Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani told CNBC's Larry Kudlow that tax cuts are keeping the U.S. economy strong, and he urged Congress to refrain from trying to fix the subprime mortgage industry's ongoing woes.
In a taped interviewed aired on "Kudlow & Company," Giuliani outlined what Kudlow called a "minimalist government philosophy" on taxation and regulation.
"(The government) needs to make it clear that we're going to extend the tax cuts, that it's not just a temporary thing, so people can look forward to long-term planning," he said. "The government needs to reign in spending. We haven't done that in a while in a concerted way and it seems to me that is how the federal budget can have the best impact on the private economy."
Giuliani, currently the leader among GOP candidates in recent polls, said he considers himself a free market capitalist. "Globalization and free market economics is the way to go for the United States," he said. "If we challenge ourselves, it gives us the hope for growth, and we should always be pointing towards growth."
The former mayor of New York City pointed out that he lowered taxes 22 to 23 times during his eight years in office.
"I started with a $2.3 billion deficit, and by lowering taxes we cleared that deficit and started building a pretty big surplus," he said.
Giuliani said the U.S. economy remains strong despite a slump in the housing market.
In regard to troubles in the housing market and the downtrodden subprime mortgage lending industry, Giuliani said Congress should stay out of it.
"If some mistakes were made in being too aggressive, that sometimes creates overinvestment and bad decisions. That's kind of a natural thing in a market, so I would rather have it correct itself rather than have Congress correct it," he said. "There (are) always going to be cycles … that's the nature of a free economy."
This morning, the Commerce Department said February new home sales declined 3.9%, a reflection of continued industry weakness.
Giuliani noted that his health is solid despite a 2000 bout with prostate cancer, which forced him to end his U.S. Senate election campaign. "I'm cancer-free, I have been for six years," he said. "I'm extremely healthy and energetic."
Giuliani founded Giuliani Partners, a venture capital firm, in January 2002. A native of Brooklyn, Giuliani was elected mayor of New York City in 1993 and re-elected in 1997 after spending a decade as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.