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. gt

    obama believes these muslims are our friends...... sorry mr president some of these folks just hate our guts....get use to it...protect our country...

    August 16, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. David in Houston

    Please wake me when a republican offers ANYTHING constructive!

    I cannot tell you how sick & tired I am of listening to the constant barrage of nonsense coming out of these knuckleheads!

    Will it ever end?

    August 16, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Nick , California

    Our country will never be the same after 9/11. The terrorists in my mind have won!!! Yes, they have won... because they have succeeded in turning Americans against each other!! FEAR has dominated our country since and has created an environment of chaos.. politically.. socially.. economically.. and now we have no trust in each other! I have never seen a political landscape so hell bent on the downfall of our commander in chief! We have undermined ourselves and now we continue to question our own constitution! The Republicans have played a large part in using FEAR to rally the fringe right in order "take America back" (from whom I'm not sure) but have been using FEAR against Muslims.. Mexicans.. Gays.. etc.

    I personally refuse to live in fear! I will never vote based on fear! Our freedoms and our constitution are in jeopardy all thanks to FEAR! To you Republicans: Don't tell me that you want government to stay out of your lives and then cast stones at others not like you and expect the government to take another persons rights away!! Do not let fear be your guide in life, but let love.. compassion.. honesty.. (all the teachings Jesus taught and lessons I would teach my children) light your path!

    August 16, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Jaywing

    Ah yes, the Republican bigots are coming out of the woodwork to oppose an act of religious freedom protected by our Consitiution, and slam the president for voicing the facts of the 1st amendment. These bigots need to get a grip. If they are opposed to a mosque near ground zero, then they should be opposed to churches in Oklahoma City and Waco Texas and any city in America where Christians have committed domestic terrorism. Let's hear their views on that before they start hammering people of a different religion who are simply attempting to practiec their faith in peace. How about that, you lily-faced hypocrits?

    August 16, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Ron

    Would someone please tell these morons they are making a mockery of every man/woman who has died in defense of this great country! We don't fight to protect the Christian religion folks. We fight to protect the freedom of all Americans to worship as they please. For Pete's sake...doesn't anyone remember why the Pilgrims came to America in the first place??! Get a grip, people. Stop dancing on the graves of those who have fought/died for the rights of Americans. If you don't like the Mosque, don't go to it. We fight to give you that right, too!

    August 16, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Earl Fey

    Another case of GOD made them and the constitution doesn't aply to them. Another case of the President destroying our constitution.
    When is going to stop reading it and believing it.

    August 16, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Why don't these Repubs. skip all of the foreplay & find out which one is the REAL MAN ! A Glass Eating Contest ! The winner is declared Macho Man of the year & the win the admiration of Anne Coulter.

    August 16, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Brian, NJ

    Woudn't it be great if politicians not from the NYC and the tri-state area DID NOT OPINE on this issue. GOP talks about how everything should be local, well so is this issue.

    August 16, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Independent

    No Mosque for Hussein Obama – not on the 9-11 site.

    And no Japanese Buddhist temple on the site of the USS Arizona

    And no German War memorial near the concentration camps

    Muslims need to practive some religious tolerance and common sense – something that religion sorely lacks .....They need to understand that the US is a Christian Country with Christian ideals – we allow anyone to practice what they wish but that does not mean rubbing salt in the wounds

    August 16, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Richard

    It's funny how we Americans are all for our own individual rights, but screw other people. Lucky our constitution is not easily changed.

    August 16, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. informed voter

    "Scott, a billionaire former health care executive...." That says almost all you need to know regarding whose interests this candidate has at heart. He is for big business, welfare for corporations, and squashing the little guy (ie: most Americans). I hope the American voters see thru all the vitriol, and elect people who will continue to fight against corporatism.

    August 16, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. J.L.

    Ahh... gotta love Republicans pandering to people's basest fear... equating all Islam to 9/11.

    But again, we are talking about the Republicans here... where ignorance such as this does work. Kinda speaks volumes about the composition of the party, right?

    August 16, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. David

    This guy is a tool who preys on the fears of a misguided electorate!

    I SUPPORT FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

    Those who do not should be careful what they wish for...

    August 16, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. sammieb51

    This guy should save the taxpayers some money and drop out of the race - he was served with a subpoena last week before a speech for MORE MEDICAL BILLING FRAUD – his former company paid $1.7 BILLION in fines for medicare billing fraud. We need another guy like this in public office don't we?

