'Factor' Exclusive: Rudy Giuliani on 'O'Reilly' Ahead of Florida Primary

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 28, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: Every poll we've seen has former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani running third in Florida, behind McCain and Romney. And some believe the Sunshine State is a must-win for Mr. Giuliani, who joins us now from Fort Lauderdale.

So you've heard this a million times. How do you see it just hours before the voting will start?

RUDY GIULIANI, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we're going to win. I think we're going to win because of the early voting in particular. We got started here right at the very beginning when the early voting started. I think something like 400,000 people have already voted, might even be more than that. And we think we have a very good ground game here, a very good organization.

O'REILLY: Do you have internal polling? Have you been doing internal polling on that?

GIULIANI: We did during the early voting. We haven't done any recently.

O'REILLY: All right. So...

GIULIANI: But the reality is we've been doing a lot of phone calling. And the phone calling looks to us like we're going to be able to turn out our vote, particularly in the parts of the state where we're strongest. And we have a very, very good organization run by our chairman, it was Bill McCollum, who's the attorney general here, who knows this state backwards and forwards.

O'REILLY: OK. Now...

GIULIANI: And we think we got out in front on some of the issues that are enormously important like the National Catastrophe Fund, because of the difficulty that people here have getting property insurance.

O'REILLY: Hurricane insurance, sure. Now there are two things that happened — I just have a limited time with you.


O'REILLY: There are two things that happened in the last few weeks that have changed the dynamic in Florida. The first was the economy started to wobble, OK? And that's — Romney is making a business appeal there. And the second is Fred Thompson not doing well. So he's out. And conservatives are looking for a home.

Now experts say that both of those things didn't help you because terror is your big issue. So the economy left above that. Maybe that'll go back. And the second thing is Thompson, you know, they're trying to find a home. How do you analyze those two things?

GIULIANI: Well, the economy part, I think we have an answer for. We put out a tax plan last week here in Florida — actually two weeks ago. And it's been introduced now in Congress by Congressman Dreier and Senator Bond. It's the largest tax cut in American history. It would cut the income tax, the capital gains tax, the corporate tax. It would get rid of the inheritance tax. And it would provide a one-page tax form as an option. And we have very extensively advertised that and gotten that around here in Florida.


GIULIANI: And we think that's going to be something that helps us a great deal. It also happens to be a very good idea, and that's why it even has supporters in Congress that aren't necessarily endorsing me.

O'REILLY: And the Thompson factor?

GIULIANI: And I think that — I don't really see it that way. I don't know that that's had a big impact. I agree with you, I think the focus on the economy has had a big impact. And we've tried to be relevant to that in discussing both the National Catastrophe Fund and the major tax cut. The Club for Growth says it's the most progressive tax program of any of the candidates. I'm the only candidate that has a history of lowering taxes, and lowering them on a large scale in New York. So we tried to make that point very, very clear here. I think people trust me as somebody that will lower taxes and reduce expenses.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, I've been doing an analysis on the left-wing media, which is about 80 percent of the media, even in Florida. I mean, you know, most of the newspapers there are left wing. You're getting hammered more than the others. You're getting hit harder in almost every area.

I spoke to you about this. I don't know whether you remember, a couple of months ago. And I said they're going to come after you, and I'm not exactly sure why. Do you know why the left-wing media has hit you harder than the other Republicans?

GIULIANI: Well, I think the Democrats have, those who have Democratic leanings have because I think they believe that I have the best chance of winning the general election, that I would run competitively in more states than anyone else, and therefore that I'd be a threat. I think that's been true from the beginning.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, the polls nationally have, for you and Hillary Clinton, gone down. Now in Hillary Clinton's case, it's been an aggressive campaign by Obama. In your case, why do you think your poll numbers have dropped nationally?

GIULIANI: Well, I think because of the early primaries. And people winning the early primaries has created a lot of momentum for them. And our job is to win here in Florida so that we can create momentum for us going into February 5.

O'REILLY: Now if you don't win, if you come in second, a strong second say in Florida, but you don't get any delegates, because it's a winner take all, do you continue on? Do have enough money to continue on in New York and California?

GIULIANI: Well, right now, we're heading out to California the next day. We're heading out for the debate. That's our plan. But we will not concede that we're going to do anything else other than win in Florida.

O'REILLY: Sure. And I wouldn't either. I mean, the folks ought to know that you can't come on here and say I don't know if I'm going to win. You have to come on and be confident. Any candidate would do that.

But it gets to be — see, this is really frustrating for journalists and I think people who like you. I think your supporters — if you miss it in Florida by one percentage point — say you lose 32-31, which would be a good showing because right now the polls have you third and in the teens. Do you have enough money to then carry the message further?

GIULIANI: We're going to win in Florida and let's see what happens.

O'REILLY: All right.

GIULIANI: And we can discuss it.

O'REILLY: You're not going to tell me about how much money's in your wallet?

GIULIANI: We're going to win it here in Florida. And then we'll discuss it.


GIULIANI: I promise you we'll discuss it.

O'REILLY: Do you keep an eye — and you're so busy, I mean running around trying to get votes — do you keep an eye on the Obama-Hillary Clinton — because that's getting pretty intense?

GIULIANI: Well, you know, it's getting pretty nasty here between Mitt and John, too. And I've tried to make the point that I'm staying above that. I'm saying to the people of Florida, much like Mike Huckabee did in Iowa, I'm conducting a positive campaign. I'm the one who's cut taxes. I'm the one who's handled crisis in the past. I can handle both areas that they seem to be criticizing themselves about. And we hope that that's going to really help us with all the calls that we're making and the outreach that we're doing.

O'REILLY: Sure. All right, Mr. Mayor, we appreciate you coming on. Good luck tomorrow.

GIULIANI: We'll be back.

O'REILLY: There you go.

GIULIANI: Thanks, Bill.

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