(OPINION) — Rudy Giuliani is now sort of backtracking after being blasted for saying President Obama doesn’t love America and questioning the way he was raised. He is now saying “I didn’t intend to question” Obama’s heart. Um, you think?
Giuliani wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn’t love America, nothwithstanding, I didn’t intend to question President Obama’s motives or the content of his heart.” He added, “My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how the effect may damage his performance.”
The fact is, Giuliani did attempt to question the president’s motives and the content of his heart. He said of the president, “I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me.” A sincere apology would include the words, “I did not mean to say he doesn’t love America.”
“Obviously, I cannot read President Obama’s mind or heart, and to the extent that my words suggested otherwise, it was not my intention … I bear him no ill will, and in fact think that his personal journey is inspiring and a testament to much of what makes this country great,” Giuliani added.
Giuliani won’t put the outrage to bed with this op-ed. In fact, he continued to punch Obama, saying he doesn’t praise America, when in fact he has done that on many occasions. Paul Waldman notes that President Obama praises America on a regular basis. I guess that’s not enough for Giuliani, who was widely reviled by many constituents in New York City. Here’s an excerpt from Obama’s State of the Union address in January:
… I still think the cynics are wrong. I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long.
I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best. I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California, and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, New London. I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown, in Boston, in West Texas, and West Virginia. I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains, from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in 10 Americans call home.
So I know the good, and optimistic, and big-hearted generosity of the American people who every day live the idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. And I know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example.
By the way, the Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler collected more examples of the president expressing his love for America and praising its exceptionalism.
Ronald Reagan, who Giuliani cited in his “take-down” of Obama, also criticized America, but I guess that’s fine since he’s white and Obama is black. Paul Waldman quoted a speech Reagan delivered on in 1980 on the eve of the election:
Many of us are unhappy about our worsening economic problems, about the constant crisis atmosphere in our foreign policy, about our diminishing prestige around the globe, about the weakness in our economy and national security that jeopardizes world peace, about our lack of strong, straight-forward leadership.
The damage has already been done and Rudy Giuliani should slither back under that rock from whence he came. It’s clear that America doesn’t take him seriously. His failed presidential campaign is proof nobody really wants to hear from a serial cheater. A cheater is always a liar.
Um, I certainly hope Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who had his own shady past, will read this op-ed, since he said we should thank Giuliani for saying Obama doesn’t love America. I am not one who uses profanity, but Giuliani deserves a f*ck you for his op-ed.