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New York Rep. Peter King says he "would consider" running for president in 2012 if his friend of 40 years Rudy Giuliani decides to sit the race out, National Journal's Lindsey Boerma reports. Earlier this month, the chair of the Nassau County Republicans floated King's name as a potential 2012 contender. "I said I would consider it; I'm not taking my name back," King says. "Obviously, if Rudy jumps in, I would support him, but if not, you know, I’ll see what happens. Stranger things have happened."

King said the former New York mayor is "very close to running" earlier this week. If Giuliani does decide to run, he'll focus on New Hampshire this time, instead of his unsuccessful 2008 strategy of betting on Florida. Giuliani, a moderate New Yorker, could have trouble with social conservatives among Republican primary voters. But King says Giuliani can overcome that, because, "you want a tough guy to make the tough decisions, and I think that would appeal across the board and to Tea Party members." He explained, "Right now, there's no candidate who's articulating the message that Rudy would have--really tough on security, both homeland security and national security... and he has a proven record of cutting spending and cutting taxes."

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