September 21st, 2007
09:45 AM ET
12 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. Peter, Amityville, NY

    Pete King is my Congressman and I am ashamed at him for working for such a phoney like Rudy Giuliani.

    September 20, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Leon, Vista, Ca

    "infiltrate" mosques? But how are we gonna get past all the armed guards?

    September 20, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Timothy McVeigh attended the ayran church,not a mosque.I hope ALL religious fundamentalists are being scrutinized,regardless of brand.As for Peter King,he's a mental patient that gives us many hours of hilarious comedy.Not really an asset to Rudy,more like a drunken relative that you can't get rid of.Too bad american soldiers will die for his stupidity.

    September 20, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. Bloodstripe, Texas

    Are you kidding me? "Too bad American soldiers will die for his stupidity?" McVeigh was an exception. I don't hear too many atheists running around pledging to kill us infidels! Do you!? It's pretty obvious who wants to destroy us. HELLO! ISLAM!! Wake up man.

    September 20, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    I think another clarification is in order:
    "It's pretty obvious who wants to destroy us. HELLO! ISLAM!!"

    This isn't entirely accurate, I would say RADICAL Islam, not all of islam, wants to destroy us.

    September 20, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    I'm not kidding,statements of bigotry like King's incite looneys over there just like the bigotry of ahmadinejad drives our looneys wild.The problem is that we have 160,000 of our targets over there for these whackos to kill.If the Iranians had significant numbers of their people here to suffer the abuse that we'd heap upon them,they'd probably be smart enough to tone it down.Bush is not smart enough to protect the troops,instead he'd rather curry support from our theological malcontents.

    September 20, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Sam, IA

    Good Job Rudy. More fodder for hate radio and your looney rightwing knuckledraggers.
    Reality check: The very people you incite here in america have the same mindset and the terrorists being incited by thier own brand of hate speak. These people blowing themselves to bits aren't lefties people, they are the rightwing conservatives of the islamic religion. How ironic.

    September 21, 2007 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  8. Craig H, Mpls, MN

    I think another clarification is in order:
    "It's pretty obvious who wants to destroy us. HELLO! ISLAM!!"
    This isn't entirely accurate, I would say RADICAL Islam, not all of islam, wants to destroy us.

    Posted By Mike, Cleveland, Ohio : September 20, 2007 10:28 pm
    Exactly, if we don't differentiate between moderate Islam and radical Islam then moderate Islam will figure that we are ignorant bigots who blame the many for the misdeeds of the few, run from us and find protection from our bigoted threat to their lives by aligning themselves with radicals. If you want a holy war with all of Islam, keep up the bigoted rhetoric Mr. Giuliani and Congressman Peter King.

    September 21, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  9. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    Some Americans have gone MAD!!! I thought this was a country of religious freedom, what happened to that??

    The Republicans ALWAYS are whinning about how everyone hates the Christians and wanting to take away their religious freedoms (we all know that is a scare tactic); now we hear some of these same folks putting down other religions.

    We are so far from the vision I thought the Creator wanted for the world.

    The Republicans, or at least the religious right are starting to go too far with their craziness. All of the moderate Republicans need to take the party back, or leave and become Independents.

    I am so glad America is starting to wake up from a deep sleep around the image Republicans had for our great country. It is an image of self-righteousness and I believe Jesus did not look favorably upon that type of behavior.

    September 21, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  10. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    "athiests running around pledging to kill infidels" ?? Atheists do not practice gypsy voodoo,so of course they wouldn't be doing that.I think you need to look up atheist.McVeigh was involved with the aryan church which is a christian sect.

    September 21, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  11. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    People are just nuts. Radicals of any religion are all the same. Give our own Christian right a chance and you would have bodies strewn all over the country. We are just lucky that none of them are smart enough to make bombs or have the guts to become suicide bombers. Otherwise we'd all be in trouble!!

    September 21, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  12. Veronica, Stamford, CT

    Step one: Open mouth;
    Step two: Insert foot.

    Demonizing billions of Muslims based on the actions of a minority of radicals is just as bad as demonizing all of Christianity based on the actions of a minority of radicals.

    More screaming hypocrisy from the right. And they wonder why most of the world thinks we're a bunch of arrogant tools. If it weren't so pitiful, it would be laughable.

