Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in Washington Friday that former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s recent comment that President Obama did not love America was “despicable.”

“No one in his right mind could question that the president loves America,” Malloy said.

Giuliani made his remarks Wednesday night at a New York fund-raising dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Mr. Giuliani said. “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.”

Malloy spoke outside the White House after about a dozen Democratic governors met with the president. Malloy is in Washington for a meeting of the National Governors Association.

“At the beginning of the session, I told the president that he loved America and was a true patriot,” Malloy said. The governor also took a swipe at potential Republican presidential candidates for failing to condemn Giuliani’s remark. It “spoke volumes,” he said.

Malloy arrived in Washington Wednesday, two days before the start of the NGA’s winter meeting. He said he had been “very busy” with a number of meetings and has spoken with Vice President Joe Biden twice, once at Friday’s meeting with President Obama and on a previous occasion.

Malloy said transportation issues and “the issue of funds” were at the center of his talks with Biden and he hoped to meet with Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser, and with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

As far as his meeting with Obama, Malloy said it was a wide-ranging discussion that included the president’s request that Congress approve a law guaranteeing every U.S. worker six days of paid sick leave. Obama has praised Connecticut’s efforts. In 2011, the state became the first in the nation to approve legislation requiring many employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.

Malloy said before the law 68 percent of hourly wage workers went to work when they were ill.

“It’s a public health problem,” he said.

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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