President Obama might offer plenty of praise for American police at some times, but his friendly associations with Al Sharpton and comments at other times add up to contempt for police officers, Rudy Giuliani says.
Asked by CBS whether he’d recant some claims about President Obama’s anti-police rhetoric because the president has praised police often, Giuliani declined, and pointed first to the president’s frequent meetings with Sharpton.
“You make Al Sharpton a close adviser, you’re going to turn police against you,” Giuliani said. “I saw this man help cause riots in New York; I’ve heard his anti-police invective firsthand. To have a man who hasn’t paid $4 million in taxes, to have a man who’s spent his career helping to create riots and phony stories about police, to have that man sitting next to you speaks volumes. Actions speak louder than words.”
“You put Al Sharpton sitting next to you,” Giuliani said, “you just said you’re against the police.”
“If I talked to you about fighting the Mafia . . . as I did in the 1980s, and I had [Mafia boss] Joe Colombo sitting next to me,” Giuliani said, “you would say I was a big hypocrite. It wouldn’t matter what my rhetoric is: ‘Oh, I’m fighting the Mafia.’ There’s Joe Colombo. ‘I’m for the police?’ There’s Al Sharpton. Every cop in America’s going to say, give me a break.”
Giuliani also pointed to President Obama’s insertion of race into comments about incidents where it didn’t seem to be a factor and his sending “representatives to funerals of people killed in the . . . committing a crime.”
Al Sharpton, a minister, New York activist, and former presidential candidate, has been a guest of Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Obama on many occasions in both men’s term of office. While the Clinton administration shunned Sharpton in the ’90s (not long after he’d been involved in a number of controversies in New York), Glenn Thrush reported this summer for Politico Magazine that Sharpton has been a key liaison for President Obama on race issues, frequently exchanging texts and e-mails with Attorney General Eric Holder.