Giuliani-McCain: That's the Ticket?

Rudy Giuliani says he'd support John McCain if the former mayor weren't running.

ByABC News
January 8, 2009, 1:43 AM

Aug. 17, 2007 — -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are rivals for the 2008 Republican nomination, but you wouldn't know it by asking them.

In an interview with ABC News Radio Friday, McCain said he is "flattered" that Giuliani would support his bid for the White House were he not trying to win the job for himself.

At a campaign event Aug. 8, 2007, Giuliani told a crowd in Iowa, "I happen to be a very big admirer of Sen. McCain and I can tell you quite honestly that if I weren't running for president I would be here supporting him. If for some reason I made a decision not to run he'd be my candidate."

It was the second time this summer Giuliani voiced support for McCain without much prompting.

"I'm flattered by that," McCain told ABC News Radio. "That's a very nice thing for him to say. I have great respect for him and we are very friendly."

Though McCain and Giuliani are on friendly terms, only one candidate can capture a spot atop their party's ticket.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll showed Giuliani remains the preferred candidate among Republican contenders with 37 percent support. McCain's support stands at 16 percent.

It's too early for any contender to start seriously considering a running mate; first they've got to win the nomination.

But in the recent ABC News Republican debate, Sean Kennedy of Leesburg, Va., in a viewer submitted question, asked the candidates, "As a candidate for president, what authority would you delegate to the office of vice president? And should those authorities be more clearly defined through a constitutional amendment?"

Debate moderator George Stephanopoulos, in a special, 90-minute edition of "This Week" directed the question to McCain.

"Having been considered for that post several times, I've thought a lot about that," McCain replied, drawing laughter from his opponents and the crowd.

"The vice president really only has two duties. One is to cast a tie-breaking vote in the case of a tied vote in the Senate. And the other is to inquire daily as to the health of the president," McCain added, drawing louder laughter this time.