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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Tuesday he will not enter the race for the Republican nomination to run for U.S. president in 2012.

Giuliani said it was too late to run during a luncheon at the Long Island Association, where he participated in an interview with the group's executive director, Kevin Law.

"He was pretty clear that he was not running," Law told Reuters in a telephone interview following the event. Giuliani's remarks were first reported by Politico.

"As a moderate, he thought it was a pretty significant challenge. He said it's tough to be a moderate and succeed in GOP primaries," Law said.

Giuliani proved himself a formidable fundraiser when he ran for president in 2008 but his campaign faded and he left the race early. This time, some of his former staffers are working for Texas Governor Rick Perry and big donors have thrown their support behind Perry or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"If it's too late for (New Jersey Governor) Chris Christie, it's too late for me," Giuliani said, according to Politico.

Christie announced last week he would not run for president and on Tuesday endorsed Romney's presidential bid.

Giuliani ruled out running as an independent and replied that he had not been asked about whether he would consider the vice presidency, Law said.

(Reporting by Edith Honan in New York; Additional reporting by Malathi Nayak in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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