Rudy Giuliani should not apologize for saying he doesn't think President Barack Obama loves the United States, Rep. Peter King told "The Steve Malzberg Show."
"No. He should not apologize and he's not apologizing. He's explained the context of it," King, a New York Republican, said Monday on the Newsmax TV
"[He explained] he was not saying that [Obama] was not patriotic, but he did say that he does not have the fervor and the drive that a president needs to effectively carry out a war."
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The former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor set off a firestorm last week when he told the audience
at a private GOP fundraiser:
"This is a horrible thing to say, but I do 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."
In an opinion piece in Monday's Wall Street Journal,
Giuliani explained his intention was to highlight the president's lack of leadership and its impact on the country.
"My blunt language suggesting that the president doesn't love America notwithstanding, I didn't intend to question President Obama's motives or the content of his heart," Giuliani said. "My intended focus really was the effect his words and his actions have on the morale of the country, and how that effect may damage his performance."
King said he doesn't believe Giuliani is now trying to backtrack because of the backlash.
"I spent time with Rudy. He is very emotional over this issue, he believes that President Obama is hurting the country," King said.
"Rudy just would say to me, he doesn't understand why the president doesn't have the intensity, why he doesn't have the feeling when he speaks about terrorism and combating terrorism.
"What he wanted to do was say, he was not questioning whether or not he was a patriot, but he really believes that President Obama does not have his heart in it the way that other presidents have."
King told Steve Malzberg he doesn't believe the commander-in-chief has "his heart" in the job, either.
"He looks at it in a very, intellectual almost antiseptic way that he has to always equalize, he has to always take one step forward then one step sideways," King said.
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