August 19th, 2010
02:26 PM ET
4 years ago

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

 The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.
The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (CNN) - The White House is responding to new polls Thursday that show an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

Psaki added that "the President's strong Christian faith is what guides him through the challenges – a recovering economy, bringing troops home from Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in place - but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve."

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year.

While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the president's religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown, including among Obama's political base. For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian according to the Pew poll.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Religion
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Chris

    This just in....20% of Americans surveyed have the same IQ as a rock.

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Unit34Ahunt

    The analysis on this in the press and from the WH is baloney. The minority of US people who when polled say he's a muslim probably know he isn't, but they're irritated enough to say anything they may perceive as casting Obama in a bad light.

    Arguably, Obama has earned it. Consider NASA. Cancel the Constellation program and then direct NASA that it's new "mission" is to build bridges to the Moslem World? Talk about a complete cluster**ck! NASA's job is to facilitate and conduct Space Science, not to be a substitute diplomatic corps for the US State Dept.

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Rickw

    "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Tracy W

    I'm not so interested in Republican Vs. Democrat of who thinks Obama is a Muslim. I'm interested if Muslims think he's a Muslim. Bottom line is, he's a terrible President.

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. all the news that's fit to omit

    Let's Review Obama's Christian Roots

    Has a father was a Muslim and is then by Islamic Law a Muslim

    Educated as a child in the Muslim country of Indonesia.

    Reduces the number of US nuclear warheads.

    Assures Islamic nations that the US will not use nuclear weapons against them, even if they attack us with chemical or biological weapons.

    Decides to try Muslim terrorists now in Gitmo in US civilian courts and/or release them.

    Bows deeply to the King of Saudi Arabia.

    Deeply insults the Prime Minister of Israel by walking out on a meeting

    Attempts to hurt the US economy by pushing CO2 restrictions that promise to "bankrupt" US coal fired electric generating plants.

    Say's "my Muslim faith" in an interview with George Stephanopolus

    His wife refers to his “home country” as Kenya

    In the US government, strikes the term "Islamic radicalism".

    Calls the Muslim suicide bomber in Detroit just an "extremist"

    Will not join a Christian church in Washington, DC.

    Tells people not to go to Las Vegas (viewed as a den of depravity by devout Muslims)

    Says Muslim Call to Prayer is "“one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” ).

    Declined to put hand over heart during the playing of the US National Anthem.

    Ends tradition of holding ecumenical prayer service at White House during National Prayer Day

    Has the Dahli Lama leave by a back White House exit near garbage.

    Himself on at least three instances has called himself a muslim, I never called myself a mulim in 48 years.

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. David c.

    Christians....can't even accept their own....how the hell can we expect them to accept the REST of the world?

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    This is such a hoax gimmick story. CNN needs to stop running front stories from Faux News. This is such baloney. Many people are dishonest and just answer questions a certain way for amusement purporse only. Doesn't even deserve to get coverage.

    August 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Sarah

    I am so sick of stupid Americans, full of hate, who watch FOX News or one of those crazies like Rush Limbaugh and believe all that partisan crap. President Obama cannot win with them; they are racists who think he is the wrong color and when they say they want to take our country back, what they really means is put an old white guy in the White House.

    I am from Kentucky and believe me when I say I know a bigot when I hear one open his or her mouth.

    August 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Michael

    We are a nation of idiots.

    August 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. scoot

    To me this poll shows how closed minded and ignorant white folks are because lets face it...these are the same people tea party activist and republicans get the most attention from and now after less then two years in office We can see the trickle down effect.

    August 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Bill

    Where's Gibbs? This looks like an issue he could really sink his teeth into and muck it up.

    August 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Buster

    It seems with nobummer at Martha's Vinyard, the biggest selling item is a t shirt with President Bush's picture and the statement "Miss me Yet" and hows that hopey/changey thing working for you so far. I love it. Maybe some of our rich liberal friends are getting as tired of this supposed Messiah as the rest of us are.

