ABC News’ Jake Tapper Reports: At a Flag Day rally in Wilmington, Del., today, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Republican presidential frontrunner, implicitly slammed the leadership of President George W. Bush, saying, "The thing that concerns me the most is that 74 percent that thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction. What we’re lacking is strong, aggressive, bold leadership, like we had with Ronald Reagan."
While the president has been assailed by the GOP candidates for his support of the immigration reform bill, his management of the war in Iraq, and other issues, this is the first time a Republican candidate has said so starkly that Bush isn’t a bold, strong or aggressive leader.
Giuliani also said this, however: "Ronald Reagan was my boss, I mean Ronald Reagan was the guy I worked for. One of the things I point out in my book is you learn a lot from the people you work with early in your career. I worked for two great judges, they taught me a lot of what I know about leadership, a lot of what I know about life, and I had the opportunity to work for two great attorney generals and Ronald Reagan. They were a very big influence on me. "I have tremendous admiration for President Bush. I guess in the first debate when some of my Republican colleges were trying to distance themselves I went ahead and I said, you know, we Republicans should be talking about the things President Bush has done right. The Democrats spend so much time bashing him; we should be spending some time defending him. I think President Bush made the single biggest decision of his presidency correctly. He put us on offense against terrorism. I will always admire him for that. But as far as the things that developed my ideas and thinking which developed as a much younger man, it was Ronald Reagan." For more of Giuliani’s speech, click HERE.