every right to do it. He has every right to do it. Fred Thompson has every right to do it. Newt Gingrich has every right to do it. Al Gore has every right to do it. Some or all of them may enter the race. God bless ’em. They should get their message out to the American people. I have tried, philosophically, to look at it this way. I have my message and I’m either going to win or lose on how good a job of conveying my message. I don’t see it as like running against somebody else and it’s way too early to be thinking about that."
Mayor Bloomberg told reporters earlier on Wednesday that he does not "intend" to run for president.
Read more about Giuliani’s visit over at The Blog.