Source: The New York Times
President Obama said on Saturday that in defending the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near Ground Zero he “was not commenting” on “the wisdom” of that particular project, but rather trying to uphold the broader principle that government should “treat everybody equally” regardless of religion.
Mr. Obama, who is visiting the Gulf Coast with his wife and younger daughter for a brief overnight stay, made his comments at the Coast Guard district station here. On Friday night, he used the White House iftar, a sunset dinner celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, to weigh in on the mosque controversy. In clarifying his remarks, Mr. Obama was apparently seeking to address criticism that he is using his presidential platform to promote a particular project that has aroused the ire of many New Yorkers. And on Saturday at least three prominent Republicans spoke out against Mr. Obama’s stance.