Guiliani declares himself "Change Agent"

January 14, 2008 6:35:41 PM PST
Republican Rudy Giuliani declared himself a "change agent" on Monday, saying he brought more change to New York City than any other mayor.

"I was a mayor who was a change agent. Whether you agree with my changes or not, I think you'd have to say I was probably the mayor of New York City who, at least in modern times, brought about the most change," he said on his second day of a campaign swing across Florida. "Other mayors have done other things, I'm not taking anything away from them, but I had to make major changes."

Giuliani did not elaborate on what he had done. But on the campaign trail he sometimes refers to his efforts to reduce welfare rolls, rid Times Square of adult bookstores and his program of tracking daily police statistics, which was credited with reducing crime in New York City.

The former New York mayor spoke to reporters on a press bus that is following him on a three-day tour of Florida. He is counting on a win in the primary Jan. 29 to put the juice back into his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Earlier Monday, Giuliani ridiculed the Democratic candidates for touting a message of change, saying their policies amount to "bad change."

He also said both parties should plant a white flag in Washington after the November election and put aside their differences.

"As soon as the election is over, somebody should put up an armistice," Giuliani told more than 700 retirees at a town hall meeting in Fort Myers. "They should put a white flag somewhere either at the Capitol or at the White House or at both places, everybody get together and say 'How about we don't fight for a year or two, how about we try to get something done for a year or two,' and let's have a debate over principles."

The former New York City mayor was answering an audience question about how he would solve partisan bickering, a theme that has begun to catch on elsewhere in the race, pushed by Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mike Huckabee and current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, current among others.

Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Bloomberg, Guiliani's successor, declined to comment on Giuliani's remarks about changing the city.

Bloomberg is exploring whether to run for president as an independent, but says publicly that he is "not a candidate."