He was the man at the forefront of the September 11 disaster, widely recognized for his courage under fire. Now, Rudolph Giuliani is banking on his battle-tested will to get him to the White House.
The former New York City mayor made Aggieland a stop on his campaign trail Friday afternoon.
The greeting Giuliani got from the crowd was likely something he'd never heard: a large, loud whoop.
"I like that," a surprised Giuliani said. "I love that sound."
The whoop was preceeded by an introduction by Former President Bush, who was joined at the event by his wife.
"The world saw the best of Rudy Giuliani," the president said. "We saw a cool-headed thinker. We saw expertise and maturity. We saw compassion, and we saw determination."
For the first ten minutes of Giuliani's speech, the praise went the other way as the former mayor lauded Mr. Bush for, among other things, ushering in the era of globalization, both as vice president and president.
"He's lived a great American life, and as the last president elected from the greatest generation, he set an example for all of us, for all of you young people, for what public service is about," Giuliani said.
In a speech that took on a tone of optimism balanced with a dose of war on terror reality, Giuliani spoke of the US as a country unique in the global landscape.
"We see a barren land, and we build it," he said. "We see a tyranny, and we defeat it. We wonder and dream about what's beyond the earth and send a man to the moon. We're the nation that gets things done."
The republican then turned his talk to terror, starting with the 1990s and incidents like the bombings of the World Trade Center and the USS Cole. While he blamed no one -- administration or otherwise -- for not seeing the warning signs of bigger attacks to come, he deemed the responses to those 90s incidents as sporadic and defensive.
The response to 9/11, Giuliani said, was right on target. He praised President Bush for his efforts in Iraq, and denounced the recent near-bipartisan vote to set a withdrawal date for combat troops.
"In the long history of war, can you ever remember a time that an army decided to retreat, and then printed up a schedule of its retreat to hand it to its enemy," Giuliani asked. "Does that make any sense? Does it have any logic attached to it?
"I don't blame anyone before September 11, but I do blame people after September 11," he later said. "I do think that once that happened, they had to get it. They had to see it. There's no excuse any longer to going back on defense."
Giuliani made many parallels between the current Bush Administration and that of the 41st president and Ronald Reagan. Though they fought those respective wars in different ways, Giuliani drew similarities.
"They went on offense," he said. "You know this at Texas A&M. I just passed your football stadium. The best defense is what? A good offense."