(CNN) - Commenting on the latest national polls showing he is in a virtual dead heat with Fred Thompson in the race for the GOP nomination, Rudy Giuliani said he is the Republican candidate best suited to compete on a national scale in the general election.
"I think the thing that the polls show clearly is that I am the only Republican right now that can contest in all fifty states," the GOP hopeful said Monday at a campaign stop in Akron, Ohio. "And I think every poll has shown that either I'm ahead or I'm more competitive than the other Republican candidates.”
The presidential hopeful went on to say, "If one of them were elected….they wouldn't be able to campaign in twenty, twenty-five states the way we did in the past. We didn't campaign in New York, or California, or New Jersey, or Connecticut, or Washington, or Oregon, or Illinois [in recent presidential elections], and those are states where I would be a competitive candidate, at least according to the polls that exist now, and we'd like to keep it that way."
While remaining confident, Giuliani conceded that "we've got a lot of work to do to make sure the result is that we win the nomination."
Giuliani campaigned in West Virginia earlier Wednesday, and was expected to make a stop in South Carolina later in the day.
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford