August 16th, 2010
08:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Christie says Islamic center, mosque being used as 'political football'

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the Islamic community center and mosque scheduled to be built several blocks from Ground Zero in New York City is being used as a 'political football.'
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the Islamic community center and mosque scheduled to be built several blocks from Ground Zero in New York City is being used as a 'political football.'

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Chris Christie made clear on Monday what he thinks of the political fight over an Islamic community center and mosque set to be established a few blocks from New York's Ground Zero.

"What offends me the most about all this is that it's being used by a political football by both parties," Christie told reporters. "[It] just further drives people apart, and creates divisions, and I think that's bad for our country."

"We have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost there loved ones there that day," the New Jersey governor said. "But it would be wrong to so overreact to that, that we paint Islam with a brush of radical Muslim extremists that just want to kill Americans because we are Americans. But beyond that...I am not going to get into it, because I would be guilty of candidly what I think some Republicans are guilty of, and the President is now the president is guilty of, of playing politics with this issue, and I simply am not going to do it."


Filed under: Chris Christie • issues • Religion
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Dave

    "We have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost there loved ones there that day," "But it would be wrong to so overreact to that, that we paint Islam with a brush of radical Muslim extremists that just want to kill Americans because we are Americans."

    Nicely said. You took BOTH sides. And then you said you wouldn't take a side! Which is it you moron?

    August 16, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. hobart

    No, it's being made a political football by the lying Republican Party, with Pat Robertson suing to prevent it (since when is he a New Yorker), to Newt Gingrich lying about the mosque in Cordoba, Spain (it's been a Christian Cathedral for the past 400 years, Newtie Boy, but don't let the truth get in your way, from Faux News lying about where it it, what it is, and how it's going to harbor future terrorists.

    When did the Party of Individual Freedom become the Party of withholding those freedoms from minorities (rousting Latino Americans for proof of citizenship, granting freedom of religions for everyone but Muslim Americans)?

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

    August 16, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    When the so called peaceful mainstream muslims start appologizing for the actions taken in the name of their faith and start condeming such activities, then you can have your mosque. Until then, anyone for a pig roast in NYC ?

    August 16, 2010 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    People do understand that, although it's unfavorable to some, the Muslims have every right to build there.

    August 16, 2010 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. they call me "tater salad"

    Hey Gov., by all means, help yourself to another piece of cake and a diet cola you fat bastard!......Yep, he says he's sick of this being used as a political football but yet, still feels the need to get his fat ass up in front of a camera and microphone to make sure that we're all aware of it though........Give me a break Christie.............You're not fooling anyone!

    August 16, 2010 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. Mickey, NY

    Yes, Gov. Christie, the GOP IS using the proposed mosque NEAR ground zero as a political football. All Obama said was that the mosque has a right to exist based upon our Constitution...not whether it is or isn't a good idea.

    GOP: STOP TWISTING THE FACTS!

    GOP: Domestic Terrorists

    August 16, 2010 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. Bill

    What else does religion do except create division amongst people and fuel pointless hatred?

    That is what ALL religions do! That seems to be their only task.

    No mosques, no churches, no synagogues, no "prayer centers' or anything of that ilk anywhere, please. They are all the same.

    Their whole point is: Believe this made up nonsense and hate everybody who believes in some other made up nonsense. And of course, give us some money...

    Enough, already!!! Please.

    August 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. Marcus

    Common sense dude, something rare among politicians these days.

    August 16, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Bill

    Beyond that Govenor, If it is okay for an Islamic Mosque to be built there then why have the parishoners of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodix church been denied that same right? There church, built in 1916, was destroyed by the collapse of the world trade towers which was brought about by representatives of the ISLAMIC religion. AND listen all you whack jobs out there .... If I as a christian, can be called to account for the crusades, which I had nothing to do with, then these modern day Islamic crusaders can be called to account for their actions as well.

    If you have any doubts where the presidents sympathies lie then you are deluded. The facts are out there and they are not hidden ... yet.

    August 16, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    CHRISTIE – if your behind was running for office at this time – you will be the 'quarterback'!!!

    "I am not going to get into it, because I would be guilty of candidly what I think some Republicans are guilty of, and the President is now the president is guilty of, of playing politics with this issue, and I simply am not going to do it..." WHAT THE HECK DID YOU JUST SAY?????

