NORTH CONWAY, N.H. - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said today he is pondering whether to run again for the presidency and will decide by the end of summer. If he does run, he said, he would "do it the right way" this time and spend more time on person-to-person campaigning in New Hampshire.
In 2008, Giuliani led in the polls at various times and was sometimes described as the front-runner. But he made little effort in first-caucus state of Iowa, eventually pulled most of his advertising out of the first-primary state New Hampshire, and focused on Florida, where his campaign collapsed.
Giuliani placed fourth in the 2008 New Hampshire primary after doing little campaigning here. He vowed to run differently if he decides to jump into the 2012 race.
“The impression was we didn’t spend a lot of time here because we didn’t do it the right way,” Giuliani said. “We were spending so much time trying to raise money that we forgot about the politics.”
This time, Giuliani pledged to run a more retail-style campaign. “Much more talking to people, meeting with them, getting their ideas,” Giuliani said. This was his seventh visit to New Hampshire in a year.
“Last time, he ran a lethargic campaign,” said Ray Shakir, a North Conway retiree who showed up to hear Giuliani speak today. But Shakir admires Giuliani’s record turning around a crime-ridden New York City and leading the city after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. If Giuliani runs again, Shakir said, “I’m behind him 1,001 percent. If he does to the country what he did to New York, we’re all set.”
If Giuliani does get in the race, he is bound to face questions once again about his stance in favor of abortion rights. He did not back down from that position when asked about it today in this tourist village in the White Mountains.
“I hate abortion, I think abortion’s a sin,” he said. “But I believe women should have the right to make choices.”
Nearly 100 people turned out for the luncheon with Giuliani at Vito Marcello's Italian Bistro, whose owner is a friend of Giuliani’s. Giuliani also was slated to speak at a state Republican Party fundraiser in Dover.
“I would like to see a Republican defeat President Obama,” Giuliani said. “If I thought someone else had a better chance of doing that than me, I’d probably end up supporting that person. If I thought I had the best chance, I’d be more inclined to do it.”
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.