August 16th, 2010
08:59 PM ET
8 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. Ricky atl

    thank you for saying it for what it is!

    August 16, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    Yes, that is what you're doing Chris!

    August 16, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  3. David Belger

    We Lost . Bin-laden won. 10 thousand died, trillion Dollars and we're fighting over our birth rights. So who won the Terrorist.

    August 16, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. Keith in Austin

    The will of the American people is to honor our dead and their families! Do what is right vs. Politcal correctness.

    To be exact, the proposed mosque is less than 2 Blocks away and is headed by an Iman that believes the US was complicit in the WTC attack and has secretive ties to Hamass. I can't believe this is even an issue and those playing politics re: it will suffer gravely in November. Build it elsewhere!

    August 16, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  5. floridian

    I find it disgusting that President Obama can find time to talk to a group of Muslims and have his comments further divide this nation but he cannot find time to talk to Boy Scouts on their 100th anniversary and encourage their way of life and strengthen unity. What a loser and he is getting worse.

    August 16, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. JustMe

    Can I give "Two Thumbs Up" to this??

    August 16, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  7. brett

    Yes! Finally someone who tells it for what it is!

    August 16, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. ga

    This whole Mosque idea is insensitive to the feelings of the 9/11 victums and their families. If this islamic group wants to foster interfaith respect then put an interfaith chapel at that site with crucifixes, crosses, star of david, buhdda statues, hindu stuff etc....this is all crap. This group is putting this mosque in this location as a trophy to raise money from terrorists to further their religious evangelism in the US....STOP THE MOSQUE....JUST SAY NO.

    August 16, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  9. Its about the constitution

    Not only is freedom of religion a constitutional right in this country, but in the words of one our worlds greatest leaders...."reconciliation starts today" Nelson Mandela.

    August 16, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |

    The president would have been attacked if he stayed silent. We all know that.

    Obama made sound comments about the issue and even said that it wasn't wise.

    Bad taste is tolerated by law. Just look at Phelps. Everyone wants to kill that guy, but you have to take the high road and obey your own laws.

    Christie is correct, it's anoter BS issue....raised and inflamed by the GOP.

    August 16, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. Agile

    Christians Americans should take a close look at the history books. Christians have been at war with Islam for a thousand years since the crusades. Now, we call them Islamic extremists. The rest of them are ok. Really? Wake up. Look around . The ok Muslims are taking over this country, as they are doing in Europe. If it comes down to a religious war, and it will, we'd better open our borders for the Hispanics to come and help in the fight. At least they are Christians. And whose side do you think those ok American Muslims would take in the war? Oh, by the way, take a look at our president's background. He's a sympathetic Muslim. Imagine that.

    August 17, 2010 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Fence Rider

    Did you ever see that George Burns movie "Oh, God!" where there was this crooked TV Preacher guy who claimed to be "God's Own Quarterback"? I think that character must have been modeled after Chris Christie... Every time I see this guy on TV that character comes to mind.

    August 17, 2010 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. barry

    It is a political football. It should have been settled by now. Governor Patterson had the right idea of working with them to find another spot. Of course they wanted no part in doing that. Why? So they could stick their finger in the eye of the people and community who lost so much. The Muslim world is laughing their asses off at our ignorance. Our political correctness is taking us down. Where do you think the funds will come from for this Mosque? From the very people who attacked us on 911 and continue to kill our sons and daughters everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our President turned his back on us and then didn't even have the cojones to defend his position. He just tried to play word games because he thinks we are all stupid and he is so much smarter. For the love of God even Harry Reid knew it was wrong. Reid is so far out of touch with American people what does that say about Obama? I pray Hillary in 2012.


    August 17, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  14. Buster

    The Governor is a wise man.

    August 17, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  15. Dave in Ohio

    Which, of course, is what Chris Christie just did in a sly, self-righteous, backhanded way - use the issue as a political football, while getting his pointed political digs in at the same time.

    Sorry Governor Christie, our President standing up for the unalienable rights of all Americans, regardless of their religion, is exactly what he's supposed to do. This is a far cry from those of the ilk of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich who shamelessly pander to fear and xenophobia by thrusting stuff like this into the national dialogue in order to stir-up Americans with another empty wedge issue they can divert people with.

    And shame on you too, Harry Reid, for pandering. Potential elections sure do make strange bedfellows.

    August 17, 2010 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  16. Dave

    Cordoba project: Cordoba in south Spain was the first European city conquered by Muslims where a mosque was raised.
    The association of this mosque with the name Cordoba (currently since the 15th century the Spaniards re-conquered and expelled the Muslims) is in itself a provocation!
    You can sleep and be tired and you will be conquered and your culture will be taken over, whether you are liberal or conservative it will be over for you and Sharia law will rule, and the extremist part of Islam which wanted to retake Europe (and America) can be successful!
    Religious freedom Yes! A must in our free country! Religious aspiration of the kind conquering Islam had in Cordoba! No! not even in our country! 9/11 was a signal from the extreme fanatic faction and we should be careful (accept Islam as a religion equal to others 100%, love your Muslim fellow, BUT reject Islam as a dominating force of extreme).

    August 17, 2010 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  17. DougE33

    Christie's statement on the Mosque controversy is in reality the most spineless commentary on the issue that has been made as of yet. He skips along the line & does not make a declaration of his position on the right of the owners of the property to build the Mosque, which is the real issue. As far President Obama goes, he must support the enforcement of the law, irrespective of the "hurt feelings" of the Mosque opponents. It's called equal protection under law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, the same one the right wingers want to change ! No court would nor could enforce any governmental restriction on the use of the property where the Mosque will be located because the owners are Muslim. The President is right ! Christie is a big bag of gas- that stinks !

    August 17, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  18. Muffet

    The most sensitive statement made on the subject. Folks need to stand back and get a grip.

    August 17, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. bruman

    I think it is ridiculous to argue over where to build a church. You cannot hold any religion responsible for what a few zealots have done. Timothy McVeigh was a christian. Nobody is restricting the building of christian churches in Oklahoma city. Most of the Nazis were christians. Most of the KKK were christians. Not to mention the dark ages and the Salem witch trials. These are atrosities committed by people professing to be christians and yet nobody is holding it against the religion these nuts belong to. That is because it would be stupid to do so. If you blame one religion, blame them all.

    August 17, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  20. superstoopid

    you are correct but unfortunately, you already did it. Even though it was half assed, thank you for standing up for citizens rights in our country!

    August 17, 2010 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  21. john

    Despite his saying that he didn't want to get into the issue, in fact Governor Christie has sided with the President on the fundamentals.

    August 17, 2010 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  22. midwestmatt

    Suddenly, I like this guy.

    His response was level headed, didn't duck it too much and he had an opinion that, frankly, will likely cost him some votes from the right wing whack jobs out there.

    It's simple, people, you don't ignore the 1st amendment because you suddenly think there's a reason good enough to do so.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    August 17, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  23. Bob of Lompoc

    Well, aren't you just Mr. Holy Roller. First he offers his opinion about the subject, then states that those who offer an opinion about the subject are "playing politics". Another Republican liar. Do they have Republican operatives in each hospital nursery in America, to inject some of the babies with the lying gene, which they seem to use as long as they then live?

    August 17, 2010 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  24. Master of Deception

    Christie needs to shut his fat mouth up.

    August 17, 2010 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  25. rick dee

    I'm sorry, but I believe that a major faction of islam is intolerant of other religions and that for the most part is why its radical. Its still too soon and wounds are still fresh after 9/11 for families and victims of this horrific attack. Put country first and respect those that were directly affected by the attacks on Sept. 11.

    August 17, 2010 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
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