DURHAM, N.H. — Mayor Giuliani is trying to demonstrate that he has not lost the "Eye of the Tiger."
His campaign warmed up the crowd here in the sedate dining room of Goss International yesterday with such rousing tunes as "The Rocky Theme" and "Eye of the Tiger" from the "Rocky" film series starring Sylvester Stallone as a championship boxer.
But like a boxer in the late rounds of a match, Mr. Giuliani's team appeared to be slowed from a series of blows in recent weeks. The mayor spoke for a little more than 35 minutes to an audience made up largely of workers at Goss International, which manufactures much of America's printing press equipment. His demeanor seemed sober and somewhat subdued. Gone was the swagger he demonstrated at a series of weekend events in New Hampshire just after Thanksgiving.
And even as aides acknowledged that he was cutting back on advertising in New Hampshire to focus on Florida and other major races on February 5, Mr. Giuliani stressed the importance of New Hampshire to his campaign.
"I'll be spending some of my Christmas holiday in New Hampshire," Mr. Giuliani said. "We'll be working hard to get your vote. This is a very, very important primary. It always has been. It always will be. It's the first in the nation, and … we want to do everything we can to win the vote here now, of course."
Last night on Fox News's "Hannity and Colmes," Mr. Giuliani called his decision to spend less money in New Hampshire a "proportionate strategy" aimed at winning 29 primaries before February 5.
"We do see it as a nine-inning game, so you're going to see money moving around," he said.
Following the speech, the chairman of Mr. Giuliani's campaign in New Hampshire, Wayne Semprini, said the mayor was committed to campaigning in New Hampshire. "He and I were just in the car talking about our plans for the next weeks in New Hampshire," Mr. Semprini said. "Rudy Giuliani is not pulling out of New Hampshire."
Mr. Semprini, who acknowledged that the campaign was "weighing how we use our resources right now," seemed to take aim at Mitt Romney — who served as the governor of neighboring Massachusetts and has been consistently advertising in the Granite State — when he said, "I would be worried if he were up on TV since April and 55 to 60% of the people were still undecided."
Throughout his campaign, Mr. Giuliani, who has been striving to run a national campaign, has been bedeviled by the question of how much time and money to spend in New Hampshire.
Mr. Giuliani devoted almost as much time to a question about his position on immigration as he did to the stump portion of his remarks, roughly six minutes. In his answer, he emphasized the importance of border enforcement, detection equipment, and adding border guards, all of which, he suggested, would help alter the behavior of those attempting to enter America illegally. Mr. Giuliani has taken a harder line on illegal immigration than one of his chief rivals for the Republican nomination, Senator McCain, who sponsored a failed effort at immigration reform this year.
"After we're doing this for a year or two, we'll change behavior," Mr. Giuliani said. "I've done this before. This is how I reduced crime in New York City. This is how I reduced welfare in New York City. … We changed the way in which they behave."
As to be expected, Mr. Giuliani referred to a touchstone of his campaign, the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, but he added two notable patriotic twists, also possibly directed at Mr. McCain.
First, he specifically cited a photo of fire fighters raising Old Glory at ground zero, an image that evoked for him the picture of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II. When he first saw the photo, he said, he "wondered, 'Are we strong enough to do what our parents and grandparents had to do?'"
Second, Mr. Giuliani named some of his individual friends and co-workers slain that day — "Father Judge and Chief Ganci and Ray Downey and Lieutenant Hatton" — and praised "construction workers who volunteered" despite the risk.
Senator McCain, who received the endorsement of Senator Lieberman, and Mr. Romney also campaigned in New Hampshire yesterday.