Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani adamantly defended Thursday his controversial criticism of President Obama, one day after saying he does "not believe that the president loves America."
Giuliani made the remarks Wednesday at a private fundraiser for Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is widely considered to be a prospective candidate for president in 2016. He added: “(Obama) 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."
The comments drew widespread criticism from Democrats and liberals.
But Thursday night on "The Kelly File," when host Megyn Kelly asked Giuliani if he wished to apologize, the 2008 presidential candidate doubled down on his criticism.
"Not at all. I want to repeat it," Giuliani said. "The reality is, from all that I can see of this president, all that I’ve heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. ... This is an American president I’ve never seen before."
Giuliani said he doesn't think Obama believes in American exceptionalism, citing the president's remarks on police tactics in the wake of the Ferguson shooting, western atrocities in the name of religion and Obama's longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a controversial Chicago pastor.
But, Kelly countered, "a lot of liberals don't believe in American exceptionalism, but that doesn't mean they don't love America."
"I don't feel it," Giuliani said. "I don't feel this love of America (from Obama). I believe his initial approach is to criticize this country, and then afterwards to say a few nice things about it."
Giuliani, however, said he wasn't questioning the president's patriotism.
"I know patriotism. Patriots can criticize. They’re allowed to criticize," he said. "But I don’t hear from him what I heard from Harry Truman, what I heard from Bill Clinton, what I heard from Jimmy Carter, which is these wonderful words about what a great country we are, what an exceptional country we are."