WASHINGTON -- A new book said former U.S. President Gerald Ford believed Rudy Giuliani would be the Republican's strongest presidential candidate for 2008.
"He said at one point that if the Republicans wanted to win and stop Hillary Clinton, Giuliani would be their best bet," said Thomas DeFrank, author of "Write it When I'm Gone."
Ford spoke with DeFrank on the condition the book not be published until after Ford's death, which came Dec. 26, 2006, CNN reported Monday.
Ford viewed Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., as "tougher and stronger" than her husband, who Ford said was the best pure politician he had ever met but was a sex addict, said DeFrank, Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News.
"He thought Bill Clinton had a serious addiction here and he needed help," said DeFrank. "And Jerry Ford didn't have a vengeful bone in his body. I think his comments about the addiction business were heartfelt on his part."
Ford, who viewed the Iraq war as a mistake, also said he believed U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was a liability and should have been replaced by Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, on the 2004 Republican ticket, DeFrank said.
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