Obama backtracks on Ground Zero mosque statements

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 15, 2010 07:53

Weighing his words carefully on a fiery political issue, President Barack Obama said Saturday that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York's ground zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so.

Asked Saturday about comments he made during his trip to Florida, Obama said: "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding."

Obama said that "my intention was simply to let people know what I thought. Which was that in this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion."


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