Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he stands by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who received condemnation from the White House Thursday for suggesting President Obama doesn’t love America.
“The gist of what Mayor Giuliani said — that the president has shown himself to be completely unable to speak the truth about the nature of the threats from these [Islamic State] terrorists — is true,” said Mr. Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, The Hill reported.
“If you are looking for someone to condemn the mayor, look elsewhere,” he added.
According to Politico, Mr. Giuliani said Wednesday that he does “not believe that the president loves America.”
“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,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pointed out that Mr. Giuliani “test ran” a similar attack when he ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, but that he would “leave it to those at the dinner to assess whether or not [his remarks] were appropriate,” CNN reported.
“He seems embarrassed enough to be doing damage control this morning, so I’m not going to pile on from here,” Mr. Earnest said. “But I will say that I agree with him on one thing he said today which is that it was a horrible thing to say”
The White House began tweeting Thursday using the hashtag #ObamaLovesAmerica.
Mr. Jindal argued that the former mayor could have “chosen different phraseology,” but his overall point was accurate, The Hill reported.
“The level of the president’s love for our country is immaterial at this juncture. What President Obama has obviously demonstrated for everyone is that he is incapable of successfully executing his duties as our commander in chief,” Mr. Jindal said.
Mr. Giuliani clarified Thursday on Fox News that he was “not questioning” Mr. Obama’s patriotism.
“He’s a patriot, I’m sure,” he said. “What I’m saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things that I used to hear Bill Clinton say about how much he loves America.”
Mr. Obama criticizes the U.S. “much more often than other American presidents,” Mr. Giuliani added.