Giuliani in Brentwood
Congressman Jeb Bradley, R-NH, left, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani shake hands at the Rockingham County Complex Thursday.
Photo by Rich Beauchesne

BRENTWOOD -- Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani hesitated to say if he plans on throwing his hat in for the 2008 presidential elections during a visit to New Hampshire Thursday.

"Right now I'm doing some fund raising," for the state legislature, he said.

It's way too premature to announce if he'll run for president, he said.

"If I was spending a lot of time in New Hampshire, it would be a very easy thing to do," he said.

Giuliani, a Republican, met with some 30 local police chiefs and law enforcement officials at the Rockingham County Complex Thursday afternoon. He toured the County Sheriff's Department including its dispatch center and a Mobile Incident Field Office.

It was all smiles for the police chiefs at the Rockingham County Commissioners Conference Room in the Rockingham County Nursing Home Building, where Giuliani posed for photos with the officers.

As the former mayor of the largest city in America entered the building, a 92-year-old resident smiled when she recognized him.

"I know you," said Frances Turner. "I've seen you many times."

The two exchanged greetings including a couple of kisses, and talked about Long Island, where Turner is originally from.

In front of all the officers, Giuliani said, "Well, we've kissed at least twice, this could be the new scandal."

For New Hampshire residents, it was an exciting time to meet the man who was instrumental in bringing New York City, and America, together following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I think it's very exciting that he would come to our little neck of the woods," said Exeter resident Maureen Barrows, a county commissioner. "He certainly was a hero at 9/11, that he could hold people together at a very fragmented time in our history."

Newfields Police Chief Art Reed also said he was excited to meet the former mayor.

"He's a stand-up guy," Reed said. "He still supports the men and women in emergency services, and the men and women fighting in the war on Iraq and the fight on terrorism."

Giuliani applauded the Sheriff's Department's operations. Sheriff Dan Linehan showed off the county's dispatch center, explaining it covers 37 communities and provides dispatch to 23 police and fire departments.

"That's a challenge people in New York don't know," Giuliani said, referring to the city's large emergency services. "The rest of America is like this."

"Good work," he said to dispatchers as he exited.

Giuliani was accompanied by Republican First District Congressman Jeb Bradley, who's running for another term next month. Bradley praised the country's 4.6 unemployment rate, the 6 million jobs created and New Hampshire's low taxes.

Speaking about whether Giuliani plans to run for president, Bradley said if he plans on "throwing his hat in, it might have to be a Red Sox hat."

Giuliani said the challenges Rockingham County faces are experienced throughout America.

"Here you need a sheriff for control," he said. "This is probably a good model that needs to be achieved in the country."