Mosque Debate

Monday, August 16, 2010 - 8:16am

Obama's recent comments on the Ground Zero mosque has his critics chomping at the bit.

While President Obama was down in Florida taking in the sights, critics sounded off on his support of a controversial mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas is one of those critics.

"Washington, the white house, the administration, the President himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America," Cornyn said on one of the Sunday talk shows.

On Friday, the President weighed in on an issue the White House had been avoiding.

"Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country…" said Obama. "…That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property…"

He later clarified that remark, saying…

"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen defended the President.
"He was simply stating the principle that under our great constitution, we do not discriminate against people based on their religion,” said Van Hollen.

Rep. Peter king of New York says the President is missing the point.
"I think the president, by the way, is trying to have it both ways,” says King. “…I don't know of anyone who was saying that Muslims do not have the right to practice their religion, but with rights go responsibilities, and that's the part of it the president did not comment on."

A presidential comment, that’s heating up an already fiery debate.

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