Giuliani Declines to 'Return Favor' of Backing Perry: 'Not Sure He's the Right Candidate Yet'

September 6, 2011 - 3:51 PM

( - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani--who won an early endorsement for his 2008 presidential campaign from Texas Gov. Rick Perry--said on Tuesday that he is not ready to return the favor and endorse Perry for president now.

"I could see myself doing it, sure, but I don't know yet," Giuliani said while speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "I don’t know enough about what Rick is going to say tomorrow night and the next two to three nights that they debate.”

"I'm not sure he is the right candidate yet," Giuliani said.

The former New York mayor also said that he does not know yet who looks like the candidate who would have the best chance of winning the general election.

In October 2007, Perry came out in support of Rudy Giuliani for president. This was despite the fact that Giuliani supported legalized partial-birth abortion and same-sex unions, while Perry is pro-life and opposes same-sex marriage.

After delivering an address about the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the press club, Giuliani was asked, “Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed you in October 2007 in your bid for the [GOP presidential] nomination, so would you like to return the favor?”

“Well, I like Rick very much," Giuliania said. "I’ve told him if he wants to disavow his endorsement to me he can. They give him so much trouble about it. He was attacked by Mike Huckabee or somebody for endorsing me. I’m such a liberal crazy, out-of-control Republican. Rick is a--I could see myself doing it, sure, but I don’t know yet. I don’t know enough about what Rick is going to say tomorrow night and the next two to three nights that they debate.”

“I don’t know what [GOP presidential candidate Mitt] Romney is going to say what,” said Giuliani. “This is a very strange election compared to the one I was involved in because they’ve only had, like seems to me, like one debate, maybe two, and we don’t really know all their positions yet and how they can handle it and who looks like they would have the best chance of winning, the presidency.”

“So, I’d rather wait and see what happens there, but I do have a lot of admiration for Rick,” said Giuliani. “I campaigned for him when he ran for [Texas] governor against Kay Bailey Hutchison--very strong supporter of his. I’m a good friend of his and I think his record in Texas is exactly the kind of record we would need in the United States. But I’m not sure he’s the right candidate yet. I mean there’s a lot to that. At this point four years ago, I was the nominee and I was going to run against Hilary Clinton. So you see how accurate those things are, right?”

Mixed Welcome Expected for Giuliani as RNC Keynote Speaker (image)

Rudy Giuliani (AP Photo)

During his address, the former New York City mayor acknowledged that he would have a “hard time” winning the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

“I think if I were to run I would have a chance of winning the presidency, a chance -- nobody ever knows -- but I would have a hard time getting nominated,” said Giuliani. “I’m a realist and I understand how the primary system works.”

Giuliani indicated that the economy will play a pivotal role in deciding who becomes president in 2012.

He added that “right now” President Obama would lose the election to the top three candidates seeking the GOP nomination for President – Perry, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann – due to the current dour economy and 9.1 percent unemployment.