Darrell Issa believes America should be grateful that Rudy Giuliani questioned whether President Obama truly loves America, saying the former New York City mayor raised a good point.
This week, Giuliani questioned Obama’s patriotism while speaking at a fundraiser in New York, questioning whether he was raised to love America.
“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani reportedly said. “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.”
The remarks drew widespread criticism, but in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Darrell Issa came to Giuliani’s defense.
“The reality is that Rudy has taken our debate — and I think we should thank him for this part of it — back to national security, to the key element that the president should be focusing on,” Issa said, before carefully parsing Giuliani’s words in an effort to soften them. “Rudy Giuliani said he ‘didn’t believe’. He didn’t say the president ‘wasn’t,’ he said he ‘didn’t believe.’ Now the reality is that I do believe that the president believes strongly in America, I just think he views America differently.”
The White House had already jumped on Giuliani’s remarks, with deputy press secretary Eric Schultz saying, “it was a horrible thing to say.”
Many saw Rudy Giuliani’s remarks on the president as racist, including Tennessee Congressman Stephen Cohen. The representative of a majority black district, the Democratic Congressman made reference to the three-fifths compromise at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that allowed states to count slaves as three-fifths of a person for determining Congressional representation.
Rudy Giuliani questioned how much,or even if, President Obama loves America.Maybe he thinks he loves it 3/5 as much as Giuliani & his pals
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) February 20, 2015
But Rudy Giuliani has decried critics who say his remarks were racist, saying that his words couldn’t be mistaken as racist since Obama has a white mother. He also clarified his remarks, walking back the statement a bit.
“He’s a patriot, I’m sure. What I’m saying is that, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things I used to hear Bill Clinton say, about how much he loves America. I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents.”
In his interview on Sunday, Darrell Issa also criticized those calling on Republicans to condemn Rudy Giuliani’s remarks, nothing that Democrats are not asked to do the same for Vice President Joe Biden’s gaffes.
[Image via CNN]