After Rudolph Giuliani spent a day doubling down on his comment that President Barack Obama doesn’t love America enough, the president’s spokesman said today he felt “sorry” for the former New York City mayor.
“It is sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain level of public stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said during a press briefing this afternoon.
He continued: “And the truth is, I don’t take any joy or vindication or satisfaction from that. And I think that the only thing that I feel is, I feel sorry for Rudy Giuliani today.”
The remarks from Mr. Giuliani—dubbed “America’s mayor” after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001—have dominated political headlines over the last 24 hours.
“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,” Mr. Giuliani said during a fundraising event for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, according to Politico.
Mr. Earnest said there were plenty of examples of the president expressing his love for the country and referring to it as the “greatest force for good that the world has ever seen.”
Mr. Giuliani spoke to multiple media outlets yesterday, including the Observer, seeking to both clarify and double down on his comments. Speaking to the Observer, he maintained that the president has not spoken effusively enough about how great the United States of America is, in the ways he said presidents like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have.
Mr. Giuliani also pushed back on criticism that his comments about Mr. Obama’s upbringing were racist, saying he was referring to his left-wing “political education.”
“He was brought up by a white mother, a white mother and white grandmother, he went to white schools— and what I’m talking about his political education,” Mr. Giuliani told the Observer yesterday.
Mr. Earnest declined to comment specifically on that follow-up argument from Mr. Giuliani.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the former occupant of his office yesterday, calling Mr. Giuliani’s comments “pitiful.” Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declined to similarly chastise Mr. Giuliani, saying he wanted to know the context of Mr. Giuliani saying the president did not love America.