Rudy Giuliani is "not questioning" President Obama's patriotism. He simply said
to a Republican audience last night, "I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me." The clownish former mayor made the comments at an NYC event for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) -- who was right there near Giuliani while he spouted this garbage.
And at that moment, Walker was presented with a test of sorts. Would the governor do the decent thing and distance himself from Giuliani's little tantrum, or would he do the partisan thing and stay silent?
Walker said nothing during the event or after it, but he had another chance this morning. The Wisconsin Republican chose not to take it
"The mayor can speak for himself," Walker said on [CNBC's] "Squawk Box." "I'm not going to comment on what the President thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well." "I'll tell you, I love America," he continued.
Co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin pressed further, asking, "But did you agree with those comments? Were you offended? What was your reaction when you heard them?"
Walker replied, "I'm in New York. I'm used to people saying things that are aggressive out there." He would go no further.
The truth is, had Walker shown just a little more guts, this could have been an opportunity to demonstrate the kind of leadership he should be capable of. It's not like Rudy Giuliani is a party boss with a massive constituency; the former mayor hasn't even won an election in 18 years. Walker could have said something like, "I disagree with the president on nearly everything, but I'm sure he loves his country." He would have looked like a mature, responsible contender for the most powerful office in the world.
But Walker just couldn't muster the courage to take this simple step. A week after "punting
" on whether he believes in evolutionary biology, the Wisconsin Republican is left to punt once again.
What kind of leader would Scott Walker be? The kind that talks about leadership without actually demonstrating any.
On a lighter note, I'm starting to feel a little sorry for Gov. Bobby Jindal
Racially tinged dog whistles are Jindal’s thing. This has been his major point of differentiation against fellow Republicans. He can't just sit there and let Walker bask alone in the reflected glory of Giuliani's smear. So Jindal released a statement to the media that he would not condemn Giuliani's statement.
Note, no one actually cared whether the Louisiana governor agreed with Giuliani or not, but Jindal nevertheless issued a statement to the media, letting everyone know he was horning in on the story -- and he's perfectly comfortable with Giuliani attacking the president's patriotism.
Good to know.