Rudy Giuliani, under fire for private-dinner comments that President Obama doesn't love America and wasn't "brought up the way you were brought up," has explained that he wasn't attacking Obama's race, just his upbringing. "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 tells the New York Times. "This isn't racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism," he says, challenging the Times to find examples of Obama saying he loves his country "without all the criticism."
Obama was "brought up in an atmosphere in which he was taught to be a critic of America," Giuliani tells CNN. "That is a distinction with prior American presidents" like Ronald Reagan, he says, though he admits there have been an "awful lot of patriots who were critics." White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters yesterday that he wasn't going to "pile on" with criticism of Giuliani, though he said he agreed with the former New York City mayor's own description of his remarks as "horrible," the Hill reports. But Politico, which first reported Giuliani's comments, notes that after Obama designated three new national monuments yesterday, a White House tweet had the hashtag #ObamaLovesAmerica. (Read more Rudy Giuliani stories.)