Presidential candidates turn focus to economy

by Steve Handlesman
NBC News

As Rudy Giuliani campaigned in Florida Friday, his top staffers weren't being paid.

Money is too tight.

He's running a lot of media ads to blanket the 20 plus states that vote in three to four weeks.

That'll cost more than $35 million.

Not contending in Iowa and New Hampshire, and out of the spotlight, Giuliani says he's down to seven million dollars in primary funds.

On Friday, he pushed a one page IRS form for taxpayers, claiming it would save millions.

The economy is growing as an issue.

With Iraq more peaceful voters are focusing on the mortgage crisis, rising unemployment, fuel costs, and sinking stock prices.

It's John Edwards' main issue.

Hillary Clinton is backing tax breaks and fuel subsidies for Americans she sees as in need but ignored.

Mike Huckabee is pushing a similar theme.

"My party has got to understand that there are a lot of Americans who are concerned about poverty and disease and hunger and homelessness," he said.

Huckabee's looking for crossover votes.

He says, unlike his Republican rivals, he listens to the bigshots as well as the folks in the kitchen.