(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“I’m not condemning his patriotism — patriots can criticize. They’re allowed to criticize. I don’t hear from him what I heard from Harry Truman, what I heard from Bill Clinton, what I heard from Jimmy Carter, which is these wonderful words about what a great country we are, what an exceptional country we are. When he called us an exceptional country, he said we’re an exceptional country, but so is Greece.”

— former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, interview on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Feb. 19, 2015

Does former Mayor Giuliani not listen to Obama’s speeches?  The president has consistently expressed love of country and extolled the virtues of the United States in many speeches, while also at times acknowledging what he considered flaws and mistakes made in the past (what critics have labeled “an apology tour”).

Here are a few examples from Obama:

“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.  Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ That is the true genius of America.”

July 27, 2004

 

“These people are a part of me. And they are part of America, this country that I love.”

March 18, 2008

 

“The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.”

August 28, 2008

 

“The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known.”

June 4, 2009

 

“Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes.  No one built this country on their own.  This nation is great because we built it together.  This nation is great because we worked as a team.  This nation is great because we get each other’s backs.  And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard.”

Jan. 24, 2012

 

“We keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.”

Sept. 6, 2012

 

“I just spoke to Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Congressman Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it is only because we love this country deeply and we care so much about its future….What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we except certain obligations to one another and the future generations so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for comes with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love, and charity, and duty, and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.”

Nov. 7, 2012

 

“If we refocus our energies on building an economy that grows for everybody, and gives every child in this country a fair chance at success, then I remain confident that the future still looks brighter than the past, and that the best days for this country we love are still ahead.”

Dec. 4, 2013

 

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.  But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

May 28, 2014

 

It’s also worth noting that, contrary to Giuliani’s assertion that Obama said Greece is an exceptional country, what Obama said, in response to a question in 2009, was that this is what he suspected Greeks believe:  “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

But Obama was just getting warmed up. His next sentence was: “I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world.” He continued: “If you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that — though imperfect — are exceptional.”

The Pinocchio Test

Giuliani must have muted the sound whenever Obama spoke. He certainly has every right to his opinion about the tenor of the president’s remarks. But he has no business claiming something that is so factually incorrect  — or easily disproved. He earns four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios

 


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