Republican presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani is applauded at the old town hall during a campaign stop in Exeter, N.H., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007.
(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
EXETER — Experience was the theme of the day as Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani tackled tax cuts, condemned the expansion of government, and took aim at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
About 100 residents and visitors packed Town Hall to listen to Giuliani expound on his track record as mayor of New York, which includes what he characterized as substantial tax cuts.
"There's no dispute about the fact that I lowered taxes, and you cannot believe how hard it is to lower taxes in New York City," he said.
Giuliani criticized Clinton's social program plans as being too expensive and expanding the role of the government in the private sector. He told the crowd that his experience running one of the country's largest cities has prepared him for the presidency.
"The reason (Clinton) comes up with an idea a week — all irresponsible — is because she and her fellow Democrats don't have the experience. They've never run a city, small or big, and they haven't run a state, small or big," Giuliani said.
After his speech, the former mayor opened up the floor for questions. He answered inquiries from the crowd about school systems, security and immigration, but also took two separate questions about alternative energy and global warming.
"I think we should treat it as a long-term emergency," he said. "We can't cut out our reliance on oil immediately, but we can cut it incrementally and look at our alternatives."
The candidate also got one particularly unusual question from a small boy in the front row, who asked what he would do in the event of an alien invasion.
"That's the first time I've ever been asked that," Giuliani said to laughter from the crowd.
New Castle residents Karen and Bill Mitchell said they came to hear Giuliani talk about immigration and health care and came away convinced the former mayor's experience sets him apart.
"I think I'm most impressed with the way he was dealing with the economy of New York and really turning around the city. He's right in saying he's got experience because he ran a government," Bill Mitchell said.
San Diego, Calif., residents Marc Patrick and Jessica Funke were in New Hampshire on vacation and decided to attend the forum. Funke said she was leaning Democrat before the town hall meeting, but came away impressed.
"He kind of convinced me that his experience is a key here," she said.