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Giuliani: 'I don't know' about third-term bid

Talk show host David Letterman called Giuliani
Talk show host David Letterman called Giuliani "the personification of courage."  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- After leading New York City through perhaps its toughest crisis, Mayor Rudy Giuliani fielded questions Tuesday about whether he would consider running for a third term.

The World Trade Center attacks occurred September 11, a primary day, just as many New Yorkers were going to the polls to choose Republican and Democratic hopefuls to succeed him. After the attacks, the primary election was canceled and rescheduled for next Tuesday.

Giuliani, 57, a former U.S. attorney who won the mayoralty in 1993, is barred from running again by a term limits law passed by a referendum that year.

In an interview Tuesday with CNN's "Larry King Live," the mayor said he has had no time to decide whether he will attempt to run again.

"I honestly have not had time to, I talked to people about that today. I don't know what the right thing to do is. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know the answer."

An existing term-limits law appears to preclude Giuliani from making another run.

Asked whether, if a legal way of entering the race were found, he would want to remain in office, he said, "I don't know the right answer to that. At this point, it really hasn't been the thing that's been on my mind until yesterday, when it was presented to me, and I think we should get a little further out from the event and see where we are and then consider that, and see what the right options are."

Giuliani did not elaborate on what had been presented to him with regard to a possible candidacy.

"I think he was referring to some questions raised by the press and printed in today's papers," said Giuliani's communications director Sunny Mindel.

Tuesday editions of The New York Times included an article that said at least one organization is circulating a petition to extend the mayor's term.

Giuliani appeared Monday to have ruled out a possible third bid. "I think what I should do is to do the job until December 31 and prepare someone else, whoever the citizens select, as the next mayor," he told reporters.

Giuliani's popularity has soared as a result of his handling of the attacks. He is a Republican in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans five to one.

Billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg is the leading Republican mayoral candidate.

Four prominent city Democrats are vying for City Hall -- Public Advocate Mark Green, City Council President Peter Vallone, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and Bronx borough President Ferdinand Ferrer.

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