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. Howard Markowitz

    Will the hate ever end. Fanatical people who hate America were responsible for 9/11. Not a religion. There are fanatics of all faiths, beliefs and walks of life. Let them build their Mosque.

    August 16, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. gino

    A guy who ran a corporation that bilked the people of mega-millions and said he "didn't know about it" is going to tell us about mosques and stuff? Go away, you crook and liar. You wouldn't know about American liberty if it bit you in that big fat wallet.

    August 16, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Riley

    I used to like Scott, but now will be backing McCollum. Scott is far too negative on McCollum rather than touting what he would do for Florida.

    August 16, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Joe Gaines

    Strange that no one can see through this people down here in Middle Tennessee don't want a Mosque built here either so how close is this to ground Zero? Get my Point.

    August 16, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Stupid is as Stupid does

    Anybody with a brain which leaves out pretty much the conservative base knows that this is not a mosque but a cultural center. The building is two blocks away from ground zero but that is not the point. The conservatives have taken this issue to again take a big dump on the constituion.

    August 16, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Gpenn

    Hey Rick Scott, how much money did you rip off from Medicare? You have an awful lot to say for a thief. You say your an outsider and I say after stealing 300 million form Medicare. Your the same as it ever was.

    August 16, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Eric

    "Building a mosque at Ground Zero is about tolerance."

    Gutfield's idea about building a g@y b@r for g@y Muslims next to the mosque would also be tolerance. Think the Muzzies would "tolerate" that for one second?

    Or would the Muzzies demand a public stoning of the clubgoers?

    August 16, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. opalka10

    Rick Scott used to run Columbia Health Care, and they made a living on defrauding Medicare.

    Columbia/HCA didn't just scheme to defraud Medicare a little bit. They schemed to commit fraud on a mega-fraud basis. And it wasn't just insurance companies they tried to rip off. It was Medicare, Medicaid, and even TRICARE, the health plan that covers our veterans. It wasn't only overbilling, either. Here's a partial list:

    Intentional year-end record fraud alleging payments from the government less than actually received, leaving the government with the burden of overpaying them.
    Payment of kickbacks to providers to inflate claims billed to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE.
    Billing costs to the government which were not allowed.
    Inflating the cost of transferring patients from HCA facilities to other, non-HCA facilities.
    Inflating claims for indigent patients.
    Paying kickbacks for diabetes patients.
    Overbilling states for Medicaid patients.
    The entire list and summary of the case is on the DOJ website.

    August 16, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. pc

    i have never seen such evil in the republican party! they have nothing to offer in ways to help this country so they are now trying to play on something so barbaric as shunning anyone that does not believe like the racist white man.the families of 911 were heavily compensated for their loses an yes it was a sad day in america on 911 but we as americans have to move on. i quess next if we are not hard shelled bible thumping bigots like the teabaggers all our lives are now in danger of not belonging in our own country.i am ashamed of what this nation is doing to our fellow-man in the name of religion. the republicans are a disgrace and i pray to our lord that they will never re-gain power over this nation!

    August 16, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Grandstanding- pure and simple.
    More fueling southern bigotry coming.
    Our politcal leaders are now opposing places of worship. Why don't i hear this outcry over Phelps from Witchita and his hatred in the names of Chrsiianity. Hypocrits

    August 16, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Bill

    No Mosque, fine.

    But then don't go looking to build any churches or synagogues either.

    August 16, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. MikeB59

    A good Republican never misses an opportunity for hate/fear mongering.

    August 16, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Brian L

    This guy is a crook.... no seriously he is a crook...... It's nice to know if you commit fraud you can run for the governor in Florida on the Republican ticket. Can you imagine if he wins the governorship all the kids will want to grow up and be like him.... nice role model, right up there with Michael Vick!

