Giuliani: I'll run if GOP gets desperate
September 6th, 2011
04:51 PM ET
3 years ago

Giuliani: I'll run if GOP gets desperate

(CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who's been mulling a White House bid all summer, said he would have a hard time winning the Republican nomination if he decided to run. But it's an idea he still hasn't ruled out.

"It would be difficult for me to be nominated," Giuliani said at the National Press Club on Tuesday. "We'd have to be truly desperate."


Giuliani was a favored contender early on in the 2008 presidential race, only to drop out in January after disappointing results in the first few primaries.

"The mistake I made last time was getting too focused on the idea of the national campaign," Giuliani said.

Offering advice to two of the 2012 GOP frontrunners, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Giuliani warned against worrying too much about national polls, which he said "don't mean anything."

The real prize rests in winning the early primaries-two of which, he said, lean favorably toward conservative Republicans.

"And I'm simply not that conservative on social issues, and I'm not willing to change just to become president," Giuliani said.

The former mayor said he's still waiting for a clear leader to emerge in the race before he throws his weight behind a candidate.

"If I think we're truly desperate, then I may run, which is how I got elected mayor of New York City. You know what my slogan was? 'You can't do any worse'," Giuliani said to a laughing audience.

Giuliani endorsed Perry in the governor's 2010 run for re-election in Texas against Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. When asked if he'd support Perry again, Giuliani said he wasn't ready to make a decision.

"I think his record in Texas is exactly the kind of record we need in the United States," Giuliani said, but added none of the candidates have clearly emerged as the best-chance winner against President Barack Obama next year.

Since entering the race in mid-August, Perry has frequently taken credit for strong job growth in Texas during his decade-long tenure in the governor's mansion.

On the same day two major national polls showed Obama with declining approval numbers, Giuliani said he thinks if the election were held today, either of the top two Republicans in the race would win.

But there's also another guy Giuliani wouldn't mind seeing in the Oval Office.

"For the last couple of years, having been a critic of [Bill] Clinton, I've been saying, 'I want you back'," Giuliani said, while laughing.

"This has been really a disaster," he added, referring to Obama's administration.


Filed under: 2012 • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Rudy has that right–the last thing this country needs is an authoritarian neo-con screwing things up.

    September 6, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "The mistake I made last time was getting too focused on the idea of the national campaign," Giuliani said.

    Uh, no, you made the mistake of being a one-trick pony. You were great in the aftermath of 9/11, but just as being a POW doesn't qualify McCain to be POTUS, neither does being a mayor during a crisis.

    September 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    No one is THAT desperate to ask Mr. a noun, a verb and 911 to run. No One!

    September 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Larry L

    Now there's a Republican slogan for the 2012 election season... He considers running because people are desperately trying to find somebody on the Republican ticket who isn't crazier than a $#!t-house rat. As a former Republican I can clearly see my candidate for 2012 – President Obama. He seems to be the only adult running and the only politician who has tried to find the middle-ground in American politics.

    September 6, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Justin

    And by some wierd fluke Giuliani became president i would be desperate to kill myself.

    September 6, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Publius Novus

    I think Guiliani has got this exactly right. He can't win the GOP nomination because he isn't off-the-scale, right-wing on the social issues, and he isn't willing to change. Although I really don't like him on 75% of his issues, it says something for his integrity. Quite different, I might add, from Mr. Mittens, who has no integrity whatsoever. Mittens is willing to say or do anything to get the nomination. And pity for the Repubs, if he got the GOP nomination, Guiliani would walk away with the general election.

    September 6, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. lynn

    In the same camp as Gingrich, full of themselves. They will ride in on their white horse and rescue the American people. Their personal dirty laundry would be worth a look at though for laughs.

    September 6, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. thomas

    Desperate people do desperate things !

    Perry / Giuliani 2012
    Desperation / Despair / Defense

    September 6, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. AntiFringe

    It might be stupid enough to work. Just look at the current list of candidates.

