Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) doubled down on his controversial claim that President Barack Obama “doesn’t love” his country as much as other Americans do.
In a Thursday interview with The New York Times, Giuliani further argued his comments can’t be viewed as racist because Obama wasn’t raised by his Kenyan father.
“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,” Giuliani said. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
Giuliani was reacting to the remarks he gave at a Wednesday night dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a leading 2016 presidential contender. There, Giuliani, a former 2008 presidential candidate, caused a small uproar when he brought up Obama’s upbringing and relative love for his country.
“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 said, according to Politico. “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 were widely condemned by Democrats. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) slammed Giuliani’s criticism as “pitiful,” according to The New York Observer. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), who chairs the national Democratic Party, called on Republican leaders to condemn Giuliani’s “ugly” comments. Wayne Barrett, a Giuliani antagonist who has long chronicled the former mayor’s administration, penned a blistering Daily News column tearing into Giuliani’s own checkered past.
But Giuliani doesn’t seem like he’ll be backing off his remarks anytime soon. In a series of television interviews on Thursday, he expanded his point to argue Obama doesn’t love all of “Western civilisation.”
“Maybe it’s even broader than that he doesn’t express love of America enough,” Giuliani said on Fox News. “I don’t also believe he expresses the love of Western civilisation that he should, or an understanding of Western civilisation, or what Western civilisation has brought to the world.”
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