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Giuliani: Money drives campaign schedules

    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Support in early voting states such as South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire is important, but Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani explained Friday that he has to follow the money.
    ‘‘You have to raise an enormous amount of money to do this. Everybody knows that. We’d all like it to be different, but that’s the reality of it. That drives a lot of the scheduling,’’ the former New York mayor said after he greeted about 250 people at a pancake house here.
    Giuliani, who raised $15 million for the primaries during the last three months, has made more visits to Florida and California than to other early voting states. He said he considers South Carolina important to his White House bid, and that he plans to make more visits.
    After a later stop in Savannah, Ga., Giuliani told reporters he’s not worried that the top three Democratic candidates raised far more money in the second quarter than the leading Republicans.
    Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards raised a total of $68 million, compared with $42 million raised by Giuliani and GOP rivals Mitt Romney and John McCain.
    ‘‘My concern is, do I have a competitive amount of money to run against my Republican opponents,’’ Giuliani said. ‘‘Once there’s a nominee on either side, they’re going to see a fairly equal amount of money. I wouldn’t be concerned on the Republican side or overconfident on the Democratic side.’’
    In Myrtle Beach, Giuliani talked about golf and signed photos, Yankees baseball caps and copies of his book. People shouted ‘‘Rudy Now!’’ as the crowd followed him into the restaurant, where customers stood and cheered.
    It was Giuliani’s first campaign appearance in South Carolina since his former state campaign chairman, Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, was indicted on a federal cocaine charge last month.
    Giuliani said he was shocked to hear about the indictment.
    ‘‘That’s something he’s going to have to answer for,’’ Giuliani said.
    Ravenel, who was suspended from the treasurer’s office he won in November, also stepped down from Giuliani’s campaign.
    Ravenel, through an attorney, pleaded not guilty to the charge Friday. He is currently at a 30-day rehab program at an Arizona psychiatric hospital, according to court documents.
    Giuliani said he hopes the treatment works.
    Ravenel came from a ‘‘wonderful family,’’ Giuliani said. ‘‘He seemed like a terrific young star, a guy headed to the top in South Carolina.’’
    Ravenel’s father, Arthur, is still working for Giuliani campaign.
    In Georgia, Giuliani laid out his plans for fighting terrorism, cutting taxes and ending illegal immigration to about 200 people at a town-hall style meeting in a hotel ballroom in Savannah.
    Other issues dear to conservative Southerners arose in questions from the audience. One 21-year-old college student asked Giuliani where he stood on gun rights, saying his friends from school feared the candidate favored more gun control.
    Giuliani said he may have earned a reputation for strict enforcement of gun laws when he cracked down on crime in New York, but he supports Americans’ constitutional right to own guns.
    ‘‘It doesn’t matter if I believe in it or not — and I do — it is the Second Amendment,’’ Giuliani said. ‘‘I’m a strict constructionist. The Second Amendment says you have an individual right to bear arms.’’
    Asked by an audience member about President Bush’s recent veto of federal funding for stem-cell research, Giuliani said he could support government funding with ‘‘very, very strict limits’’ on the use of stem cells from human embryos.
    ‘‘The strict limits should be that life is not created for the purpose of destroying life and just for the purpose of scientific experimentation,’’ he said to loud applause. ‘‘And there should be no cloning of any kind.’’
    Some in the South Carolina restaurant crowd said Giuliani was not conservative enough on hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage to win over South Carolina.
    John Bonsignor, president of the South Strand Republican Club of Surfside Beach, said he’s leaning toward GOP rivals Mitt Romney or still-undeclared Fred Thompson.
    ‘‘Giuliani’s too liberal for a conservative state like South Carolina,’’ he said.
    Giuliani said voters should look at his record as mayor when he cut taxes and spending growth. He said he would preserve President Bush’s tax cuts and wants to eliminate the estate tax and lower income and capital gains taxes.
    Russell Hall III, 37, of Conway, said he’s anti-abortion but supports Giuliani because of his leadership after the Sept. 11 attacks.
    ‘‘He’s America’s mayor, and he’s going to be the American president,’’ Hall said. ‘‘Leadership trumps all.’’
    ———
    Associated Press writer Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga., contributed to this story.

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