Obama patriotism flap 'insane': Ex-Romney advisor

Obama love America? Dan Senor calls this 'insane debate'
Obama love America? Dan Senor calls this 'insane debate'

Rudy Giuliani should not have questioned President Barack Obama's love of America, former Romney advisor Dan Senor told CNBC on Friday as the firestorm over the comments ignited a fierce national debate.

At a private dinner Wednesday in New York for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who's thinking about running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Giuliani said: "I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America." According to Politico, the former New York City mayor and onetime GOP presidential hopeful continued: "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

Senor, co-founder of the advocacy group Foreign Policy Initiative, said in a "Squawk Box" interview Friday, "I don't think it is healthy for the modern Republican Party to go into 2016, having a national debate ... about whether or not Barack Obama loves America."

"That is insane," he added.

Walker was asked about Giuliani's comments on "Squawk Box" on Thursday.

"The mayor can speak for himself. I'm not going to comment on what the president thinks or not, he can speak for himself as well. I can tell you I love America. And I think there are plenty of people: Democrat, Republican, Independent, everybody in between who love this country. I think we should talk about ways that we love this country and that we feel passionately about America," the governor said.

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Walker on Giuliani, Obama and love of America
Walker on Giuliani, Obama and love of America

The Wisconsin governor missed an opportunity to denounce Giuliani's comments, said Senor. "The problem [is] he didn't say anything."

Social media and the 24-hour television news networks seem to be debating Giuliani's remarks nonstop.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday, "It was a horrible thing to say." And in a more subtle rebuke, the White House took to Twitter, using the hashtag, #ObamaLovesAmerica.

The tweet read:

Obama: "I'm using my powers as President to announce America's 3 newest National Monuments." #ObamaLovesAmerica