(CNN) - When it comes down to the battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Monday he thought Gingrich might have an edge.
Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan, Giuliani said the former House speaker’s appeal to a wide array of voters would help him, as opposed to potential problems Romney may have in relating to average Americans.
“My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”
He continued, “You won't have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”
Giuliani said elitism was a charge Democrats would have a hard time lobbing at Gingrich.
“One of the strengths he has is he's got a common touch, he's able to talk to people, he comes from a poor family, understands poverty from that point of view,” Giuliani said. “He doesn't come from the American elite. It's going to be hard to paint him that way. There are a lot of other ways you can paint him, but you can't paint him that way.”
Giuliani was frank in his assessment of Romney, who he said was having trouble connecting with voters despite his varied career experience.
“Gov. Romney has almost a perfect record for a person to be running right now,” Giuliani said. “Experience in government, experience in business. Understands the economy. But there is something missing. You're absolutely right. There's some kind of personal connection that doesn't get made that the other candidates probably do a better job at.”
Giuliani said the current state of the 2012 GOP field reminded him of his own race in 2008, in which Arizona Sen. John McCain overcame low polling numbers to emerge as the nominee.
“It is history repeating itself,” Giuliani said. “This is what happened to me. This is what happened to John McCain. I thought John McCain was out of it. In one debate I said if I weren't running I would be supporting John McCain.”
He continued, “Then John rose from the ashes, took the nomination from (Mike) Huckabee, from me, Romney. And did it in a four-week period. We kind of have a tendency to do this as Republicans. So what Newt has to do now, he's got to build an organization for himself so that he can take this popular enthusiasm he has and then he can convert it into wins when you get even past Florida.”