In an attempt to defend himself against accusations of racism, Rudy Giuliani says his assertion that the president does not love America could not be racist because President Obama was raised by a white mother.
The former mayor of New York set off a media firestorm on Wednesday night when he asserted President Obama does not love America during a fundraising event for Governor Scott Walker.
“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
On Thursday, Democrats criticized Giuliani for questioning the president’s patriotism, saying his remarks were racist and his criticisms of Obama’s upbringing imply the president’s background makes him different from other Americans. In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, the former mayor dismisses the accusation that his comments were racist, saying he was just explaining President Obama’s worldview.
“Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people. This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
In another interview on Thursday, Rudy Giuliani told the hosts of Fox & Friends that he is not questioning the president’s patriotism. However, President Obama does not express his love for his country like past Presidents Clinton and Reagan. Instead, he’s more often heard being critical of the United States, which calls into question the president’s support of the country.
“I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents. And when it’s not in the context of an overwhelming number of statements about the exceptionalism of America, it sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter.”
In a later interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, she asked the former mayor if he would like to apologize for his inflammatory remarks.
“Not at all,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I want to repeat it.”
The White House responded Thursday to the former mayor’s criticisms of the president. The deputy press secretary for the White House says he agrees with Rudy Giuliani in that the remarks “were a horrible thing to say.”
[Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]