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. Christie

    To deny these people the right to worship in their temple or church is totally unconstitutional. Republicans can not have it both ways-you say you support and will uphold the constitution, yet you'll trying to have chosen to deny Americans the right to worship in a mosque near ground zero.

    The mosque will not be located on ground zero as some of you have led people to believe. The mosque will be located several blocks away.

    The news media is reporting that the mosque is actually on ground zero when in fact the mosque will be located several blocks away.

    August 16, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Whimsy1

    For Shame!!! Those who seek elected office are sworn to protect the Constitution. That includes the First Amendment which guarantees religious freedom to all.

    Muslims have had a presence in this area for years and this group have met with families of those lost at Ground Zero and most of them do not have a problem with it.

    This is an issue where extreme emotions are being ramped up in an election cycle. Don't let ANYONE take away our rights as citizens to worship freely.

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

    President Obama is not running and have a right to his own opinion.

    August 16, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. diridi

    I told you long time ago...these GOP idiots brag any thing to get elected, once elected, they take this nation to another nasty mess, idiots, and thugs....do not even listen to these GOP and Republican Tea Party thugs...Thugs....period....enough mess made to the nation already by these SOBs....period...Constitution enshrined Religious Freedoms....okay....It is clearly postulated in constitution.....all religions are equal....It is a prima facie grant from Constitution...

    August 16, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. GL

    This is a local issue not a Nationial issue.

    August 16, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Marcus

    Rick Scott, who got rich by (among some honest work) embezzling funds in the country's largest/biggest health care fraud is trying to pose as a moral beacon?
    RI-DI-CU-LOUS!!!!

    PS:
    to jules sand-perkins who keeps dragging the 'stoning' issue in nearly every blog that has the Mosque/Islamic Center in it:
    Although he first agreed with the practice, Mohammad eventually 'abrogated' it, the usual translation of his act to English is dubious at best (and very controversial for Muslims), so it should have NOT exist as an option for the execution of people comdemned to death ever since the first years of the Islamic faith...
    BUT, since his 'abrogation' was verbal and non-taxative, two centuries later a well respected scholar revalidated the 'stoning' according to a paradoxal line of thought that only works if you are a ultra-conservative extremist among the muslims.
    Mohammad said that it was NOT to be used anymore (nearly 14 centuries ago), a scholar said that it should (2 centuries later) and Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria takes the word of the second over the first (even the first being Mohammad the Prophet)...
    Just for you to see how much the fringe elements of the Islamic faith do respect the words of their Prophet...

    August 16, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. bill

    Just once I wish they would drop the "wedge" issues, and concentrate on the things that truly matter, not the ones that they can count on to divide the country

    August 16, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Marcus

    to jules sand-perkins who keeps dragging the 'stoning' issue in nearly every blog that has the Mosque/Islamic Center in it:
    Although he first agreed with the practice, Mohammad eventually 'abrogated' it, the usual translation of his act to English is dubious at best (and very controversial for Muslims), so it should have NOT exist as an option for the execution of people comdemned to death ever since the first years of the Islamic faith...
    BUT, since his 'abrogation' was verbal and non-taxative, two centuries later a well respected scholar revalidated the 'stoning' according to a paradoxal line of thought that only works if you are a ultra-conservative extremist among the muslims.
    Mohammad said that it was NOT to be used anymore (nearly 14 centuries ago), a scholar said that it should (2 centuries later) and Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria takes the word of the second over the first (even the first being Mohammad the Prophet)...
    Just for you to see how much the fringe elements of the Islamic faith do respect the words of their Prophet...
    Much like that 'preacher' who tried to put Matthew Sheppard's murder's blame on Matthew himself or the other one who said that the murder of that medic (and abortionist) was a 'just' one...

    August 16, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Dave

    So CNN makes it sound like a Repuiblican is doing something bad by using this stance in a political add when the story DIRECTLY ABOVE this is Harry Reid using it to try to get a bill passed.

    No double standard there.

    August 16, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    President Obama is the President of ALL Americans.

    And yes, for all you Reds and tea gaggers, as much as you may hate it, that includes Muslim Americans.

    First off, President Obama said Muslims had a right to build the mosque, as it is their property and their money and their religion. He did question the wisdom of the location.

    If the mosque was going to be built in the actual footprint of ground zero, then even I would question the sensitivity issue, but 3 blocks away, not so much.

    Is there a building ban of Christian churchs within a 3 block radius of the Murr building in OK City?

