Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Thursday didn’t back down from his earlier assertion that President Barack Obama doesn’t love America. In fact, he said that his comments shouldn’t be seen as racist because Obama has a white mother and a white grandfather.
“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 in an interview with The New York Times. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
Giuliani’s comments on Thursday follow come after, at a fundraising event for Scott Walker, he said that he didn’t think Obama loves 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 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 comment attracted widespread attention and Walker refused to directly denounce the comment but did say that he loved America.
In the interview with the Times the former New York mayor urged the reporter, Maggie Haberman, to find examples of Obama showing love for America.
“I’m happy for him to give a speech where he talks about what’s good about America and doesn’t include all the criticism,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani also criticized Obama for comments the president made at the National Prayer Breakfast. Obama, at that event, said during the Inquisition, Christians “committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
“Now we know there’s something wrong with the guy,” Giuliani said. “I thought that one sort of went off the cliff.”
Giuliani said he didn’t think Obama had a “really deep knowledge of history. I think it’s a dilettante’s knowledge of history.”
The White House refused to respond to Giuliani’s latest remarks but earlier on Thursday White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Giuliani’s criticism was one he “test drove” during his lackluster “2007 run for the presidency.”
“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,” Schultz said. “But I will say I agree with him on one thing he said today, which is that it was a horrible thing to say.”