NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Recently, while taking a break from telling random people on the street about his leadership in the days just after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was asked to clarify some statements he has made recently, criticizing President Barack Obama for as Giuliani put it, not loving America or Americans.
The specific comments Giuliani made at a Scott Walker fundraiser were that the Republican doesn’t “believe that the president loves America” that Obama “doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me.” Giuliani said that Obama “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” For a conservative Republican to accuse President Obama of not loving America is nothing new. It’s a common attack that the right uses against many on the left. Some however, felt that Mr. Giuliani was taking it one step further, blowing a racist dog-whistle with his rhetoric aimed at “other”izing Obama, much as those in the “Birther” movement have done his entire presidency.
Initially, Giuliani excused away his comments as not being racist because Obama had a white mother. The former Mayor told The New York Times he wasn’t being racist; just implying that Obama isn’t a true patriot. “This isn’t racism,” said Giuliani in his interview, “This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
When reporters caught up with him on West 57th the other day, Giuliani told them “I’m not racist. I’m tired of people accusing me of being racist. I’m not racist at all.” Mr. Giuliani then told the reporters, “Look, when I was mayor, you know during 9/11, I was faced with a lot of situations. I had to be a real leader. I had to rise above the situation and lead. You know, during 9/11. I just don’t get the sense that Obama could have done what I did, you know, during 9/11.”
Reporters asked Giuliani if he could see where some might take his rhetoric as racist, given his party’s current bid to limit voting among African-American communities, and its recent history since Nixon’s Southern Strategy of playing racist white voters against their fears of the black man. “Exactly,” exclaimed Giuliani at this question. “That is exactly my point. I’m not a racist for what I said. I’m just pandering a pandering asshole, playing to the cheap seats in a cynical bid for more donations and votes.”
“Look, during 9/11, when I was mayor of New York City, things never were easy,” Giuliani said next. “But I persevered. Is Obama persevering, or is he just putting more and more people on welfare, getting them addicted to government while he spends us into oblivion?” Reporters pointed out that the budget deficit is the lowest it’s been in about half a decade or more and that there have been almost five consecutive years with positive private sector jobs growth. Giuliani said, “Yeah, but 9/11.”
One member of the media representing The St. Paul Gazette asked the former mayor why his party continues to be the party of subtle racist cues when after the 2012 election it spent millions of dollars on an autopsy of its whole organization and one of the biggest takeaways was that the party simply had to look more progressive and tolerant on racial issues. “Because money and campaign donations, duh. Also, as Supreme Court Justices Roberts, Scalia and Thomas have so rightly pointed out, racism is dead in America. It doesn’t even exist as a thing. It’s just a buzzword for liberal race baiters, and nothing else,” Giuliani chided the reporter.
A reporter from The Smoke County Tribune asked Giuliani if racism is dead in America, why are Republicans trying so hard to end early voting predominantly black neighborhoods in swing states. Giuliani shrugged. “Because even though racism is totally dead in America and that means we don’t need anti-discrimination laws anymore, we still find that playing up some slyly racist rhetoric helps us. We’re not sure why, but it’s certainly not because we’re cynically banking on the racism of others that we claim just isn’t a problem anymore in other circles, though,” said Giuliani.
“When 9/11 happened, no one accused me of being racist. Maybe it’s because I knew the whole world was watching me so I was extra careful not to be a pandering douchebag,” said Giuliani. “But now, times are different. There’s a Democrat in the White House. That makes all the rules change in Republican Land. What kind of politicians would we be if we didn’t whore ourselves out to unrepentant, viciously racist assholes in the name of winning elections,” asked the Republican former mayor.
A reporter from The Hartford Daily Champion asked Giuliani if he had anything he wanted to say to the American people to really assure them he’s not a racist himself. Giuliani took a moment to gather his thoughts, then looked at everyone squarely in the eyes and said, “9/11.”