August 16th, 2010
02:57 PM ET
4 years ago

Republican uses mosque controversy in campaign ad

 Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott launched a statewide television ad criticizing President Obama's view on plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott launched a statewide television ad criticizing President Obama's view on plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

(CNN) - The controversy swirling around President Obama's support for a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is already promising to be a potent issue for Republicans this campaign season.

Early proof came Monday, when Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott launched a statewide television ad castigating Obama for backing the mosque plan.

Scott, a billionaire former health care executive, is engaged in a nasty primary fight against Attorney General Bill McCollum, with both Republicans vying for support from the party's conservative base.


"Barack Obama says building a mosque at Ground Zero is about tolerance," Scott says in the ad, looking directly into the camera. "He's wrong. It's about truth."

The "truth," Scott claims, is this: "Muslim fanatics murdered thousands of innocent Americans on 9/11, just yards from the proposed mosque."

"The fight against terrorism isn't over," Scott concludes. "Mr. President, Ground Zero is the wrong place for a mosque."

The mosque issue took center stage in Florida politics over the weekend after Gov. Charlie Crist, running for Senate, sided with the president. That drew fire from his Republican opponent Marco Rubio and Democratic hopeful Jeff Greene, both of whom came out against the mosque.

Greene's Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Kendrick Meek, said the decision should be up to New York authorities.


Filed under: Florida • issues • President Obama • Rick Scott
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Conservative Democrat

    He should have said "Mr. President, we Republicans love the constitution, except for those parts that make our hate filled agenda impossible to carry out.

    August 16, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Bertina

    How does this prove anything?

    August 16, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Ed

    So I guess, we can forget about the constitution, which was not written for blacks anyway.

    August 16, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. C Smith

    Even his own ad says "Muslim fanatics", not Muslim. So why punish non fanactics by infringing on their CONSTITUTIONAL (yeah, remember how you always shout that Republicans?) right to exercise their religion? I hope the Republicans have now alienated Muslim voters, Hispanic voters, gay and lesbian voters and unemployed voters. Come on November!

    August 16, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. CHUCK

    Why is the state of Flordia worried about what is being built in the state of NY.

    August 16, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Craig

    Wow what a bigot. I am not offended ay a peoples right to worship, I am offended at how the gop always uses fear and 9/11 for political gain

    August 16, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. GOP = Scorched-Earth Politics

    Ahh...nothing like gettting the old people that make up the base of the GOP hook line and sinker into the politics of fear-mongering. Not ALL Muslims are fundamentalists, bad, evil mean people that commit acts of violence. Get a clue you neo-confederate nutzi.

    August 16, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Scott in Atlanta

    Obama is not backing it, or supporting it... But, as expected, wannabe Fox (CNN) news is ready to "make news"

    August 16, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Jackalope

    Intolerance from Southern conservatives is not news.

    August 16, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. AEK

    So, I'm reading this article and I get to the part "billionaire health care executive." Hummmmm...sounds like a perfect fit for the Republican Party. Health care executive and racist all rolled into one.

    August 16, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Michael

    Further proof that Republicans believe in freedom ONLY for certain types and classes of people.

    They don't get to have it both ways, either you support freedom of religion or you don't .

    The mosque will be built on private property, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

    Republicans claim to support individual rights and freedom of religion, but when it gets right down to it, they want state supported religion of only one kind.

    The upcoming election will do more to reveal the true colors of republicans as the true elites who want freedom for rich white christian men–ONLY.

    August 16, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Anyone with a brain knows that the president did not say he supported building the mosque, but that it was their right to build it, according to our Constitution. If we start limiting religious freedom here, where will it stop?
    Let the Republicans run their mouths about limiting religious freedoms. This will come back to bite them.

    August 16, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. MR AMERICA

    Scott is the biggest scumbag on the planet. There isn't enough room here to list the BS this guy has said and done. Biggest shady weasel EVER.

    ANYTHING this guy says, go with the opposite!

    August 16, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Dustin

    Well I am sure glad that Rick Scott has decided that he is more powerful than the first ammendment.