    August 16, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. DJ

    Uh, dude you said it "Muslim fanatics" they have nothing to do with that Mosque!!! HOW stupid and uneducated can you be!!! I swear you idiots really need to get a grip!! I also think the media needs to get a grip at how they are playing this crap out!!! To continue down this path can be viewed as an attack of the Muslim religion and not on the terrorists who actually, did the attacking!!! Every religion has fanatics just look at the Christians!!! Wow folks are so stupid!! I tell you folks who are claiming to be Jewish and Christian, or whatever else they really need to take out those bibles and Torahs, and all the in between and see about what those books say regarding LOVE!! IDIOTS!!! Oh and by the way I am not a part of ORGAINIZED RELIGION!!! It is too fanatical too me!! Too many fanatics if you ask me!!

    August 16, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Oregon Calling

    At one time I was a Sunday school teacher, I was raised in a "Christian" household. I found that my "upbringing" was anything but tolerant and the fear of being abused in the name of the Bible makes me shudder to this day. I am no longer a believer as per say but I do value the Constitution and it gives us The Bill of Rights:

    Amendment I :
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    As a parent I had the duty to open the door for Christianity and other religions to my child as it was and is the child's right, my responsibility even if I don't agree with some teachings as they were taught to me, I knew it had to be done and done in a way that I could protect the child from the evilness that lurks within.

    Peace :-)

    August 16, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Independent

    Muslims resounce all other religions and Gods – that is one of the five pillars of the Muslim Faith

    Christians have the same pillar in their 10 Commandments - As the first commandment states " I am the Lord they God and thou shalt not have false Gods before me" In the Christian religion – Allah is a false God -- Get over it.

    August 16, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. JB

    Just more fear mongering. Republicans certainly can't run on their record of accomplishments because they haven't done anything constructive. It's all they've got left, and it's pathetic.

    August 16, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. JFS

    Before the GOP jumps Obama's Bones...I think that an uninformed electorate needs to be reminded of the Morman pursecution in a Country that quarantees the right of religious freedom. Yep, that's the USA folks. This religious group were burnt out of towns, stopped from building there Houses of Worship and asked to leave several states. After many ugly evictionsthe Morman flock settled in what was to become their own state.... UTAH(the redest of red states) A sorry nation begged forgiveness and vowed that this type of hatred and bias would never occurr again. Here we are again folks. Please put down you electronic cruches and study a little American History ...just as our Newly Arrived Americans are required to do. Pretty awful when the Average Birth Right American Voter knows less of our Country than those required to study history to become citizens. SHAME ON THE GOP FOR PROMOTING THIS KIND OF HATRED. It is that very process that got us into IRAQ.

    August 16, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. SuburbanBob

    Billionaire health care executive says that there is "no need to reform health care. Things are great. Some billionaire buddies of mine sold this property to some Muslims for a killin' and now that darned Obama wants to let them build a mosque there. What the heck is he thinkin'?"

    August 16, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. bridgette

    I guess when you haven't come up with any ideas or tried to help with the situation at all this is all you can cling too. There is really nothing they can stand on. The man said he believed in the Constitution and according to the Constitution they have the right to read. But see what they are and were counting on is the typical American who does no research and reacts to everything instead of actually reading what the man said.

    August 16, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. AZ res

    What is sad about all of this is the effort that the right wing goes to in order to completely distrot the truth. Honestly, couldn't they be doing something worthwhile versus continously putting out negativity. I just find it all so depressing.

    August 16, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Yep, it's really easy for politicians outside the tri-state area to jump on this one!

    To all the clueless individuals out there, the proposed Islamic center (which will include a Mosque) is not at "ground zero" but near it. The people who carried out this were not following true Islamic principals, knowing they would be killing innocents. For them there will be no 70 virgins catering to their every whim, instead Iblis will be eating their entrails for eternity in Gehanna! Muslims working in and visiting those buildings also died in the senseless act of violence perpetrated by the 19 murderers. Do they not deserve a memorial?

    By the way, before 9-11 I had the opportunity to visit the Middle East for a couple of weeks. I was conducting product training seminars for my country. One question that came up over and over again in casual conversation with the students and with many other Arabs was, "Why does your country hate us?" Like I said, this was before the 9-11 incident and the people in those countries thought we hated them then. Imagine what they think about us now not quit nine years later?

    August 16, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. fronco

    The republicans knew what Obama said, and there playing politicks with this.

    August 16, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. mike

    I bet this good christian man that rick scott is would not have got upset if that mosque was a christian church in fact they would have been very happy so what message do you think that sends to his fellow christian brothers out in muslin countries that are trying to help the world instead of dividing it you see when you are narrow minded and stupid in the long run you don't realize what the end result can be and if we had some real religious leaders that have some back bone they would be standing hand and hand with one another about this issue

    August 16, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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