Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Sunday took to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to try to clarify his comments about President Barack Obama’s love for the country.
Giuliani told a conservative audience last week including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) that he didn’t believe Obama “loves America.” That comment sparked a days-long firestorm and had potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates jumping to tell the public whether they, too, believed Obama really “loves America” or not.
“My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America notwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart,” Giuliani wrote. “My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance.”
The former mayor went on to repeat his belief that Obama has been seen “criticizing his country more than other presidents have done,” contrasting him with former Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
“I hope also that our president will start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life,” he concluded.
Giuliani hasn’t backed down from his original comments in the multiple media appearances he’s made since Wednesday. He dismissed criticism that his comments could be seen as racist because he said Obama had a “white mother.” Over the weekend, Giuliani told the New York Post that he thought Obama had been steeped in communism “from the time he was 9 years old.”
The former mayor also told CNN on Saturday that his office was receiving death threats.