WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, in an indirect swipe at President Bush, said Thursday the overwhelming attitude that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction reflects a lack of leadership.
The nation's bleak mood was evident in the most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll in which only 21 percent said they believe things in the U.S. are heading in the right direction, the worst mark since the AP-Ipsos poll began in December 2003.
Speaking at a Flag Day rally in Wilmington, Del., Giuliani told more than 200 supporters: ``What we're lacking is strong, aggressive, bold leadership like we had with Ronald Reagan.''
The same AP-Ipsos poll found public approval with the job Bush is doing at 32 percent, matching an all-time low.
The former New York mayor said he's running for president to keep the United States on offensive against terrorist and to challenge big government.
Before the rally, Guiliani attended a $1,000-a-plate fundraising breakfast that drew about 120 people.
He was joined at the rally by former FBI director Louis Freeh. Freeh, who lives in Wilmington, Del., serves as senior homeland security adviser for Guiliani campaign and heads the candidate's Delaware campaign.
Giuliani was making his second campaign appearance in Delaware this year. While the state has only three electoral votes, Guiliani said it could play a crucial role in the presidential race.
``When you look at 2000 and 2004, one state makes a difference,'' he told reporters after the rally. ``You never know which one it's going to be.''
NEW YORK (AP) _ CNN and YouTube will host a Democratic debate next month in which questions for the candidates will come entirely from citizens posting video clips, the latest sign of how the Internet has transformed presidential politics.
The two-hour debate, scheduled for July 23 at the Citadel in South Carolina, will be hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. But in a conference call with reporters Thursday, executives from CNN and YouTube said the traditional debate format, in which a panel of reporters grill the candidates, had been scrapped in favor of a more democratic approach.
``Journalists do a really good job asking questions, but there is another world of questions out there I'd like to see,'' said CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman, who will produce the broadcast. ``This is wide open to creativity and the use of sound and pictures. The tone and flavor will be so different from any other debate.''
Anyone who wants to submit a question may do so by uploading a video clip through YouTube. All the videos that are submitted will be posted on the site. CNN will then choose as many as 50 videos to use during the debate.
Asked for guidelines on what kind of questions were most likely to make it on the air, Bohrman said they should be concise _ no more than 30 seconds _ provocative, and creative.
``We're not going to have anything obscene or inappropriate, but I think we'll get some very inventive questions,'' he said.
A similar debate for Republican candidates will take place Sept. 17 in Florida.