Rudy Giuliani insists he was right to say Obama 'doesn't love America'... because future President met a communist in Indonesia when he was NINE YEARS OLD
Giuliani said that the President's lack of affection for his country can be attributed to meeting Communist Party members when he was living in Indonesia 44 years ago.
He is facing down a tide of outrage over comments at a fundraising dinner where he criticized the President's attitude towards his country.
He told guests at the event - designed to raise cash for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker - that 'I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the President loves America.'
Digging in: Rudy Giuliani, pictured last September, said attributed an apparent lack of affection for America to Communist connections in Obama's early childhood
'Troubling': Giuliani suggested that Obama's meetings with Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, right, when the President-to-be was nine years old, affected his attitude towards America
Democrats, the White House, and even members of the GOP have condemned his comments and heaped scorn on the retired politician, who was a Presidential contender in 2008.
Speaking to the New York Daily News, he said: 'The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was nine years old'.
He specifically pointed to Frank Marshall Davis, an American communist organizer to whom the young Obama was apparently introduced by his grandfather.
The President-to-be was living with Stanley Dunham and his mother Ann Dunham in Indonesia at the time.
First contact: Obama, pictured right aged around ten, was apparently introduced to the communist thinker by his grandfather, Stanley Dunham, far left. Center is his mother Ann Dunham
Way back: According to Giuliani, the young Obama (aged eight above) was being inculcated with communist thought as a youth which affects him to this day
Giuliani also cited 'quasi-communist' figures Saul Alinsky, a Chicago community organizer, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor from whom he has since distanced himself.
It was the latest in several attempts by Giuliani to clarify his original remarks.
He first told Fox News that he wasn't 'questioning his patriotism', but said his rhetoric did not convey the pro-American sentiment he had heard from Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
Giuliani later tried to dig himself out of claims that his views were rooted in racism - by claiming Obama's upbringing was essentially 'white', because of his schools and white mother.
Democrats on Thursday urged the potential field of Republican presidential candidates to rebuke Giuliani's comments.
Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said it was ‘a horrible thing to say’, while Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it was the time for Republican leaders to 'stop this nonsense.'
But speaking to the New York Times, Giuliani stood by his remarks and claimed he was attacking the president's socialist principals.
'Some people thought it was racist -- I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,' Giuliani said.
'This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.'
Speaking to the New York Times, Giuliani said his remarks weren't racist because the president had been raised by his white mother, pictured above
The questioning of Obama's patriotism brought to mind a familiar conservative criticism during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns that he hasn't been proud enough of the United States.
During his presidency, a smaller segment falsely claimed that Obama was not born in the United States but rather in his father's native Kenya.
Wednesday night's private dinner was attended by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is considering a 2016 campaign.
Giuliani said that 'with all our flaws we're the most exceptional country in the world. I'm looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out.'
'And if it's you Scott, I'll endorse you,' Giuliani said, addressing Walker. 'And if it's somebody else, I'll support somebody else.'
Walker, asked about the comments in an interview with CNBC, did not directly address whether he agreed with the former mayor.
Wednesday night's private dinner was a fundraiser for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who refused to condemn Giuliani
'The mayor can speak for himself. I'm not going to comment on whether — what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well,' Walker said.
'I'll tell you, I love America, and I think there are plenty of people, Democrat, Republican, independent, everywhere in between, who love this country.'
Asked about Obama in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Giuliani said he wasn't 'questioning his patriotism. He's a patriot, I'm sure.
'What I'm saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things that I used to hear Bill Clinton say, about how much he loves America.'
A spokesman for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul declined comment and a spokeswoman for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had no immediate response. Both are potential Republican presidential candidates.
Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said she often disagreed with former President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress but never questioned their patriotism.
She noted that Arizona Sen. John McCain, during his 2008 presidential campaign, urged fellow Republicans not to question Obama's love of country.
'I would challenge my Republican colleagues and anyone in the Republican party to say, 'Enough.' They need to start leading,' Wasserman Schultz said.