Presidential Hopeful Makes Campaign Stop In Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/11/07-Tyler

Presidential Hopeful Makes Campaign Stop In Tyler

Rudy Giuliani's private jet landed on Tyler soil around 11:30 this morning. The guest of honor greeted locals with a handshake and a smile.

Meanwhile 100 or so guests trickled in to the invitation-only lunch where Giuliani wasn't overly concerned some could disagree with his policies.

"There will be some disagreements. But I think the areas of agreement, how to deal with terrorism, what to do about the economy, how to reduce spending, how to reduce taxes, I think people will find so much agreement there that we have a lot in common," says Giuliani.

The lunch was closed to the media. Maybe giving guests more freedom to ask the hot button questions especially on abortion. Questions, Sheriff J.B. Smith said, he answered straight up.

"He said he didn't believe in [abortion]. But he also realizes that there a big part of America that does and that part needs to be open for that stance," says Smith.

"He also discussed gun control which is a big issue in Texas as other places. And he believes as the constitution says we have to right to bear arms," says Melanie Seidel who was invited to the luncheon.

Guests told us they were very impressed with Giuliani after getting a chance to meet him one on one.

"He has a very good grasp on the topics and a very charismatic individual. I think he will be very influential and a good president," says Dr. Bill Elfarr leaving the luncheon.

Luncheon host Dr. Svetislava Vukelja adds, "Today again it just confirms what we think of him. He's very straight forward, very direct, knows his goals. He knows how to reach them."

And although he visited Tyler some 20 years ago for a commencement speech, the next visit to East Texas could very well be right around the corner.

"Sure! Absolutely!," says Giuliani when asked if he'll come back.

Guests were asked for donations to attend the event. We're told that was anywhere from $250 to $2,300 per person.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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