September 21st, 2007
09:45 AM ET
16 years ago

Giuliani defends adviser over 'too many mosques' comments

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

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Kent D. Madison, WI

    Mr. King,

    Which mosque did Timothy McVeigh attend?

    There are many religiious extremists right here on our shores, and they are not Muslims!!

    September 21, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. A. A., Santa Clara, CA

    I don't see a big problem with Peter King's remarks (I have not studied his beliefs or record so I can only analyze his statement here). I focused on the part after the comma - “there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam." He may have been using the words mosque and people interchangeably - not smart but it happens when generalizations are not carefully formulated. I don't care about law enforcement infiltrating Muslims because most of us are peaceful, law-abiding citizens. I will be worried when our innocent words and actions are twisted to serve an aggressive, bigoted agenda to hunt down and persecute Muslims; unfortunately, that has been the case sometimes. If they infiltrate us and find radicals planning to blow something up, then that's well and good - if we can't clean our own house, then someone else will do it for us.

    September 21, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    He said there are too many mosques[Islamic houses of worship]we have to spy on them. We can not trust them.
    That's what Republican Congressman Peter King meant and you know that's what he meant Mr. Giuliani, and not the spin you and he are trying to put on it.

    September 21, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Keith Pollard

    How does Rudy know what someone else meant to say. We heard what he said, not what Rudy interpreted he said. Maybe we need to check some christian churches to see if radicals are speaking in them.

    September 21, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Steve, Tempe, Arizona

    Wasn't it this kind of "thinking" that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two?

    September 21, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Mike Drabniack

    "Do you!? It's pretty obvious who wants to destroy us. HELLO! ISLAM!! Wake up man.
    Posted By Bloodstripe, Texas : September 20, 2007 9:51 pm

    Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. First off, you're intelligence and understanding of foreign affairs is mind bending, I'm guessing you went to an Ivy League school, am I right? All kidding aside, statements like this just fuel ignorance, hatred and bigotry. You realize that just like Christianity and Judaism, there are different sects right? And not all want to harm the US, if I recall correctly 9/11 was perpetrated by a group of radical TERRORISTS, fifteen of whom were from Saudi Arabia, another two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt and one from Lebanon. Yet we invade Iraq and Afghanistan and single out Muslims as conspirators and terrorists just because. I think I've rambled on quite long enough... Islam is NOT the enemy...

    September 21, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. LaWanda, Kansas City, MO

    Yes let us all be open-minded about Islam. Islam is not tolerant of other religions, kill a Christian go to heaven. Women are second class citizens; I have been there and experienced it first hand. If you haven't, don't preach. Islam opposes Western values and captialsm. Look at the recent issues experienced in London and Paris. No knee jerk reactions; everyone should reseach Islam. To my fellow feminists, in an Islamic country, we wouldn't be able to voice an opinion.

    September 21, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Sean CA

    Lawanda in MO... What are you talking about? Maybe this country should start reporting in the news everday about the abuses that go on here. There have been many Female presidents / prime minister in Muslim Countries. We currentyl have Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan talking about being in office again and not one mention of weather her being a female has anything to do with it. We are here in the US and I can still see news stories about weahter or not America is ready to have a women as a president. Give me a break. Yeah you have some backwards thinking in some backwoods are. I might be wrong, but wasn't it in Kansas City your home town where last year some guy set fire to his wife because she left him?

    September 21, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. R.F. Hoiseck

    Republicans are always covering their dirty tracks...They can't help it...It's just the way they are...

    September 21, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Jeremy, Columbus, OH

    There are too many evangelical churches in this country....

    September 21, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Logan, Huntington, West Virginia

    National secruity > freedom of religion

    September 21, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Trekks Kansas,I wouldn't call Kansas a place where you'd find solid footing on earth.Didn't your state try to brainwash all of it's public school kids?Wasn't that embarrassing enough?We need to focus on defeating theocracy.That is the reason we oppose Iran.The principle of democracy over theocracy is the guiding moral principle at work here.Bush and the republicans lost sight of this and promoted theocracy here instead of opposing it everywhere else.That is precisely why the republicans are such hated anti-americans.Their blind faith in the supernatural tricked them into a holy conflict that undermines the mission at hand.The longer you drive down the wrong road,the longer it will take to go back and find your way.Attack theocracy,not democracy,and the whole world will follow.Promote theocracy,attack democracy and only the jihadists will follow.These radical islamists love Bush,just like bush loves ahmedinejad.The production of whackos is in full swing until we condemn our theocrats and effectively cut off the islamists' recruiting ability.If you intend to practice a religion,it's in your best interest to protect it from the state.Just ask your leader how he'd feel about the government scripting his/her sermons.

    September 22, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  13. Usama, Orlando, FL

    Guilani and Amadou Diallo are two names that should always be associated. Remember Amadou Diallo? He was a LEGAL immigrant shot 41 times by Rudy's cops in his vestibule in the dark only because he held his wallet WITH ID. Guilani vigorously defended the shooting. BTW, Diallo was a Muslim. Quite an American story. If Diallo was 'fighting rather than just surrendering to those cops, at least he would have died with some dignity'- and that's where radicalism comes from.

    September 22, 2007 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  14. Joe, Florida

    Rudy is dangerous, he cannot be allowed to become President. We cannot blame Islam for these things. There are radicals within the religion, but we can't blame all Islam followers. This is unfair, stupid, and dangerous.

    Watch the movie "The Siege" with Denzel Washington. The type of retaliation is probably close to what Rudy would do.

    September 23, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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