Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani compared President Obama’s rhetoric on race to politicians criticizing the mob if they’ve hung out with mafia bosses.
Giuliani told CBS on Sunday that he would “not at all” take back his assertions that Obama has been stoking racial tension with his statements.
“I think you missed one very important point. He has had Al Sharpton to the White House 80, 85 times. Often, when he’s talking about police issues, he has Al Sharpton sitting next to him. If you would like to have poster boy for hating the police, it’s Al Sharpton,” Giuliani said.
“You make Al Sharpton a close adviser, you are going to turn the police in America against you. You’re going to tell the police in America, we don’t understand you. I saw this man help cause riots in New York. I have heard his anti-police invective firsthand. To have a man who hasn’t paid $4 million in taxes, have a man who has spent his career helping to create riots, phony stories about police, to have that man sitting next to you speaks volumes. You know, actions speak louder than words. You put Al Sharpton next to you, you just told everyone, I’m against the police.”
The former mayor stressed that “who you associate with is part of your rhetoric.”
“If I was talking to you about ending the mafia, as I did in the 1980s, or fighting the mafia, and I had Joe Colombo sitting next to me, you would say I was a big hypocrite, wouldn’t you? It wouldn’t matter what my rhetoric was. Oh, I’m fighting the mafia. There’s Joe Colombo,” Giuliani continued.
“I’m for the police, and there is Al Sharpton? Every cop in America is going to say, give me a break. I get the point, Mr. President. His interference in the Gates affair, the fact that he pays great attention to these so-called racial incidents, some of which are not racial incidents, sends representatives to funerals of people who were killed in the commission of committing a crime, and I haven’t heard him make very strong comments about the deaths of Ramos and Liu to that extent.”
Giuliani added that police never turned their backs on him.
“And I never had an issue about policing with them. The reality is, the mayor of the city of New York should not be blamed for the murder of those police officers. That issue should not have been injected. It’s wrong. I told the mayor that yesterday. And I don’t support that. So, I want to be clear on that,” he said.
“Number two, the mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs. It doesn’t matter if you like the mayor or you don’t like the mayor. You have to respect the mayor’s position. I don’t support that. But I do believe Mayor de Blasio should apologize to the New York City Police Department. I said it day one. And I think he would get this over with if he did it. I have had to apologize for things that I have said that were wrong.”
Giuliani said de Blasio “created an impression” with the police, though probably not intentionally.
“He probably didn’t. But he created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters. Now, some of those protesters were entirely legitimate. But some of those protesters were horrible, yelling kill the police, kill the police, kill the police,” he said. “I don’t ever remember protests where people were yelling kill the police since the 1960s and ’70s. He should have apologized for the remarks that he made that gave the police the impression that he’s on the other side.”
“And, by the way, he could lose Al Sharpton also.”