This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, new outrage and backlash over an incendiary comment about the president of the United States by the man they call America's mayor.
Last night Rudy Giuliani, the man who led New York City through the 9/11 attacks, was speaking at a private dinner. In the audience was White House hopeful Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and dozens of Republican big wigs.
Mayor Giuliani saying to the crowd, quote, "I do not believe, and I know 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." The backlash was quick and it was harsh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
RICK STENGEL, STATE DEPARTMENT'S UNDERSECRETARY: I'm just sorry to hear that and I -- I find it wrong in every possible way that can be wrong.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SHULTZ, D-FLA., DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR: A leader of the Republican Party said that the president doesn't love us and doesn't love the country. If the Republican Party really wants to be taken seriously, really wants to avoid its problems of the past, now is the time for its leaders to stop this kind of nonsense. Enough!
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
KELLY: The president's team also getting involved today. The Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz taking a shot at the mayor over his failed run for president saying, quote, "Mr. Giuliani test drove this line of attack during his fleeting 2007 run for the presidency. I agree with him on one thing, it was a horrible thing to say."
Here now to respond, former New York City mayor and former Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, do you want to apologize for your comments?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Not at all. I want to repeat it. The reality is I -- from all that I can see of this president, all that I've heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. He talks about the crusades and how the Christians were barbarians, leaves out the second half of the sentence that the Muslims were barbarians also. He sees Christians slaughtered and doesn't stand up and hold a press conference although he holds a press conference for the situation in Ferguson. He sees Jews being killed for anti-Semitic reasons. He doesn't stand up and hold a press conference. This is an American president I've never seen before.
KELLY: But to say that he doesn't love America, I mean, that he could view foreign policy as a Democrat might view it and through a different lens than you or a Republican might see it. You can understand the differences between you. But to condemn his patriotism, to question his love of America?
GIULIANI: I'm not condemning his patriotism -- patriots can -- can criticize. They're allowed to criticize. 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. When he called us an exceptional country, he said we're an exceptional country, but so is Greece.
GIULIANI: Back 3,000.
KELLY: That doesn't mean he doesn't love America.
GIULIANI: Well, I have a --
KELLY: A lot -- a lot of Liberals don't believe in American exceptionalism, but that doesn't mean they don't love America.
GIULIANI: Well, that I don't feel it. I don't feel it. I don't feel this love of America. I think this man was -- when I talked about his background, I'm talking about a man who grew up under the influence of Frank Marshall Davis who was a member of the communist party who he refers to over and over in his book, who was a tremendous critic of the United States.
This is a man who worked on Saul Alinsky who was a tremendous critic of the United States. I believe his initial approach is to criticize this country and then afterwards to say a few nice things about us.
KELLY: But when you say he wasn't raised to love America, I mean, he was raised in part by his grandparents, his - his grandfather served in World War II, his grandmother worked in ammunitions plant to help the nation during World War II. I mean, to suggest he was raised by people who don't love America, who don't -- didn't help him learn to love America.
GIULIANI: Well, his -- his grandfather introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis who was a communist who the president says.
KELLY: He fought in -- he fought in World War II!
GIULIANI: OK. You can fight in World War II and then you introduce someone to a communist and the young boy gets.
KELLY: It's a political world view. It's not a hatred for the country.
GIULIANI: Communism wasn't a hatred for America?
KELLY: I'm talking about this particular -- his grandfather, if he had a leftist view of how politics in the United States should run, does that mean he doesn't love America? Doesn't mean.
GIULIANI: Well, OK. Well, Kelly, how about being in a church of 17 years where the minister of the church says, "It's not God loves America but God damn America." Now, if you were in that church, wouldn't you quit that church?
KELLY: Let me ask you this.
GIULIANI: Wouldn't -- I'm going to ask you that? Would you quit that church?
KELLY: Well, listen. That is not -- it's not about me. But it's not -- it's not about me. But I want to ask you this because.
GIULIANI: But I know you would quit that church. And the reason you would is because you were brought up about how exceptional this country is, how wonderful this country is. I am saying, and I may be wrong, it's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.
GIULIANI: I do not detect in this man the same rhetoric and the same language, the same love of America that I detected in other American presidents including Democrats and I think it guides a lot of the things that he says and a lot of the things he does.
KELLY: Let me ask you this, so I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is -- she's all upset about what she said.
GIULIANI: Well, she's always all upset.
KELLY: -- just for the record. She -- she didn't condemn Barack Obama when he called George W. Bush unpatriotic. She had no problem with that and she had said a lot of incendiary things.
GIULIANI: I did not -- did not call him unpatriotic.
KELLY: I know. But she -- she suggested you did. And she had an -- an issue with that.
GIULIANI: I did not.
KELLY: She -- Barack Obama actually did call George W. Bush unpatriotic. And Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had no problem with that. what I want to ask you thought because I have you here instead of her.
KELLY: All right, is you went on Hannity's show back in 2007 when you were running and this back when General Petraeus was -- was testifying before Congress on the Iraq war and the surge and defending it. And MoveOn.Org had taken out an ad of the New York Times calling him "General Betray Us."
KELLY: And you were upset about that. You had the following exchange. I want to ask you whether it still stands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HANNITY & COLMES," SEPT. 13, 2007)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.
GIULIANI: It comes on the same day as the MoveOn.Org ad in the New York Times accusing General Petraeus of being a traitor, this is a despicable attack. Hillary Clinton should disown and condemn MoveOn.Org.
SEAN HANNITY, Co-HOST: You actually said these times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom.
GIULIANI: Yeah, you know, I mean, what -- what kind of civility is that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: And so I ask you the same thing, what kind of civility is that?
GIULIANI: I think that's perfectly civil. I think that is a perfectly reasonable opinion. But the president and his comments if we look at all his rhetoric has not displayed the kind of love of America, the kind of love of American exceptionalism that other American presidents have displayed. That he has gone abroad (ph) and criticized us over and over again, apologized for us. Every time he does it, it embarrasses me.
I was in Europe a lot this summer and this fall. And all I heard about is the bigoted American Police Departments and I never heard the president of the United States defend the policemen of America, 800,000 of which put their lives on the line for us.
KELLY: What about -- what about the critics who say you've hurt the GOP? Because now you've got some people coming out saying these Republicans, this is how they are. I mean, that's what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, she wants Scott Walker to disavow your comments. She's -- she's the head of the DNC. But -- but do you think you hurt the Republican brand?
GIULIANI: I -- I -- I do not think I did. And last time all the candidates for president wanted me removed from office is when I fought the RICO case against teamsters union, the only one didn't reach (ph) was George Bush.
KELLY: Accusing them of racketeering.
GIULIANI; And -- and that case was just settled successfully after 30 years of changing the teamsters union (ph). I'm right about this. I have no doubt about it. I do not withdraw my words. If the president goes and makes a speech and talks about what a great country this is, if the president could complete the following sentence, "During the crusades the Christians were barbarians and so were the Muslims." if the president could say, "Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is our enemy," I will applaud the president.
But until he does that, I will have doubts about his emotions, his feelings, his attitudes and the way in which he developed. We haven't even mentioned some of the other communists and leftists who educated him as a young man. But all we need is Reverend Wright. Seventeen years in that church and that man condemned America over and over and over again, and he remained a member of that church.
KELLY: the president suggested he wasn't there --
GIULIANI: I would have --
KELLY: -- for those sermons.
GIULIANI: The other parishioners didn't tell him about it? I would have walked out of that church in two darn seconds because I love my country.
KELLY: Mr. Mayor, thanks for being here.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
KELLY: All the best, sir.
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