(CNN) – A prominent, socially moderate Republican said Sunday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has achieved iconic status with the Republican Party’s conservative base, is an asset to the GOP.
“I think Sarah Palin is great for the Republican Party,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union.
Giuliani said Palin generates a lot of enthusiasm for the party which has struggled to define itself and identify its leading voices after the McCain-Palin ticket lost its White House bid a year ago.
“She gets a tremendous reception even here in Democratic New York,” Giuliani, who hosted Palin at a New York Yankees game, told CNN’s John King.
“We’re very far away from a 2012 election,” Giuliani added, “Right now, I like figures who are creating interest in the Republican Party.
“Given the decisions that the Obama administration is making, particularly on this area of terrorism which concerns me probably more than any other, we’re going to need some pretty strong alternatives in 2012. I don’t know if it’ll be Sarah Palin or someone else. But right now it’s [about] developing interest in a Republican Party and we need a two-party system and we need a healthy one.”
Giuliani said he had not made any decision yet about whether he will seek the White House again in 2012 or run for New York governor. Asked when he had to make that decision, Giuliani told King “Not today, not this morning.”