August 16th, 2010
03:03 PM ET
10 years ago

Reid breaks with Obama, opposes mosque near Ground Zero

(CNN) - Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is breaking ranks with President Obama over the issue of the proposed construction of a controversial Islamic center and mosque just blocks away from Ground Zero.

"The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. "Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else. If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation."

Filed under: Harry Reid • issues • President Obama • Religion
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. DJ

    Sorry Harry you need some backbone, again you and the scary Democrats throw the President under the bus because you and the others want political gain!!! Dude, get some backbone and see that you and all these other misguided folks are just giving into the fanatics that are causing the up roar over a Mosque!!! I mean seriously, this needs to be about the terrorists that attacked America on 9/11 and not a building!!! To continue down this path shows Muslims that America is not concerned with Islam as a faith, that they are all some crazed terrorists!!
    This is why we need term limits to get idiot Republican and Democrats out of office!!

    August 16, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Peter E

    Oh, it's not a religious issue... And yet all over the country, including California people keep opposing the building of mosques and ONLY mosques! Not one church or synagouge was opposed, even in the South where white supremacists killed countless people all in the name of Christ. (remember the burning crosses? The burning down of synagouges? lynchings? etc.)

    Facts are: This mosque is being built on PRIVATE property, which strangely enough right-wingers are encouraging the government to take over in order to prevent the construction. Also, most muslims in America are NOT arabs. They are African-Americans and love this country very much. (also, most arabs in the US are not muslim, they are Christians, hence they came to the US in the first place)

    August 16, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Terry Morris Clark

    No matter what President Obama idiots are still gong to try to make something out of it that it's not! He gave the stupid media a sound byte and he didn't twist it up and people cant find something to make a real news story so they peck at it over & over because they have nothing positive to work with!

    August 16, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. diridi

    Do not be silly, Harry.....Religious Freedom is enshrined in US constitution....okay. Work on Energy and Climate Reform, and immigration reform.....No one is worried about color. All religions have the same rights, and privileges. They are guaranteed in constitution. Court gave dictum...too...

    August 16, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    President Obama made a 42-word statement Friday:
    "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."

    Sen. Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement:
    "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion, Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else. If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation."

    The headline of this article reads:
    'Reid breaks with Obama, opposes mosque near ground zero'

    Now my comment:
    What we have here is two political leaders commenting about the mosque with respect to the 1st Ammendment and American law as it stands today. NOWHERE does the Reid's spokeman say that, Sen. Reid 'opposes' the President or that their is disagreement with respect to this mosque issue BETWEEN the two leaders. The conclusion here is, is that Sen. Reid is NOT 'breaking' with Obama and is nowhere being critical of what the President said.

    Sen. Reid IS being critical of the Republicans with respect to the their blockage of the First Responders legislation. This article is one of many that demonstrates political 'spin' in progress.

    August 16, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Ella01

    Nice try Harry.

    August 16, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Everyone has their opinion. Reid is certainly entitled to his. Fundamentally he AGREES with the President in reminding us about the First Ammendment, and the fact that these folks have a right to build wherever they wish. The last time I checked REAL news, though, the mosque was NOT being built ON THE SITE of the WTCs, but nearby.

    In regards to the "I Want A Job" commentaries:
    @Tj: I applaud your solidarity for our President, however, it was clear that you missed the sarcasm of my comment. I am, and have been gainfully employed through this recession. Yet like T'Sah, I WOULD NOT hesitate,in order to provide for my family, to take that McDonald's job coupled with a hotel shift at night in order to weather the storm.
    @Greg Pottstown, Pa: I found it interesting that you focused on the D vs. R part. and you have a very valid point, as is evidenced by the fact that even with a Democrappy majority we have NOT been able to pass key legislations. I don't know how THAT has come about; maybe the Party of No is employing the same tricks today that they did back in '05?? Totally familiar with where laws get written, and more importantly, WHO and WHY influences the writing of said laws. Last time I checked though, it was the President that SIGNED IT INTO LAW.
    Bush, AGAIN.
    @In Agreement with mama: Now that was funny!!!

    August 16, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. a in austin

    Say what you will about this mosque, our concerns should be more about the 9/11 first responders who the Republicans and the public have forgotten about and their medical needs they incurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Those HEROES have been tossed to the curb!

    August 16, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Indiana Voter

    It looks like Reid is paying attention to the polls, unlike the President.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Veteran

    I wish Reid would show as much back bone in leading the Senate, with a back log of pending bills,He allows the senate to go on vacation with no hope of them doing their job or allowing the back logs of bill to be voted on. He has shown himself to be a wimp, especially as it relates to dealing with the Republican and getting the job done. Know to further pander to those who think the Constitution only applies to their belief, feeling and or their Gods has cause me to lose even more confidence in Reid or his leadership.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Audrey Fryer

    They are building it "somewhere else". In an old coat factory building and not "ground zero". Get a life CNN – all you are doing is regurgitating Republican talking points. This we can get from Faux news but you guys are really getting bad.

    August 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    What? Reid isn't licking Obama's shoes? What next?

    August 16, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Capt. Ron

    President Obama is correct in saying that this is a country that protects one' s right to practice the religion of their choice. The mosque near ground zero shows our tolerance, in contrast to the intolerance of the Islamic extremists. We are better than these characters that kill innocents. Having said that, if they build a mosque near ground zero, I will open up a gaudy sex shop across the street.

