Report: Rudy Giuliani “Very Close” To Entering 2012 Race

For reasons that only he completely understands, Rudy Giuliani is keeping the Presidential speculation alive:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential campaign fizzled in 2008, is leaning toward another race for the White House, according to a close associate.  New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who has known Giuliani for more than 40 years, says the former mayor “is very close to saying he’s going to run.”

“If he were to make the decision today, he would run,” says King.

Speaking at a dinner with reporters in Washington, King, who was an enthusiastic Giuliani supporter in 2008, said the former mayor has been quietly lining up support and exploring strategy. Giuliani has also examined the mistakes his campaign made in ’08, when he did not seriously compete in a contest until the Florida primary, by which time he was hopelessly behind in the race.

It’s unclear what effect a Giuliani candidacy would have on the primary campaign. There is an ongoing conversation among Republican political insiders about supposed voter unhappiness with the GOP field, and after Indiana governor Mitch Daniels’ decision not to run, pundits and strategists have focused on hopes that New Jersey governor Chris Christie or House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan might be coaxed into running.  Others have mentioned the name of former Florida governor Jeb Bush.  Few observers have looked to Giuliani as a possible savior of the Republican Party.


The idea of another Giuliani campaign will strike some observers as implausible.  Although revered by many in the Northeast as the man who saved New York City from decades of crime and decline, Giuliani’s main claim to fame among most Republicans — his performance after the September 11 terrorist attacks — is nearly a decade in the past.  Issues have changed.  Voter priorities have changed.  The political cast of characters has changed.

Not to mention the fact that Giuliani tried this once before, four years ago, and failed miserably despite spending $50 million. And that was in a GOP that seemed far more hospitable to a moderate candidate. The idea that he’d do better this time around seems silly.

In the end, I’ve got to think that this Presidential talk is as serious as the talk about Rudy running for Governor or Senator in New York was last year. He let the speculation occur, then shot it down. I suspect the same thing is going to happen here.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    You’ve GOT to be shitting me!
    The Republican party really is nothing more than a political clown car now.

  2. Thank God! I was afraid there would be a shortage of terrible candidates for the 2012 GOP Primary.

  3. anjin-san says:

    GOP candidates are blowing up faster than Spinal Tap drummers…

  4. TG Chicago says:

    I could see him doing a little dance, then pulling out. That way, if he gets decent polling numbers before he drops out, he puts himself in a position to be wooed by other candidates. Maybe a VP slot, maybe he’d like a position in a Republican administration… maybe he just wants to feel important.

    But oddly enough, he has managed to come in 4th in two recent polls even with hardly any press. That’s the part that surprises me. Given that polling, it only makes sense that he’d want to leverage his support for something. If somebody wants to make a run at Mitt in New Hampshire, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get Giuliani’s endorsement.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    C’mon. As anyone who reads these comments know, I am no fan of the Republican party. But “Incredibly damaged but highly self-deluded person thinks people want him to be president” is not a reflection of the party they belong to. Unless of course, they actually get nominated. But 12 months from now when Pawlenty, Huntsman or Romney is running against Obama, how many people will be saying to themselves that they can’t vote Republican because Giulliani, Trump or Cain contested the nomination? This is blogger fodder. Nothing more.

  6. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: Exactly right. Any damn fool can run for the nomination. The Republicans aren’t Donald Trump any more than the Democrats are Dennis Kucinich.

  7. Rick Almeida says:

    He might even be less popular than Newt.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    As a side note, I lived in New York State in 2001. Three of my fellow townsmen, including the brother and father (firemen) of my daughters soccer coach (also a first responder fireman), died trying to save people in the world trade center. Afterwards, I thought Giulliani was great,and would have voted for him for governor if the election had been held within a couple of weeks of September 11th. But as he started to campaign the next year and more and more about him came out, I thought less and less of him. I always avoided talking about him with my NYC policemen and firemen neighbors though, since I assumed they thought he walked on water. Until one night several of them were together and after a few drinks his name came up. To a man, they despised him as a self-aggrandizing phony, one who they thought had made their jobs more dangerous for political reasons, both before, during and after Sept. 11th.

  9. foncool says:

    He’ll have to work hard for the nomination, but if he gets it. Obama is 1 term. He’s just about eliminated his support in the Jewish community in Metro NY that would jump to Rudy in a minute where they might not for Romney or another Rep.

    Rudy would take, NY, NJ, PA and FL from Obama. Then it is game over, CA and IL won’t be enough to save him.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    foncool, on what planet would Giulliani capture any of those states? OK, maybe FL, because look at the lunatic they just hired as governor. Giulliani certainly wouldn’t capture NY. He tried for governor and senator and got run out of town.The people in the states surrounding NYC know what a corrupt self aggrandizing bastard he was. I’m not throwing stones, I’m stating facts. Look at what was exposed about the prisons. Look how he took credit for the drop in crime rate (and look when it started to go down – long before he took office). And when the police chief who presided over that drop wouldn’t go along with Giulliani’s self love? He fired him. People in NY, NJ, CT and probably PA know him. You obviously don’t. His only chance was that the rest of the country still thought him the hero of 9/11. But after 2008, most realize he’s just a punchline.