NEW YORK – Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (search ) said Thursday that he has not ruled out running for governor or president, but he offered no specifics on what his political future might hold.
"I haven't ruled it out and I haven't ruled it in," a relaxed-looking Giuliani said Thursday at a news conference to announce a venture with a big Texas law firm. "I don't know the answer to that until the future."
Giuliani, whose political stock soared as he led New York through the horror of the Sept. 11, 2001, assault on the World Trade Center, is a leader in national polls for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Politicos also are raising the possibility that Giuliani may have his sights set on the governor's mansion next year.
At a Westchester County Republican fund-raiser later Thursday, Giuliani gave a speech in which he praised President Bush (search) and Gov. George Pataki (search ), saying the GOP is "the party that spreads freedom a little bit more." He refused to take questions from reporters.
Giuliani announced Thursday that he will open a New York office for the 60-year-old Texas-based law firm Bracewell & Patterson, which has been renamed Bracewell & Giuliani.
"For me it's returning to my roots," said Giuliani, 60, who began his career as a lawyer. "People who know me are not surprised. They know how much I enjoy practicing law and how much I have missed it."
Giuliani, who as U.S. attorney successfully put away many notorious organized crime figures during his tenure in the 1980s, said he hopes to end up in the courtroom again.
The former prosecutor said he is committed to developing the firm's New York office and intends to continue to manage his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, which he formed when he left City Hall in 2002.
The popular Republican says his latest career move has no bearing on his decision on whether to run for president or any other public office.
The law firm, with 400 lawyers in offices in Washington, D.C., London, Kazakhstan and Houston, is among the nation's 125 largest. It is a full-service firm handling corporate, real estate and tax law.