Giuliani gives Romney the nod

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had backed Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, formally endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Monday.

“If things had worked out I would have been very happy and honored to support Newt, but it never really got to that point,” Giuliani said Monday on “Fox and Friends.”

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“But I think that Mitt has won fair and square, and he’s proven that he’s the most effective Republican,” Giuliani said. “He’s taken on everybody and won an incredible number of primaries. He’s got the resume and the background for the job.

“This is going to be an election about the economy, and if you look at the Republican field and Democratic field, who better to carry our banner?"

Giuliani had emerged as a harsh critic of Romney as the former New York City mayor supported Gingrich.

Speaking in December on MSNBC, Giuliani called Romney “a man without a core,” “a man without substance” and “a man that will say anything to become president of the United States.”

In the same interview, Giuliani likened Gingrich to former President Ronald Reagan, and argued that he was a more electable candidate than Romney.

But on Monday, Giuliani said he was only defending his friend Gingrich “at a time when he was under unfair attack.” He also downplayed differences between Romney and other Republicans in the primary, including Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

“There isn’t much difference between [Romney] and Santorum and Gingrich on the economy, but they’re all a lot better than Obama,” Giuliani said.

The GOP establishment has rallied around Romney as it has become clear he will be the party’s nominee. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels offered his endorsement last week along with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).