    September 6, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "If I think we're truly desperate,"

    What? Nobody gets the irony there? That asking Guiliani in the first place is already a sign of just how desperate the GOPers are? Captain 9/11 couldn't win the election if he tatooed himself red, white and blue and flew to Afghanistan on one of the GOP's magic unicorns (side saddle of course) to single-handedly wipe out Al Qaeda with nothing but a broken broom handle and some lube. What a ridiculous attempt at digging for a story. Hey CNN, your treasure map is faulty.

    September 6, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. RINO Bil

    No, we're not THAT desperate. Heck, four more years of Obama would be preferable.

    September 6, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Reggie from LA

    @Larry L, that rat thing is a hoot. LMAO, but your to-the-point wisdom is a serious matter. We seem to have grown tired of Obama not producing the results we've wanted and not seeing the change we've wanted. There is a full frontal assault on the President from an ungrateful and often hateful nation (and of course the friendly fire doesn't help either). He has shown maturity intellect and resolve and in bits and pieces, still trying to move ONE nation forward, even when his decisions have been unpopular with both sides. "middle ground" , I believe is a fair assessment.

    September 6, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Mascon

    /"When this country has to worry about whether it's spending too much money to defend us, then it's a national security issue," Giuliani told an audience in Washington Tuesday, just days from the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks./

    Thanks to Mr. Bush wasting time and money in Iraq. As far as Giuliani ......Many ran around with cell phones ton 911; just he got his picture taken and milks it to death. I don't think the USA would ever be desperate to even think about him.

    September 6, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. ja

    you tyhink highly of yourself, no, don't run

    September 6, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. maf

    Run Rudy Run!!! The more the merrier. I can't wait for Sarah and you to join the fray. We are desperate!! Desperate for more full out belly laughs. Watching the GObTP (hard to get an acronym for the Party of NO now) nomination process has provided the best (or worst) satire and commentary on a political party stuck on crazy!

    Sniffit – keep on trying to keep them honest. You are awesome! Too bad it is taking so much of your time to refute every delusional comment coming from the neo-conservatives!

    September 6, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. there is profit in fear.....aka payback

    ..Somebody, PLEASE. Hand me a stick-pin. So I can DEFLATE HIS GIANT EGO................

    September 6, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This about sums up the state of the Republican Party.

    September 6, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Julie

    I don't think the tea party, which will determine the primary outcome, really wants Guliani in there. Guliani's stand on social issues is like mine and that means the tea party wouldn't be interested at all – ever.

    September 6, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    I know you're right. "If people are desparate." By the time people get to be that desparate there will be nothing left.

    September 6, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. John in Brooklyn

    And we'd have to be desperate to vote for him!

    September 6, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. MikeB

    Thanks Rudy, but we will never be that desperate.

    September 6, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. LNB

    Desperate ? Says a lot about you, Rudy....Thanks, but no thanks....

    September 6, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Jilli

    I don't think the country would ever get THAT desperate. This is a man that couldn't win a primary in any state. Don't quit your day job rudy.

    September 6, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Dani

    AHA-HA; HAA-HAA; HEE=HEE; WAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is so funny! "Ill run if people are desparate." AHA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ROTFLMAO! The idiot former Mayor of New York, Rudy Guilliani thinks he can be POTUS? Rudy is a fraud. Rudy went against the suggestion of the Fire Commission of NYC by making the World Trade Towers ground zero after the Towers were bombed in 1993. Rudy's reason for this was so that he could be in walking distance of the Towers in case anything happened. The Fire Commission said that ground zero needed to be in Brooklyn since the Towers were a target. This was in 1993 after the first bombing. Rudy Guillani is an opportunist and just loves a good photo op. Rudy has made a lot of money off of 9/11. He deliberately positioned himself to be at ground zero in case something happened. He has nothing to run on but 9/11. Rudy Guilliani is a disgusting fraud.

    September 6, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Georgia Girl

    No thank you! So you are saying we are not desparate. Then tell your republican countertparts to stop with the fear mongering telling Americans that we are near the end of the world. But if we give you guys another shot at the white house and congress, we will be a third world country, because you will want to privatize everything and the rich will run this country more than they do now.

    September 6, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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