One State Department official pushed back hard on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's remarks Wednesday asserting that President Barack Obama doesn't love America, The Hill reported.
"I'm just sorry to hear that. I find it wrong in every possible way that it could be wrong," Rick Stengel, the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, told MSNBC Thursday.
"I think the president loves the country in an extraordinary way. He's an American exceptionalist, but with a slightly different attitude," Stengel defended as he spoke on "Andrea Mitchell Reports."
Stengel added of Obama's thinking: "Our job is not to tell you what to do, our job is to be a partner — that's a different vision of American power and role in the world and that is the vision for American power in the 21st century."
Meanwhile, Giuliani softened his initial comments on Thursday in an appearance on "Fox and Friends," noting that he believes the president offers more criticism than praise for the nation. The mayor also allowed that the president should not back away from speaking about Islam when discussing radical terrorist extremists like Islamic State.
"If you refuse to say there are extremist members of the Islamic religion, well then, it sounds like you're living on Mars," Giuliani told Fox.
Giuliani sparked much criticism with what he said on Wednesday, Politico reported.
"I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani said in a private speech.
"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."
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