Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Sunday suggested that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) had increased the national security of the United States by saying that President Barack Obama did not love America.
Speaking at a dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) last week, Giuliani had said that the president was not "brought up to love this country."
"I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” the former Republican presidential candidate told the audience.
Speaking to CNN's Gloria Borger on Sunday, Issa asserted that Giuliani's frustration with the president was understandable.
"I don't think Rudy is ever going to get the dust from Ground Zero out of his lungs," Issa noted. "He was there [on September 11, 2001] during the fall of those towers. So for him to take personally a president whose policies have left Israel hanging, have left our Arab allies not trusting us, have let ISIL... go from being a JV team as they took on more territory expansively."
"So the reality is that Rudy has taken our debate -- and I think we should thank him for this part of it -- back to national security, to the key element should be focusing on," the California Republican continued. "He needs to call it Islamic terrorism. He can't be looking at everything through the vision that somehow that if you treat people better or more democratic, you're not going to have terrorism."
Issa added that Giuliani "cares passionately about America's national security," and that he was "not a partisan politician in any real way."
"The policies that Rudy are talking about on the trail are important," he insisted. "It's nice to do a war on poverty again, but the reality is we look to our presidents to go around the world and make sure that our friends believe in us, and our enemies fear us and know we are not going to tolerate them."
Borger pointed out that Giuliani's comments went beyond national security policy.
"These remarks were hateful," she observed.
"Look, we can find somebody who believes strongly something," Issa replied. "Rudy Giuliani said he didn't 'believe,' he didn't say the president 'wasn't.' Now, the reality is I believe the president believes strongly in America, I just think he views America differently."
"I was there when he denounced the U.S. Supreme Court in the halls of Congress during the State of the Union for their decision," he opined. "We have a president who doesn't believe the Supreme Court is supreme."