    August 16, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Nice copout, Harry. Grow a pair for crying out loud.

    August 16, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. hypocricnnation

    Senator Harry Reid's Opposition As Only Delivered By His Spokesman, All The While Disguised As A Headline By HypocriCNN! I Take That It's True, And Certainly Senator Reid Has A Right To His Opinion. I Find It Disingenuous Of HypocriCNN! To Try And Take That And Make Unfounded And Blanket Suggestions Of A Rift, Spat, Or Dispute.

    August 16, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. B

    Reid is wrong on this and we should all uphold the First Amendment !

    We are letting POLITICS control even our countries founding principals !

    August 16, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Erik in Iowa City

    Why don't we build a petting zoo there instead? What's cuter than a baby lamb? Oh, and organized religions are all equally worthless. Keep your illusions to yourself.

    August 16, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. sifto77

    I am floored by the number of so-called liberal progressive women who are condoning the Muslim rule of keeping the women subservient and their approval of shiria law. Funny how they all throw out the constitution when the need arises..I understand that the muslim men have the right to do it–just surprised how many liberal women agree with them....I truly believe that the pendulum has swung and Conservative women have taken the helm from liberal women in leadership roles....

    August 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. deb

    This should be a non-issue. I agree that if they wanted to build the mosque ON THE SITE of the Twin Towers it would be in very poor taste and should NOT be done; however, the site they want to build on is a few blocks away. It's a no-brainer. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Christians are right wing nuts. Period. People just like to stir up trouble. We need to move on. We need to get beyond all the name calling, hate and divisiveness in our country. It is only making everything worse. We need to come together as a country, like we did on 9/11 and come up with solutions to our problems rather than spewing hate and lies on these ridiculous blogs.

    August 16, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. ruty

    Get the facts straight Sen Reid. Obama NEVER said he approved of the mosque near ground zero. He simple stated that the law of the land cannot dictate where something can be built on PRIVATE land. I believe the site IS private land. What next? Telling you what you can or cannot wear or eat on private land. This is America-land of the free–remember?

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

    I think the media did such a great job convincing Americans that "Islam" is the reason why the twin towers collapsed and that “Muslims” did it. Muslims were ready to talk and tell their American neighbors and friends that those criminals that planned such a crime do not represent in anyway, shape or form neither "Islam" nor "Muslims" but do you think the media gave enough space for such discussions or clarification? Everyday America watches the news hearing about “John Smith” shooting and killing, kidnapping or rapping... “John” can be a Christian or a Jew. But do you really think his actions represent you as a Christian or a Jew? Do you think that you have the right to buy a house or build a church in the neighborhood where John committed his crime? Think about it for a second….that’s exactly how American Muslims feel.
    With 1.7 Billion Christians and 1.4 Billion Muslims living on this planet. How many out of the 1.4 Billion Muslims were responsible for the Sept 11 tragedy?? Do you really believe that 1.4 Billion people from Doctors to engineers to scientists will follow a religion that permits killing?? Have you ever heard, read or suffered from their actions before September 11th? I highly doubt it…. Muslims have been living around you longer than you think… in peace and harmony. And will continue living and contributing to America in peace and harmony.
    America needs to know the truth about Islam and Muslims. America doesn’t know. America doesn’t know that Muslims believe in Jesus. America doesn’t know the Muslims read the bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament) America doesn’t know that Allah (Arabic) is God in the Arabic language Also known as Dios (Spanish) Dio (Italian). Muslims believe in and pray to the same God you believe in if you are a Christian or a Jew. Know, Learn, read and seek answers….. Only then you will know that a story like shouldn’t even have made news.

    Thank you for reading !

    August 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Limbaugh is a liberal

    You do know we are validating the terrorists by opposing the building of mosques. It was Al Quaida who wanted to put this War on Terror in terms of a war between Christianity and Islam. The more we oppose mosques by equating terrorism with Islam the more we validate Al Quaida's world view.

    I say build more mosques, and make sure they are full of practicing Sunni muslims. When Bin Laden next strikes America, let's see if muslims will forgive him for killing their own. In fact, I think people should move nearer mosques. At least that way they won't be Al Quaida targets. Now as for homegrown right-wing terrorist targets... that's another story. (Fact: the number one homegrown terrorist was still Timothy McVeigh, a right-wing, republican nutjob, who killed hundreds of people when he attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City, including children. He never expressed regret for his mass murder)

    August 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    As for the mosque near ground zero, no mosque should be built in the USA as long as muslems in all other countries do not allow freedom of religion in their countries. No other Religion beside muslem is allowed in all muslem countries. In fact, Christians were killed by moslems because they said they were trying to spread their regilion to the people of that country.

    August 16, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Liz

    guess ol' reid needs he votes in nevada.
    everytime we cater to the extreme right, the boundary of their expectations and righteousness expand.
    we're not doing ourselves any favors by caving or allowing reasonable politicians into caving to extremist or religious zelots.

    August 16, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. hasty

    The mosque is being built to celebrate a successful attack on
    911. Nothing more and nothing less. Many Americans are totally
    naive about some things that are very important to our enemies.

    August 16, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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