Giuliani: I'll run for president if no GOP candidate looks likely to win the general

The GOP presidential field is already wide and deep, with additional recruits Rick Perry and Sarah Palin looking increasingly likely to join the race. Now, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani says he’s also still considering a bid and will base his decision on the same primary criterion Palin has said she’ll use — whether any of the current candidates look likely to be competitive in the general election against President Barack Obama. The Daily Caller reports:

Rudy Giuliani says he will join the race for the White House if he feels no other Republican candidate can beat President Barack Obama in 2012. …

Giuliani is traveling to New Hampshire this week for several events, but admitted he’s also going to “see how people are feeling, how good of chance we have of beating Obama, how the candidates are doing, so that I can also make a decision about whether I run or not.” …

Giuliani, who said the field is made up of “some really accomplished people who I admire,” said it’s too early to know if he’s worried that the GOP field is lacking a formidable candidate.

He says he’ll make a decision by the late summer — the same time Palin and Perry say they’ll decide. In the meantime, Giuliani busily laid out his policy positions on Obamacare, the stimulus and (sort of) the debt ceiling in his interview with TheDC. Best quote: “This is by far and without any doubt the worst performance of a president in dealing with our economy in our lifetime,” he said.

Of course, another voice decrying Obama’s economic policies in a public and serious manner is welcome anytime, really, and that’s one reason to rejoice so many GOP candidates are campaigning right now. Beyond that, a Giuliani candidacy would be unlikely to be a game-changer, except to bring a little additional name recognition and a hint of heroism to the field. As a candidate, he most resembles Romney, of course, which might suggest Romney could stand to lose a little by Giuliani’s entrance — but Romney’s unwavering commitment to campaigning (for the past four years, really) surely has cemented the support of most of those who would consider Giuliani. Desire does wonders for people and Romney clearly wants what Giuliani only ponders.

In other words, Giuliani entering at a late date is very different than either Perry or Palin entering at a late date, both because speculation about P-squared has been far steadier and because they’d be competing for a conservative constituency that really only found its current candidate in Bachmann about the time of the New Hampshire debate whereas Romney’s been shoring up his support for months (i.e. Bachmann’s support seems more likely to shift allegiance than Romney’s).