Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Wednesday reportedly told an audience of conservatives that President Barack Obama doesn’t “love America.”
Politico reported that Giuliani made the comment at a private dinner in Manhattan attended by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and a slew of business executives.
“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, as quoted by 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.”
In an interview with Politico after the dinner, Giuliani continued to criticize the President. He contrasted his own response to anti-Semitic riots that took place in the ’90s in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn with Obama’s much-maligned remarks on the Crusades earlier this month at the National Prayer Breakfast.
“You’ve got to be able to criticize Islam for the parts of Islam that are wrong. You criticize Christianity for the part of Christianity that is wrong,” he told the publication. “I’m not sure how wrong the Crusades are. The Crusades were kind of an equal battle between two groups of barbarians. The Muslims and the crusading barbarians. What the hell? What’s wrong with this man that he can’t stand up and say there’s a part of Islam that’s sick?”
Giuliani previously blamed what he called the President’s anti-police “propaganda” for protests that followed two grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men. Giuliani faulted those protests for the slaying of two NYPD officers in December.
It’s unclear whether Walker, who was reportedly a few seats over from the former mayor, reacted to Giuliani’s comments about Obama. Walker aides told Politico that the governor’s remarks at the dinner were off-the-record.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.