RESTON, Virginia (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stood by Congressman Peter King, a homeland security adviser to his campaign, over his comment that there are “too many mosques” in the country.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke in Reston, Virginia on Wednesday.
Giuliani told reporters late Thursday afternoon, “I know exactly what Pete meant. I knew what he meant before I heard the clarification.”
The political web site, Politico, reported King said in an interview this week , “Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement." King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said the comments were taken out of context.
Asked if he would remove King from the campaign, Giuliani smiled and said, “I’ve known Pete for 41 years, so I’m not about to do that....what he meant was there are mosques where violence is preached. I know that from my own investigations of Islamic terrorism. I also know there are many mosques where it isn’t.
“Peter explained it quite adequately ,” he Giuliani said at the news conference in Reston, Virginia after returning from London. “For me, he didn’t have to explain it. I understood exactly what he meant. I’m glad he explained it for everyone that might seek to misinterpret.
Giuliani said, “In politics, when you speak a hundred times a day, people can always interpret what you say. I always give people a chance to explain what they meant. I give to people who aren’t my allies. I sure as heck am going to give it to people who are.”
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk