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Giuliani For President? 'I Simply Don't Know,' He Says

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Years removed from his eight years as New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani is a man on the move.

He's traveling the country speaking on leadership and security, learning about life outside the Big Apple and campaigning for fellow Republicans.

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    No stranger to North Carolina, having campaigned for Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Richard Burr and other GOP candidates, Giuliani was the featured speaker on Monday at a North Carolina Republican Party fundraiser in Raleigh.

    The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City's World Trade Center helped define Giuliani as a leader. Now, he's taking a serious look at leading the free world and many political observers want to know whether he will run for president.

    "I simply don't know the answer to that," Giuliani said. "I have to think about that for a least another six months or a year."

    For now, the former Big City mayor is focused on supporting other Republicans and said he is not about to abandon President George W. Bush, despite his low approval ratings.

    "If it turns out the way I think it's going to turn out, people will have a very different view of him," Giuliani said.

    When it comes to distributing billions of dollars in Homeland Security funding, some criticize buying fire trucks and sport utility vehicles for smaller communities, such as Caswell County, Giuliani said he does not have a problem also helping small towns.

    "You also have to help those places that don't have as many resources because it may be that the terrorists try to exploit attacking us in those areas," he said.

    Giuliani still draws crowds with talk of tax cuts. One big question is whether party-line Republicans can overlook moral differences: Can a pro-choice candidate win the Republican nomination?

    "I think you only find out who can win when they run," he said.

    "America's mayor" just may try to find out.


    Cullen Browder, Reporter
    Richard Adkins, Photographer
    Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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