Obama qualifies support to mosque at Ground Zero

On Saturday, US President Barack Obama sought to draw a distinction between supporting a Muslim group’s right to build a mosque two blocks from Ground... More Below... Posted by on Aug 15th, 2010 and filed under Politics.

On Saturday, US President Barack Obama sought to draw a distinction between supporting a Muslim group’s right to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York—a right he championed in a speech the night before—and thinking the project is a good idea.

He told reporters in Panama City, Fla., “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there.” As part of an effort to help Gulf Coast tourism that has suffered because of the BP oil spill, he, his wife, daughter Sasha, and family dog Bo are spending an abbreviated weekend there.

“I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about,” the president said.

By deciding to weigh in on the issue Friday, Obama opened himself up to criticism from those who oppose the placement of the project. His remarks Saturday appeared to be an effort to dampen that rage that ensued by hinting without actually saying it that he may not consider the proposed location wise. In any event, Obama has now made clear that he does not intend to get involved in any campaign to pressure the group to relocate.

(Thanks to The Kansas City Star and Pete Souza)