August 16th, 2010
02:57 PM ET
10 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. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    The only truth I see here upon doing a little research is that billionare Rick Scott is deeply entrenched in big business bucks and actually cares little to nothing about the people affected. In fact, Rick Scott is a prime example of what is wrong in America the causes of this 'wrongness'.

    August 16, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Humpty Dumpty

    Good ol' Republicans...never ones to let a good controversy go to waste!

    The misguided GOP...

    Republican First, American Second!

    August 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Bill

    You're running for governor of Florida. Stick to your issues, which you have plenty of. Stop poking your nose into others' business, the typical Republican way. Leave New York out, leave religion out, leave President Obama out (unless it pertains to your state). Thank you.

    August 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Neil

    I don't see where republicants are claiming that Obama supports this mosque.All he said was they have the right to build it.That is the correct stance.He refused to comment on the wisdom of building it there which in my humble opinion is also the correct stance.Besides it is an old Burlington coat factory.Not exactly like it's right at ground zero.

    August 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. ronalde

    forget the mosque,what do they plan on doing for the country ,what are their policies going to be or are they going to keep on doing nothing.

    August 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. ruty

    Another lie coming from the republicans.

    August 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. davec

    Firstly, how does the mosque in New York issue in any way relate to all the problems facing Florida, such as the severe mortgate crisis, environmental degradation (e.g., the Everglades), etc.? Raising this issue in a campaign for governor is nothing but feeding red meat to the base to distract them from the paucity of real ideas. No wonder none of our problems get solved – we're all too busy focusing on the things that make us angry, rather on what we can do and need to do to solve our problems.
    Secondly, to equate the people who want to build the center, and their motives, to those of the 9/11 terrorists is simplistic to the point of idiocy. There is a Baptist church in Kansas that pickets service members' funerals and 'Thank God' for dead soldiers. SInce they are Baptists, does that mean that all Baptists feel that way and we should ban Baptist churches from being built near military installations?.

    August 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. John

    If you don't have a plan nor any idea as to how to fix the economy, just say NO and then criticize every position that the opposition takes.
    What BS!
    The building is not on the site of 911. While it seems like an affront, they have every right to build a Mosque/Church where ever they want to. We are a country that takes pride in our inter-racial society and our diverse religious back grounds. We should be showing our strength of free conviction rather than cower to the pettiness of the Republican Party.

    It is time for a Third Party to raise it's head...The Party of Reason!

    August 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Donna

    President Obama did not support the building of a Muslim Mosque at Ground Zero. He protected and defended the Constitution of the United State according to the oath of office he took. He stated that every religious denomonation has a protected constitutional right to worship and build a place of worship. The particulars of where are up to the local folks. You republicans are just scratching at anything to stir-up controversy. If republicans do not protect people's freedom of religion then they are not fit to govern. Who's next? White, brown eyed female Catholics? Who is next on the discrimination list of the republicans....

    August 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Tony

    I fail to see how demagoging this mosque issue is in keeping with public officials' oaths to defend and uphold the Constitution. If you can build a church there, you can build a mosque, period. This is the USA, right? Why do Republicans hate every part of the Constitution except the part about guns?

    August 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Rick Scott is The Most Corrupt Politician To Run For Office

    Why do the right wingers only like the 2nd and 10th amendments to the Constitution?

    August 16, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Nando

    As a Ex Veteran and Muslim I will pray for our Country during Ramadan and hope truth and love will overcome fear and lies and hate on both sides .

    August 16, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Norman Cador

    The GOP are SICK, evil people

    August 16, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Me

    Republicans don't operate on unity.
    They need wedge issues. Anything that divides.
    They need people afraid. People vote Republican when they are fearful, and they know it. Listen to how they use the words afraid, scared, worried in their campaign speeches. They identify they problem but they never tell you what the solution is. The GOP is devoid of hope. It's a four letter word to them. Hope and unity is the bane of their existence. The equation has balanced itself.
    Good is the opposite of Bad
    hope has become the opposite to fear
    Liberal is the opposite of conservative
    Democrats have become the opposite of Republican

    August 16, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Eddie B

    These people beat their chests screaming about the constitution and how it needs to be protected at all costs....but not when it does not support their views. They are the ultimate hypocrits and bigots that are against true Freedom of Religion. They can build their mosque where ever they want to.

    August 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. jersey jim

    This mosque is icing on the cake for the islamics who sympathize
    with the extremists. Follow the paper trail of the money financing the
    mosque and try not to be shocked.

    August 16, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Grrr-Awful-O

    Oh my! How out of bounds to use an actual issue in a campaign ad! Gasp!!!

    August 16, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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