    August 16, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    First of all, the mosque isn't on or at ground zero. It's 2.5 blocks away. These are bigotted comments coming from republicans. Not every muslim is a terrorist. If republicans supposedly support the Constitution of the U.S. as they say they do, then this shouldn't be an issue. Why must republicans stomp and trample over the Constitution whenever it doesn;t work in their favor? Prime example: 14th Amendment

    August 16, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Dianne

    The truth is, fanatics who were Muslims killed thousands of Americans of all faiths on 9/11. Innocent Muslims also lost their lives. It is unjust to hold all Muslims accountable for the evil acts of terrorists. Do these politicians blame all Catholics for pedophile priests? Do they hate all Germans because of the Holocaust? Should I go on? I think one way to fight terrorism is to unite with our Muslim freinds and neighbors and not alienate them or try to take away their Constitutional rights.

    August 16, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. bill

    Very insightful. Another example of the intellectual leadership the "defenders of the constitution" provide. I hope they keep hitting this message home, b/c it only resonates with their base (i.e., idiots who were going to vote for them anyway).

    August 16, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Dano

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

    The GOP is attacking the President for defending the Constitution of the United States?? This is spelled out very clearly in the First Amendment. This same amendment allows Christians to build a church on every street corner and to pay no taxes on them. READ THE %%$#@ CONSTITUTION SCOTT (and anyone who feels this guy is right). I don't like it myself but it is the law of the land.

    August 16, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Lori in St Pete

    Floridians aren't as stupid as Lurch would like us to be. This guy is a bigger criminal than any other candidate running – well it's a toss up between him and greene. They're both carpet baggers. Here in Florida we vote for the devil we know.

    August 16, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Marry

    "Barack Obama says building a mosque at Ground Zero is about tolerance," Scott says…
    No, that is not what the president said. He said it is about freedom of religion as guarantied in the constitution.
    But it is nothing new that “The Muslims” just as “Illegal’s” and “Elitists” and quite a few other “different people” do not fit into the conservative frame of mind. I wonder though, if they were in power again, what they might not like about YOU and start trying to take YOUR constitutional rights away. They are practicing already…

    August 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Tori in Texas

    Funny how a "a billionaire former health care executive," is running on hate and fear rather than encouraging private industry to create more jobs for the people he wants to represent. If he's so rich, why doesn't HE create some jobs. And would he have voted to extend unemployment benefits earlier this month? Or is he too rich to give a crap about the people in his area?

    When someone shows you who they are? Believe them.

    August 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Florida Joe

    This Pond Scum would say anything, do anything to get elected. We do not need this thief as our next Governor

    August 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Linton

    He must have tired of denying health care for dying 12 year-olds.

    Did this wingnut denounce the CHRISTIAN pedophiles and rapists posing as priests?

    Nope? didn't think so!

    Did he denounce the CHRISTAIN who took a Dr's life in church? didn't think so.

    Did this wingnut denounce the CHRISTIAN Timothy McVeigh when he killed hundreds of innocent people?

    Did he lead a charge to tear down churches wihtiin two blocks of the OK City Fedearl Building? Didn't think so.

    A hypocrite extrodiaire.

    Does this wingnut know that thousands of Muslims have died in this fight against terrorists? Does he know how may Muslims are buried in Arlington National Cemetary?

    My guess is he's so impossibly hypocritical it wouldn't matter if he did!

    August 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Alice

    The mosque is a house of worship, it does not and should not represent terrorists. Because if it does, then shouldn't we deny all houses of worship to be built far from acts of terrorism. For example, wasn't Mcvey a christian? Then there shouldn't be any christian houses of worship near the Oklahoma City bombing site. Tolerance and understanding, we hope, are some of the things practiced by the attendees of all holy places in all religions. And these are just a few things that should be practiced by all including our politicians. Unfortunately Rick Scott and part of his party do not practice, understand nor will they every get it.

    August 16, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Marge

    I really don't want the Focus on the Family organizations any where near where I go...how can we as true Americans protest that. And while we are at it, good thing we aren't in Tampa to have such a hate filled, radical killing bunch of people to hold a convention there, well that would be the pits. After all the hate average Americans and love to kiss the butt of corporations CEO. Cause you know republicans think corporations are people.

    August 16, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Larry

    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.

    Why? Because the President upheld the constitution and the republicans want to ignore it? Great, make it a good campaign issue.

    The republicans don't stand a chance this fall anyway.

    August 16, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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