Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a moderate Republican best known for his post-Sept. 11 leadership over his city, confirmed Wednesday his intentions to run for president in the 2008 elections.
Giuliani made the announcement during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live." He had filed a statement of candidacy earlier this month with the Federal Election Commission and filed paperwork for an exploratory committee in November.
"Yes, I'm running," Giuliani told King. "I think I can make a difference. I believe this country needs leadership."
Giuliani enters a crowded field of potential GOP hopefuls that includes Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.
Later in the show, King asked Giuliani, "Would you like to run against (Sen.) Hillary (Clinton)?"
"I'd like to run against anybody the Democrats nominated," Giuliani said. "If it's Hillary, God bless her. If it's (Sen. Barack) Obama, terrific. If it's (John) Edwards, I hope I haven't left somebody out, but I think those are the three top ones."
Giuliani was widely praised for leading New York during and after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The former mayor is a moderate who supports gun control and abortion rights, stands that would put him at odds with the majority of the conservative GOP base.
It was difficult to determine whether the CNN appearance qualified as an official announcement of his candidacy.
During a news conference Saturday after a speech in Sacramento, Calif., Giuliani was asked, "Are you in this for good?"
"Yes, I am committed," he said. "This is something I believe I can bring something to, from the experiences that I've had."
When asked a follow-up question about when he would make a formal announcement, he responded, "Well, formally announce? I don't know. If you go back to my speech, I think I may have. I'm not sure."
He then alluded to making an announcement in multiple locations "so we get more attention" but provided no details.