WASHINGTON (CNN) — Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday night he doesn’t believe President Barack Obama “loves America,” according to a report.
“I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America,” said Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and one-time presidential contender, according to Politico. “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.”
Giuliani made the remarks Wednesday during a private dinner event at the upscale 21 Club in Manhattan that featured Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is closely considering a presidential bid.
Giuliani added that he would support a presidential candidate who will express the notion that the U.S. is “the most exceptional country in the world.”
“And if it’s you Scott, I’ll endorse you,” he added, sitting a few seats away from Walker. “And if it’s somebody else, I’ll support somebody else.”
Giuliani clarified Thursday on Fox News that he was “not questioning [Obama’s] patriotism.”
“He’s a patriot, I’m sure,” Giuliani 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.”
Giuliani added that he hears Obama “criticize America much more often than other American presidents” and that he sounds “like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter.”
“You can be a patriotic American and be a critic, but then you’re not expressing that kind of love that we’re used to from a president,” Giuliani said.
Walker’s office and Giuliani’s office did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment.
Walker, meanwhile, honed in on the flaws of Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign as he addressed an audience of GOP elites, business leaders and academics on Wednesday night.
“The big thing I thought Mitt Romney’s campaign missed more than anything was we already knew the narrative that the economy was failing, and that there was a compelling case to get rid of the president,” Walker said according to the New York Daily News. “What we never heard — or at least didn’t hear very clearly — was why Mitt Romney would be a better alternative.”