Rudy Guiliani was not a fan of Beyonce's charged performance Sunday night at MTV's Video Music Awards, which included a show of protest against gun violence.
Ainsley Earhardt, a cohost of Fox & Friends, asked the former mayor of New York City for his thoughts on her opening number, in which dancers dropped to the ground around Beyonce in pools of red light. Earhardt said this is "supposed to symbolize cops killing black individuals." A hooded figure, which evoked the memory of slain black teen Trayvon Martin, also stood behind her.
[facebook https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMTV%2Fvideos%2F10153999778031701%2F&show_text=0&width=560 expand=1 site_id=25879312]
"You're asking the wrong person, because I had five uncles who were police officers, two cousins who were, one who died in the line of duty," Guiliani responded. "I ran the largest and best police department in the world, the New York City Police Department. And I saved more black lives than any of those people you saw onstage by reducing crime and particularly homicide by 75 percent."
Addressing his record as mayor, Guiliani said his work had saved "maybe 4,000 or 5,000 were African-American young people, who are alive today because of the policies I put in effect that weren't in effect for 35 years."
"So if you're going to do that, then you should symbolize why the police officers are in the neighborhoods," he continued. "And what are you going to do about that? And what are you doing about it? To me, it's two easy answers: a much better education and a good job. And what the heck have you done?"
In addition to Beyonce, Guiliani criticized politicians in Baltimore, a city that was rocked by riots after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
"I was sick when I saw all the politicians sitting, standing in Baltimore after the police situation and saying, 'Nobody's done anything for this community in 50 years.' Well, that is a heck of a thing to say, because they've been in charge for 50 years. And they have failed the community."
"I didn't fail Harlem. I turned Harlem around," he said of Manhattan's historic African-American neighborhood, adding, "Go there now. Go walk in Harlem. Then flash back to 25 years ago and go to Harlem before I was mayor, and one was a place where crime was rampant and no national stores and now there's a thriving community in Harlem."
"It's a shame. It's a shame." Guiliani said, in response to a cohost's remark that Beyonce's message will leave an "indelible" impression on young people.
Beyonce aligned herself with Black Lives Matter -- a movement that advocates for marginalized people who are black, queer, transgender, differently abled, undocumented, and formerly incarcerated -- with the release of "Formation" in early 2016. The song's music video, which won Video of the Year at the VMAs, depicted generations of discrimination against black people through scenes that conjured the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as well as police brutality.
The singer also walked the VMAs red carpet alongside the mothers of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, and Trayvon Martin, who were victims of gun violence or police brutality.
Watch Guiliani's remarks below.