    August 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Rich

    While I have no doubts about the president's faith, I have no requirements about his religion and neither does the constitution. I think it is about time for us to have a jewish president or other non-christian president. There is NO constitutional requirement for a christian president. I guess if there were, would Romney stand a chance?

    August 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. MacTooley

    Oh come on now We all know he goes to church Just ask his spiritual advisor Rev "GOD DAMN AMERICA" Wright

    August 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    This is only what a WH communications director says, since they know this is a white hot issue in America right now. But his actions scream otherwise, such as giving rock solid support to muslims and islam at every turn, while having every Christian symbol removed or covered from visibility when he speaks in a church.

    Why does the MSM never look into or question his ACTIONS? Oh, of course we know the answer to that!

    August 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. skylark

    Reading the posts and comments on these pages has made me, an old lady of 71, embarrassed and ashamed to call myself an "American."
    The hatred expressed by the so called majority who claim to be patriotic is not what this country was founded on.
    "We find these truths to be self evident. That all men (and women) are created equal. That they are endowed with certain inaliable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
    Those of you who are hellbent to see our President fail are wishing your country to fail,in that his failure is Americas failure.
    If you were truly patriotic you would be praying for his success.

    August 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. educated american (legal)

    "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

    SMALL CIRCLE? WRIGHT, JIM WALLACE?

    HE IS NOT CHRISTIAN, THE IS CONSTANTLY PERVERTING THE GOSPEL.

    HE BELIEVES IN COLLECTIVE SALVATION, NOT INDIVIDUAL.

    HE'S A SCUMBAG.

    August 19, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. patNY

    This just goes to show you that after 8 years of George Bush, the country has gotten more dumb and stupid. And yes, I do blame him and his simplton ways for turning this country into a bunch of dirt eating hillbillies and talking snake believing evangelical idiots!

    August 19, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Michele from CO

    God Bless you Mr. President!!! Not all us americans are idiots.....I am a Christian and pray for you to have strength daily to deal with the ignorance we are seeing in our country!

    August 19, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Monrob

    This is the last thing Obama needs to talk about.

    Those that believe he is a Muslin, choose to believe this and also that he is a communist. If he should become the Pope, they will still believe he is a communist.

    August 19, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    His religion should not be an issue. He should not be judged by his religion. Until I read this article, I could not recall what religion he practiced, or if he even practiced at all. His job is to run this country where we have freedom of religion; a job that does not require any particular religious belief in order to do it well.

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Maybe no one else SEES this, but in our so-called-Christian Nation, some "Christians" love to hate. Oh they will say we don't hate anyone! But.........yeah.........you do! You hate Muslims!

    President Obama is the first president who is a Christian, he prays daily over the phone with several pastors including one pastor, that also prayed with President Bush......... and still the ignorant masses believe the LIE that was started on the internet that President Obama is a Muslim!

    SO what if he was a Muslim? What difference would that make? Don't you people know that the Three Great Abrahamic Faiths are:

    Judaism, Christianity & Islam?

    What is it about "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12) that Christians do not understand?

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Eric Lucas

    All this survey proves is that 20% of Americans are complete morons. This should frighten the bejeebers out of anybody who hopes that our economy will recover or that we will retain anything approaching a leading position in technology or business...or in anything but serving hamburgers to each other, for that matter.

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Tyler

    Did everyone forget all the controversy Obama got because his christian reverand seemed a little crazy? Do they now think that church was a secret mosque? And so what if he is muslim? It amazes me how ignorant and stupid people really can be,

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Tom in PA

    Let's face it, Fox News, the GOP, the Tea party and anyone who feels the president is a "radical" will use any underhanded propaganda to further their desire to get a Cheney disciple into political office. i.e. he isn' a citizen, he isn't a Christian (as though that should be the measure for public office), he doesn't support the mililtary, he supports a mosque near ground zero, he's anti constitutional, he's a left wing pinko, and on and on and on. Yet they GW's administration that got us into this economic mess, that freedom of religion actually means just that, and on and on and on. Political discussion is a waste of time today because it isn't a discussion, it's propaganda and name calling. I'm sick to death of it all.

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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