    If a Christian screams "Christ" before he kills himself by flying a plane into an IRS building, does that mean ALL Christians are guilty?

    But any President that excludes one religion from the rights given in the Constitution for ALL Americans to exercise the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, should scare the He!! right out of you Holy Book of Fable thumping "christian taliban" evangelicals or whatever title you are calling yourselves in 2010.

    Maybe you should ask God to help you overcome that "christian" bigoted hatred for any thing Islamic and trying forgiving, then you might be able to see things in a different light.

    You know like that fellow God sent to show us the way, now what was his name...?

    August 16, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Just another stupid hater!

    August 16, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Chris - Denver

    cynical, hateful, fear mongering. What a great message for America. The GOP sickens me.

    August 16, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Robert

    Not surprised at all. One thing that Republicans know how to do well is to criticize. Do they offer new ideas? No, they are so low, that the only tactic is just criticize.
    Hope the voters are smart enought to see that they use any tiny mistake to earn votes. Even if they win seats in the upcoming elections, they won't know what to do.

    August 16, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Patricia

    Get the facts straight. Obama supports the right to freely express your religion. He also stated he didn't know if it was a good idea, but the privilege and right should be there for all Americans!

    Also; Please remind Americans that it wasn't Muslims, but TERRORISTS that hit the WTC on 9/11. It would be like saying anyone with the name of McVay shouldn't have the right to build next to the courthouse!!!!

    I am really tired of the news media slanting the news to be more adversarial.... This is getting old!!!

    August 16, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. MishaJohn

    Ah bigotry and prejudice, thou name is the GOP!

    August 16, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. hypocricnnation

    Political Opportunism 101! Take A Quote, Take It Out Of Context, And Take Full Advantage Of A Story Before It Is No Longer A Story!

    August 16, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. RJ

    Really Scott. This has nothing to do with Florida. Now all the money you took does hurt Floridian.

    August 16, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Sarah

    That man is a scumbag thief who would rob his grandma of her last dime. If he is elected, it says alot about the people of Florida.

    August 16, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. B

    This issue over the Mosque is certainly a- test of the Constitution- and wether we can uphold what this country has always stood for.

    August 16, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. a in austin

    Are you the same Rick Scott that frauded our government and Medicare with your medical business? And you want to run for office?

    August 16, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Eric

    Does the ad explain what possible involvement a candidate for the Florida Governorship would have with the decision to buid a mosque in NYC? I mean, besides trying to show off your right-wing bonafides?I guess this wil lhave to suffice since Terry Schiavo has already been used by the Republicans.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    They're all wrong. The decision is made via an objective application of the relevant land use regulations applicable to the site when reviewing the proposed plans. The POTUS, the mayor of NYC, the NYC Zoning Board, the governor of NY, the NYC Planning Board...none of them have the power or authority to deny approval of the development plans if they comply with the relevant land use regulations. THAT is a FACT. The entire controversy, which appears to be premised on the idea that public opinion matters one bit in this situation or that it's even remotely possible to prevent them from developing this property as they wish within the parameters established by the applicable land use regulations, is full-on poppycock...shenanigans designed to do nothing more than stir up hate, anger and resentment in the hopes of turning votes.

    REALITY: EVERY single politician out there should be defending our Constitution and the constitutional rights of the citizens who own that property, including their property rights, their religious freedoms and their right to fair and equal treatment under the law. Anyone who says differently is a self-serving demogogue who represents the absolute worst of American politics. It's that simple.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Harriett

    What a surprise that Rick Scott has jumped on another narrow minded issue (notice how none of them are ever his originals). This guy is a crook and an incompetent one at that. He will ruin this state if he is elected.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. chill

    I really hope FL elects someone who can read. Obama did not support the plan for the mosque, but rather the Constitutional right to do so. But perhaps the strict constructionist party is having second thoughts?

    August 16, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Kris

    Yes Muslim "fanatics" is right. Just because the people who did this horrible act were Muslim does not mean that everyone who is a Muslim shares the same beliefs. There are Christian fanatics like Fred Phelps who are running around acting like idiots but that does not mean that all Christians share his beliefs. I am a Christian but do not condone his behavior. As well as I think Muslim Americans do not condone what happened on 9/11. We have to separate the "fanatics" from the religion. Timothy McVeigh's voter registration card said he was a Republican and he grew up in a Catholic home so should we condemn Catholics and Republicans for his actions?

    August 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5