Giuliani: I've Been So Blunt Everyone Misunderstood Me
Ex-NYC mayor explains what he really meant in comments about the president
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2015 12:04 PM CST
In a July 10, 2013, file photo, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – Rudy Giuilani is blunt. So blunt, in fact, that the ex-NYC mayor reportedly said last week that he doesn't believe President Obama loves America (or you or me, for that matter). He got even more blunt a day later when he reminded the New York Times that Obama had a white mother and grandfather. And the blunt streak hit warp speed in yesterday's opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, in which he blames all this trademark bluntness for distracting from his real message. Which is mainly:

  • "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. 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."
  • Giuliani points out that American leaders' past "best efforts" have included a "strong sense of optimism"—a trait he feels Obama lacks. He accuses the president of concentrating on negatives in a way that will "hamstring our success as a nation," especially because the president has been "criticizing his country more than other presidents have done."

  • Giuliani also thinks Obama should be doing more to boost our allies—especially Israel, Ukraine, and Jordan—saying the president "sometimes seems to have a difficult time in expressing adequate support."
  • The salt rub continues as Giuliani effuses over how well JFK, Reagan, and Bill Clinton were all able to "walk a fine line by placing any constructive criticisms regarding the ways the country might improve in the context of their unbending belief in American exceptionalism."
  • Not that it's all bad: He briefly veers into some end-of-column praise for Obama, saying he believes the president is a patriot and has a "personal journey [that's] inspiring and a testament to much of what makes this country great." Giuliani adds he'll be the first to applaud Obama if the president "can rise to the occasion and underscore America’s greatness as our history and values merit."
  • Then...back to business: He rails on a 2014 speech in which Obama acknowledged, "We tortured some folks," claiming the president's words "undermined those who managed successfully to protect us from further attack."
  • And getting back to Obama's questioning of American exceptionalism? That "does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity," Giuliani notes.
(The Washington Post has been fact-checking everything coming out of Giuliani's mouth.)