With the exception of a short-lived 2008 run at the White House, Rudy Giuliani’s political career essentially ended when he left Gracie Mansion almost 15 years ago. Nevertheless, Democrats and other liberals are furious at the former mayor of New York City expressing his personal opinion that he has serious doubts regarding the patriotism of Barack Obama.
In the wake of Giuliani’s plainly stating “I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” as reported by CBS News of New York on Feb. 20, 2015, the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest initially responded with what many have come across as a heavy dose of snark. But upon some questioning of Obama’s past comments, Earnest’s demeanor quickly changed.
As noted by Real Clear Politics on Feb. 20, 2015, Earnest said he felt “sorry” for Giuliani and also accused the former mayor of tarnishing his legacy. It was then that a pointed back-and-forth between Earnest and Ed Henry of Fox News ensued:
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Josh, given your sorrow for Rudy Giuliani do you think the president has any regrets about saying President Bush was unpatriotic for adding $4 trillion to the debt?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Ed, I don’t know that sorrow is the word that I would use.
HENRY: You said you feel sorry for Rudy Giuliani.
EARNEST: Yeah, I do. I do feel sorry for him.
HENRY: You feel sorry, but does the president have any regrets, regardless of what Giuliani said? As a candidate, Senator Obama said that President Bush was unpatriotic.
EARNEST: I think — again, I haven’t seen the actual comments. I don’t know if you have it there in front of you.
HENRY: He said that the president, I’m paraphrasing this part, had added about $4 trillion to the debt and then he said, quote, “that’s irresponsible, that’s unpatriotic.” I see a difference from Giuliani because he’s talking about an issue. But nonetheless, questioning the patriotism of the president of the United States.
EARNEST: I think that what the president was doing was he was questioning the specific wisdom of that decision and questioning whether or not that was in the best interest of the country.
HENRY: He didn’t say it was unwise, he said that’s unpatriotic.
EARNEST: Right, but again, he was talking about that, he wasn’t talking about a person. And, again, I think there’s a lot that the president also had to say in the State of the Union and the level of our discourse. There is no doubt that we are going to have significant disagreement across the aisle. And that is ultimately what a democracy is all about, where we go in and debate issues.
But the president as you’ll recall said during the State of the Union said we should have a debate that’s worthy of the United States Congress and worthy of the country. There are significant challenges facing this country and sort of resorting to a politics in which we question each others’ basic decency is not consistent with the reason that a lot of people got into public service.
Despite Giuliani no longer holding elected office nor any position in the Republican Party, the current mayor of the Big Apple chimed in on hammering his predecessor’s public voicing of his personal opinion (as cited above from CBS NY). New York City’s current mayor Bill de Blasio said the comments are a “cheap political trick for Giuliani to question the president’s love of country.” Not done yet, de Blasio gave a questionable reprimand regarding civil discourse, “That is stooping very, very low, even for him. I think it’s pitiful, I think it’s unfair …”
While serving as the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D – Nev.) had a habit of referring to President George W. Bush as a “loser” and a “liar.” Meanwhile on the House side, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi didn’t hold back in her disdain of then President Bush. In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2008, the San Francisco Democrat said of Bush, “God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States — a total failure …”
Not the first time the Obama/Biden ticket questioned patriotism, then vice presidential candidate/current US Senator Joe Biden alluded that any true patriot would welcome higher taxes, “It’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.” Echoing the theme in 2012, Obama stated “You know, here’s the thing — there are a lot of well-to-do Americans, patriotic Americans, who understand this and are willing to do the right thing.”