    August 16, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Angus McDugan

    It's not Obama's position on the situation because he is technically correct. It's Obama's indifference to the feelings of Americans and his insensitivity. For someone who stumbles all over himself to be politically correct, he sure misspoke on this one.

    August 16, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Christopher

    What part of "freedom of religion" does the Religious Right not understand?

    August 16, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. MarineWill

    Yeah, I'm sure voters in Florida really care about the New York's zoning and construction laws. As if they need another billionare CEO screwing them over from the governor's mansion...ride off into the sunset, you bald facist!

    August 16, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Charlie in Maine

    I have just two questions. Would it be okay to put a Christian Church on the site of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City? Of course you know it would becaues many of the people Timothy McVeih murdered in cold blood were Christians. Many of those killed on Sept 11 were Muslims. Should it matter that the murderous scum who killed them were also Muslims? Well then if you said yes to the Church question knowing that the monster Tim McVeih was a Christian then the only difference is your own bigotry.

    August 16, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. La Piovra

    That Rick Scott and Jeff Greene are on the same side in this does not surprise me. Both sprang out of the ground with apparently unlimited funds from mysterious sources, both are engaging in scurrilous attacks on more mainstream opponants, both have taken similar positions on other subjects, and though they appear to be from different parties there is good reason to think they weren't always. They are not, however,running against each other. So ask yourselves, fellow Floridians: are they two fingers of the same glove? If so, whose hand is moving them? (Sneak in: GODFATHER MUSIC)

    August 16, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. a little sad

    Why are we listiening to this scum-bucket who was CEO of HCA when they defrauded Medicare over $1.5 billion?

    You would think that the repubs could find some candidates who weren't so totally flawed.

    August 16, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. BobInIrvine

    Gee, a Florida Repugnant castigating the President's (correct) stand on the Constitutional right of a religious group to build a house of prayer (as different as that might be from the majority's religion).

    And this guy from a state hundreds of miles from New York is making hay? What business is it of Florida's?

    August 16, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Peter s

    There goes the opportunist of the 21st century! CAN ONE OF SOUND MIND TRUST THIS GUY WITH SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICARE?
    "As head of the mammoth Columbia/HCA hospital chain in the 1990s, Scott acknowledges, he was "responsible" for what became the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history, totaling $1.7 billion."

    THEN HE WILL RUN TO FIX NEWS AND START BASHING OBAMA, RIck how many shares does the mosque goer sorry I mean the sheik owns in fix news?

    August 16, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. BB

    For the life of me....I cannot see what this made up contoversy is about. We have a constitution we live by, we fight for, we are proud of it.
    Anyone at anytime anywhere is free to choose and practice whatever religion suits them best. The Isamic Community Center will be at a place that is privately owned and if the owner wants to put a Community Center in the property, it is the owners business, not anyone else's, not any senators, not any congress folks, not any candidates running for office, not the people's and not the President's.
    Not anyone. People need to accept the laws of our country and realize "personal" feelings are personal and laws are not broken to accomodate people's "feelings"...get over it! Move on! Non-issue!!!!!!!!!

    August 16, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Tim

    I think I may now campaign for Bill McCollum to beat this complete tool and then vote for whoever is running against McCollum.

    This guy has nothing. He's appealing to the basest instincts of the old and redneck voter base of Florida.

    August 16, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. geecee

    And this will help him in Florida how?? The comments coming from people who could not care less about New York City or any of its residents and who ridicule and insult them all the time suddenly seem to care about the feelings of people from New York City?? The Republicans are using this as a political football. This Country was founded on Freedom of Religion. Leave it alone. We are tolerant of the First Amendment where people have a right to speak their minds and vomit hatred at our President on a daily basis, as evident on conservative talk radio and the Fake Noise Channel, so opposing the construction of a religious center two blocks from the 9/11 attack violates the First Amendment just as much as if these hate-mongers were prevented from spewing their hatred on a daily basis as they so casually and deliberately do. Islam is not the enemy. Religious intolerance is the enemy. That is what caused the attacks on 9/11. Let's not stoop to their level, please. Then they surely would have won.

    August 16, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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