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Rudy: 'It was a very bad headache'

From NBC/NJ's Matthew E. Berger
HOPKINTON, N.H. -- Giuliani told reporters that he did not think he was
having a heart attack when he was flying home to New York City
Wednesday, and said he did not know why his campaign staffers told
reporters he was suffering from "flu-like symptoms."

"You're going to have to ask them," he said outside a town hall meeting. "I'm telling you what actually happened."

Asked
about whether he thought he was having a heart attack at the time, he
said, "No, I knew it was a very bad headache. I knew exactly what it
was." He added that the cabin pressure from the plane, which is smaller
than the one he usually uses, amplified the headache he had been
experiencing throughout the day.

A senior campaign aide
said Giuliani did not have chest pains or shortness of breath, but was
complaining that it was the worst headache he ever had, likening it to
having a golf ball in his head or a root canal.

Giuliani
seemed very animated Saturday, repeatedly taking "one last question" at
the town hall meeting after his campaign suggested he needed to exit.
He spoke about what happened Wednesday first to a camera crew inside
the town hall, and then again outside, where he admonished a reporter
to "put on your jacket."

It was his first day of active
campaigning since he was taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital late Wednesday
evening. Campaign aides scaled back his schedule, but Giuliani is
expected to resume a full schedule next week, after breaking for
Christmas.

Giuliani said he received "a lot of tests"
and that they all came out normal. He also said he was specifically
screened for a reoccurrence of cancer, adding that he had received a
PSA test for prostate cancer several weeks ago and the results were
negative.

"I had cancer; I get tested for it all the
time," he said, adding his doctor will release a full report after
the Christmas holiday "so people can get a complete picture of the fact
that I am in good health."

He also said he believed the rigors of the campaign trail, including not sleeping, contributed to the illness.

*** UPDATE *** In Manchester, Giuliani staffers said the flu encompasses having a headache. Giuliani himself said that reporters should ask campaign aides why
everyone was told he was suffering from "flu-like symptoms" Thursday,
when Giuliani says it was a severe headache. So we did.

Campaign
officials told NBC News/National Journal that the first statement,
which was put out very early in the morning, was intentionally broad to
encompass both the headaches and pale complexion that Giuliani was
suffering from, and evaluations were ongoing at that time. The aides
also said that flu symptoms are encompassed by what Giuliani had, and
that doctors approved the initial statement.

But no
response as to why the diagnosis was never amended for more than 48
hours, until Giuliani described them as a "terrible headache."