Giuliani Heading Home Thursday After Hospital Checkup

Thursday, December 20th 2007, 7:14 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Republican Rudy Giuliani planned to head home to New York City on Thursday after spending the night in a St. Louis hospital getting checked out for flu-like symptoms, his campaign said.

``After precautionary tests the doctors found nothing of concern at this time and Rudy will be going back to New York later today,'' communications director Katie Levinson said in a statement issued before dawn Thursday. ``He is in high spirits and is grateful to the doctors and nurses who checked him out.''

It was not immediately clear when he would leave the hospital.

The former New York City mayor felt the symptoms while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in Missouri, and they soon became worse, Levinson said late Wednesday. She did not describe the symptoms beyond those being commonly associated with the flu.

``The symptoms worsened as the day wore on and shortly after taking off from Chesterfield, Missouri, for New York the mayor became uncomfortable enough that our plane returned to the airport in Chesterfield,'' Levinson said. ``To be on the safe side, the mayor consulted with his personal physician in New York and made the decision to go to the Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for routine tests.''

His Thursday schedule was already clear of public appearances before the unexpected stop in St. Louis.

Campaigning Wednesday in Missouri, Giuliani had used a baseball analogy to explain his reasons for targeting the ``Show Me'' state when other candidates are focused on the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, where Giuliani trails his rivals in polls.

Challenging tradition, Giuliani is devoting more of his attention to the delegate-rich Feb. 5 states _ some two dozen including New York, California and New Jersey hold primaries and caucuses that day _ while spending limited time in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Missouri, a Feb. 5 state, has gotten little campaign attention but offers 58 delegates, as many as Iowa and New Hampshire combined.

``A baseball game, you've got to play nine innings and whoever gets the most runs at the end of the nine innings wins,'' he told reporters. ``So here, you've got to play in 29 primaries. Nobody's going to win all of them, that's for sure. I think on the Republican or Democratic side, that has never happened in contested primaries with great candidates. They've never won every single primary.''

``You recognize the reality that you aren't going to win all of them. You've got to win most of them, and most of them are coming on February 5,'' he said.

The traditional political strategy is to go for wins in the early voting states and create momentum to propel a candidate to the nomination. In an unorthodox approach, Giuliani is counting on a fluid GOP race and the possibility that no one candidate will emerge from the early voting.

The former mayor has been the leader in national polls for much of the year, but recently former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has challenged Giuliani's standing.