    You're in it because of your comments.... The RepubliCAN'Ts are the HATERS in all of this and feel they will benefit from it the most because they are using the FEAR-TACTIC to get their point across and SCARING Americans!!!!

    August 16, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    That's because some developer is going to make a ton of money off this deal, so his cronies in the government are backing the deal, against the wishes of the people.

    That's what government does......they take a piece of the action, to allow the wealthy and powerful, to run over the ordinary citizens.

    August 16, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. David in Reality

    "We have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost there loved ones there that day"...

    So true.

    This should also include families of the dozens of innocent Muslim-Americans who perished alongside everyone else on the fateful day.

    August 16, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. Rob in MO

    A political football by "both parties." No – just by the Repugnants.

    August 16, 2010 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. cd

    Gov. Christie said, '....lost 'their' (the pronoun) loved ones there..." not "...lost there (the location) loved ones there...."
    Come on CNN, please get the grammar right.

    August 16, 2010 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. hypocricnnation

    The Argument That People Aren't Should (Or Aren't) Giving Deference To Peoples Sympathies Of What Happened Is A Mixed Bag. People Who Don't Want A Mosque Near Ground Zero Have Every Right To "Feel" That Way, But Don't Have The Right To People Where They Should Worship. I Do Agree That It Would Be A Politically Stupid Mistake To Deamonize Muslims Or Islam To Manipulate Political Gain.

    August 16, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Dianne

    Gov. Christie, you just fumbled when you accused the President of playing politics with this. I agree with your sentiments toward the victims' families and the Islamic faith. But what I find offensive is the anti-President Obama rhetoric. That is also very divisive. The President is right to speak out on behalf of the Constitutional right to religious freedom.

    August 16, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    It is getting more difficult by the day to be able to rely on our "news" sources, when basic English grammar and spelling aren't even observed.

    "We have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost there loved ones there that day," the New Jersey governor said.

    Their loved ones. Not "there" loved ones. Whoever is writing these blogs, please have some respect for journalism. And, a little professionalism in not relying solely on spellcheck would be nice.

    August 16, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. marie from michigan

    shocking ... a voice of reason and truth from a Republican! The party hierarchy will probably punish him for this.

    August 16, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    If I owned a suburban house in front of which my neighbors' child was struck in the street and killed by the drunk driver of a 2003 red Chrysler sedan, I would have a Constitutional right to buy a 2003 red Chrysler sedan and park in in my driveway next to the house where the dead child's parents still lived.
    I would not buy that kind of car; I would buy a different car.
    The ONLY reason to buy a car just like the one that killed the child would be SPECIFICALLY to torment the child's parents.

    August 16, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. CBR

    Good for Gov. Christile. The building of the mosque is not a political matter. Let the matter come before a commission and be judged on its merits.

    August 16, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I strangley agree with what Christie is trying to say. We need to leave the decision to build a mosque/Islamic center in that part of Manhatten to the city of New York for the zoning issues. When it comes to building as a good idea, I would hope that the people who want to build it understand the concerns of the victims' families. The people who oppose it must understand that we can't be restricting where people chose to pray just because their co-religionists are crazy fanaticals that really worship death.

    August 16, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Mike in NYC

    That's actually a pretty evenhanded look at the situation.

    Between the flag-pumping patriotards on one side, and the language-debasing, mind-control freak lefties with their myriad "_____phobias" and “_____isms” on the other, there's not much room for rationality here.

    I have to wonder, though, why the center's backers pushed ahead with the project, as they had to have foreseen the inevitable reaction. There's almost something scripted about this whole thing.

    August 16, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  23. JonDie

    Like it or not, U.S. national security depends maintaining relationships with Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt and Pakistan. Yet Republicans deliberately preach hatred against all Muslims, even against our allies. And today Katie Couric referred to the 9-11 attacks as being carried out by "Islamic terrorists", the clear impolication being that all Muslims are terrorists, in spite of the fact that only a tiny minority are terrorists. We Americans are just plain stupid.

    August 16, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. kmp

    Wow a Republican I think who right now has a the right answer.

    August 16, 2010 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Jay DeKing

    I find it refreshing that a Republican would publicly express such a thoughtful sentiment. Good for you, Governor.

    August 16, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
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