the national interest

Giuliani Says Obama Should Be More Like Bill Cosby

Rudy Giuliani visits
Rudy Giuliani has another terrible thing to say. Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Before Barack Obama took office, crime was not a problem. (You had a few rotten apples like Bernard Kerik committing the odd crime, but nobody in politics could be blamed for that.) Since Obama became president, crime has … okay, it’s continued to fall, but it feels worse. Or at least it feels worse to Rudy Giuliani. The in-no-way-racist former mayor and presidential candidate explained today on a radio show that various criminal incidents trace back to the president:

Obama is ignoring “enormous amounts of crime” committed by African-Americans. President Obama is to blame for the brawl inside a McDonald’s in Brooklyn as well as the shooting of two cops in Ferguson.

It is the obligation of the President to explain … that our police are the best in the world. 

Obama is also not addressing the “enormous amount of crime” that’s being committed by African-Americans due to “historical” reasons. 

I hate to mention it because of what happened afterwards, but [he should be saying] the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby used to say.

Okay, it is true that Obama doesn’t go around saying our police are the best in the world. But what possible basis do we have for such a claim? Obama does praise the police literally every single time he brings up the subject of criminal justice, most recently in his speech last weekend at Selma. (“Together, we can raise the level of mutual trust that policing is built on — the idea that police officers are members of the communities they risk their lives to protect, and citizens in Ferguson and New York and Cleveland just want the same thing young people here marched for — the protection of the law.”)

Second, the notion that Obama could prevent all crime by black people by making more Cosby-like comments is bizarre for numerous reasons. One of them is that presidential remarks don’t have the power to eliminate all crime. Another is that Obama does, in fact, make Cosby-like remarks pretty often. Indeed, Obama has done this enough to receive sustained criticism from his admirers.

So, what is the best explanation for Giuliani’s strange fantasy that Obama has presided over some explosion of black crime caused by him failing to say things he has in fact said repeatedly? Combined with Giuliani’s accusations that Obama does not love America (despite all Obama’s eloquent speeches to the contrary), because Obama allegedly “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country” — what innocent explanation can be formulated for his string of delusions? What do you call holding Barack Obama responsible for every crime committed by a black person, anywhere?

Giuliani: Obama Should Be More Like Bill Cosby