    September 21, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  13. Patrick, New York, NY

    Turns out Rudy and his crew are not only idiots but also bigots. This guy would be an absolute nightmare if elected President..I never thought it possible but even worse than Bush. Close minded people like Rudy have always been around..they were the same people who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, brought the politics of fear during the Cold War and continue their ideology of hate today

    September 21, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Katherine, Aurora CO

    I am so glad that Rudy responded as he did. This will only ensure he will NOT be elected for president. This guy is a fake, phony and dangerous. EVERY speech the man gives somehow involves the words, 9-11 and/or terrorists. He is a day late and a buck short. The Bush campaign used fear and it worked but I think Americans have gotten wise to this cheap ploy.

    September 21, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. NS, New York

    To be fair to Peter King, quoting him as saying just "we have too many mosques in this country" as a stand alone comment is extremely misleading- from the context it is clear that it was only half of a two-pronged statement- i.e. he was claiming that there were too many mosques and too many people supporting *radical* islam, which is not at all the same as saying there are too many mosques, as if Islam itself was the problem. That said, I wouldn't accept his statement without evidence. From observation I can say that Peter King is a paranoid bigot in general, and makes many unsubstantiated charges. And that's not even considering the utter hypocrisy of him on this issue, since he was one of the leading US supporters of the IRA back in the days they were the ones planting bombs in Britain.

    September 21, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Ben

    I demand an apology from the Giuliani team! And then, I demand apologies from each and every republican presidential candidate! And they have to distance themselves from Giuliani at all times by at least 15 feet.
    Then the democrats have to apologize for hearing what was said by King.
    I'm going to hold my breath until they all apologize and denounce these despicable statements...that's how they play this game, right?

    September 21, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    I think it's Guliani that misinterpreted what his cronie said.

    "Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam." this statement does not differentiate. This is fear mongering.

    I dare say Islam is NOT trying to destroy us. Even radical islam does not want to destroy US. IF it wants to destroy anything it would be Israel (Not that that is better, it's not the US though). But it does seem to me that WE are trying to Destroy Islam...

    September 21, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    For shame! How DARE he say that! I am shocked and I demand that Giuliani retract this statement. Why, he's as closely associated with this evil slander as Hillary was with the MoveOn ad, so why isn't he dropping out of this race?

    September 21, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Ron, TX

    I think that the radical religious right is a FAR bigger threat to our freedoms and liberties than innocent Muslims trying to live their lives in America. It's repulsive that ANYONE would stand behind that kind of lack of respect for religious freedom. Every time an abortion clinic is bombed, do the Feds send spies into Churches? NO!

    September 21, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. James, Minneapolis, MN

    no worries Rudy is dead in the water.

    September 21, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. trekks, kansas

    Ed- begin your descent to Earth please. Yeah we have a few loose guns here when it comes to the extreme right, but Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East will kill you as an American regardless of your religious or poltical idealism. Overall dissenttion of support for our troops and their mission in Iraq has killed more of our soldiers, and keeps them in harms way as Al-Qeada now knows the more they kill and attack us the more support the gain from liberals and democrats to pull out. My brother is on his 3rd tour in Iraq, and trust me, he and other soldiers are now very clear on the fact that Democrats DO NOT support their efforts, their safety, and thier fellow soldies who have already been killed or wounded.

    September 21, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. laurinda,shokan,ny

    I agree with that. I say we tear them down and put up a Walmarts!

    September 21, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Let's bury our heads, it will go away.

    All muslims are NOT terrorists, but ALL (with a few RARE exceptions) terrorists are muslims.

    Probably not the smartest thing to say or it was said poorly, but the same people who were OK with the Jews being maligned on a posting yesterday will rush to these peoples defense today.

    September 21, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. pl. at the UN for a while.

    I am not American. I stay away from the substance of your comments.

    Politically, not one day goes by w/out some sort of mindless, misspoken ghost comes out from Mr Giuliani's closets.
    The question is: how long can he survive?

    September 21, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Paul Tampa, FL

    What Peter King said was disgusting. I felt like what he said was an attack, not only on Islam, but on all religions. And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Republican Party spoke out strongly against that kind of statement. Most Republicans are afraid of irritating a right-wing groupie like Peter King and they are more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating God.

    September 21, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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