Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioned President Barack Obama’s patriotism and his heritage.
Giuliani was speaking at a dinner on Wednesday. He stirred up controversy when he said:
“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.”
Since the harsh comments were made many people have started calling Giuliani a racist. During an interview with the New York Times, he responded to the criticism:
“Well actually, if I could express it more clearly, what I mean is he doesn’t express it,” Giuliani said. “I shouldn’t say that the president does or does not love anything. I don’t know, I’m not a psychiatrist, and he doesn’t have one and he doesn’t need one.” He told Fox and Friends “Well, first of all, I’m not questioning his patriotism. He’s a patriot, I’m sure. What I’m saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things that I used to hear Bill Clinton say about how much he loves America.”
The White House has not responded to Giuliani’s comments. However, press secretary Eric Schultz issued a statement:
“I was obviously not at the dinner last night, nor did I watch the remarks, so I’m going to leave it to those at the dinner to assess whether or not they were appropriate. But I will say I agree with him on one thing he said today, which is that it was a horrible thing to say.”