Washington (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks real estate mogul Donald Trump is the "most exciting candidate in the race" for the White House in 2012.
In an interview with The Washington Times, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate said Trump's controversial comments come from the heart.
"I think he is doing as well as he's doing because he's saying things the American people need to hear – about leadership and about strength and about being proud of America and not apologizing for America," Giuliani said Tuesday. "So I think he's resonating."
Trump has done well in some recent national polls of potential 2012 candidates, while he continues to question President Barack Obama's birthplace. But don't expect Giuliani to jump on the "birther" bandwagon.
"I'm not one who wants to raise that question," he said. "It's been proven to my satisfaction that the president was born in the United States. The documented copy [of his birth certificate] is enough for me. I think the best reason that we should defeat President Barack Obama is because he's not a very good president."
Trump, who has donated extensively to Democratic and Republican political candidates, also contributed $1,000 to Giuliani's mayoral campaign in 1999 and 2000, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Giuliani will travel to the early contest state of New Hampshire next month and said he remains undecided about his own bid for the White House.
"At this point, I'm not actively considering it, but I have the door open," Giuliani said.