Former Republican presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani delivered a convocation address at Cornell University on Saturday, but he remained elusive about whether he will throw his hat into the ring for 2012. Iris St. Meran filed the following report for NY1.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was the first Republican to ever be invited to speak at Cornell University. On Saturday, his convocation address to the Ithaca audience was about leadership, but he did not give official word on whether he wants to pursue this country's highest leadership position.
"I would have to make a decision about whether I think there is a Republican who would be a really good opponent for President [Barack] Obama that could win," said Giuliani. "If I thought there was, I'd support that person. If somehow I came to the conclusion, I'd probably do it."
In an exclusive NY1-Marist poll, 23 percent of state Republicans said they would vote for Giuliani if a primary were held today.
A CNN poll out Friday has him leading the pack among conservatives and right-leaning independents, with 16 percent saying they would vote for him.
"When you're not a candidate, you're always leading. I learned that many, many times running for mayor and other positions," said Giuliani.
If he decides not to run for president, Giuliani said he will throw his support behind his friend, Congressman Peter King, if the Long Island Republican decides to throw his hat in the ring.
Last week, King said Giuliani was inclined to run.
No matter who runs, Giuliani said the eventual candidate needs to focus on the United States' debt.
"The debt that this country is accumulating is almost at the point where it could do permanent damage. It needs to be reversed," said Giuliani.
The former mayor, who failed to secure the Republican nomination in 2008, said he would like to be president but will decide at a later date whether he is right for the post.