Newspaper article International New York Times

Giuliani Defends Obama Critique ; Assertion That President Doesn't Love America Isn't Racist, Ex- Mayor Says

Newspaper article International New York Times

Giuliani Defends Obama Critique ; Assertion That President Doesn't Love America Isn't Racist, Ex- Mayor Says

Article excerpt

Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York asserted that the president didn't love America, at an event he was not scheduled to speak at, or even attend.

Rarely has a political event been so overtaken by someone who wasn't initially even invited.

At a reception for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York asserted on Wednesday night that President Obama did not love America. The following day he said that his criticism of the president's upbringing should not be considered racist because the president was raised by "a white mother."

The remarks set off an uproar. But it turns out that Mr. Giuliani was not scheduled to speak at the event, or even attend.

The gathering, at New York's "21" Club, was meant to give Mr. Walker an opportunity to mix with and impress some of New York's wealthy financiers and supply-side economists.

A person close to John Catsimatidis, the grocery store magnate who sponsored the event, said Mr. Giuliani was not originally part of the speaking program or expected to attend.

Mr. Catsimatidis, who is prominent in New York political circles, saw the former mayor at an earlier event in the city Wednesday night, and invited him to come by the Walker dinner.

Mr. Giuliani was unaware that members of the news media were in attendance when he began his remarks.

"I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America," Mr. Giuliani told the gathering, with Mr. Walker sitting nearby. "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."

Critics suggested that Mr. Giuliani's description of Mr. Obama's upbringing reflected a prejudiced view that Mr. Obama was different from other Americans. In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani dismissed the criticism and said he was describing the worldview that had shaped Mr. Obama's upbringing. …

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