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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Giuliani acknowledges his social stands could hurt him

Giuliani campaigned in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Tuesday.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) -- In his first campaign swing into Iowa as an announced presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani acknowledged Tuesday that his positions on some social issues may hurt him among more conservative caucus-goers here next January.

"I am who I am and people have to evaluate the whole record," Giuliani told reporters after a muddy walking-tour of a Cedar Rapids neighborhood. "I believe I'm the strongest fiscal conservative in this race. I am against abortion, I think it's wrong, but ultimately I believe it's an individual choice. People should know that, they should evaluate that and decide how important that is."

A dozen cameras and a throng of reporters trailed Giuliani as he toured a neighborhood that activists are working to revitalize using some of the same methods the former New York City mayor implemented to clean-up the Big Apple. He shook hands with voters along the streets and in a local grocery store -- the first time Giuliani has engaged in the kind of retail politicking Iowans have come to expect from presidential hopefuls. "I'm campaigning for myself, I've been here a lot campaigning for other people ... honestly it's no different than campaigning in New York, it's the same thing you do, you walk around, you talk to people, you listen to what they have to say."

Giuliani said he would campaign heavily in Iowa and play in the caucuses.

"It looks like this is a good place for us," he said. "It's a place where we're competitive ... this is also a great place like New Hampshire to test yourself against a lot of historical standards in the past."

A Giuliani aide said the campaign is taking a look at whether to participate in the Ames Republican straw poll this summer.

-- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson
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