'Ground Zero mosque' issue re-emerges in NY special election
August 12th, 2011
03:00 PM ET
12 years ago

'Ground Zero mosque' issue re-emerges in NY special election

(CNN) - In a special election to take place just two days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the GOP candidate running to fill former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat attacked his Democratic opponent for supporting the "Ground Zero mosque" last year.

Republican businessman Bob Turner released a TV ad Thursday, juxtaposing video of the burning World Trade Center with images of President Barack Obama. Turner blasted his opponent, Democrat David Weprin, for siding with the president on the issue.

"It's been ten short years. Everyone remembers," the ad says, with dreary music playing over images of smoke billowing from the World Trade Center. "Some, though, want to commemorate the tragedy by building a mosque on Ground Zero."

The ad then says the president "thinks it's a good idea," as a photo of a smiling Obama appears next to a photo of a mosque, as well as video of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

"And so does Congressional candidate David Weprin," the ad says.

The ad then plays a soundbite of Weprin saying in a 2010 debate that he supported those who wanted to build the Cordoba House, an Islamic center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. Protests over the project spilled over into a national controversy last summer.

"But Bob Turner says 'no'," the ad says. "He knows Weprin and Obama are wrong."

Weprin responded to the ad Thursday in a statement and called Turner's actions "shameful."

"As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, it's shameful that Bob Turner is trying to use the tragedy for his own political gain," Weprin said. "I knew people who lost their lives that day and Bob Turner dishonors their memory by politicizing the attacks on New York."

On Friday, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association also came out against the spot.

"Robert Turner's commercial is very insensitive. We object to anyone exploiting the pain of thousands of families who lost loved ones on 9/11 to score political points," said Captain Alexander Hagan, president of the group, in a statement.

Turner and Weprin are in a heated race to represent New York's 9th congressional district, which covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The seat was vacated in June when Weiner stepped down amidst scandal.

According to a poll released by the Siena Research Institute Wednesday, Weprin leads the race by six points–a narrow margin for a solidly democratic district. If Turner wins on Sept. 13, he'll become the second House Republican in the current New York City delegation.

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Troy

    New York will never be free of these demagouges of fear and racism until 9/11 is investigated as the crime it was and the perpetrators in Washington DC are identified and prosecuted. Cheney/Bush and Pat Robertson chuckled while the Trade Center burned. Obama has to take those bastards on.

    August 11, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea that we, as Americans, would deny the freedoms that others ask for is just insulting. I would have hoped that the people who are planning this would understand that the location means something to alot of other people.

    August 11, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. 5041360

    even though 9-11 was a tragedy beyond comprehension- and should never be forgotten- it has been 10 years and we cannot mourn forever-life does go on and so should we

    August 11, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. John

    Republicans doing what they do best, stirring up hate, corroding the glue that holds our society together. Disgusting.

    August 11, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. Strategic Bob

    trust a Rethuglican Taliban candidate to oppose religious freedom. we can have strip clubs down the street from Ground Zero but Godforbid that we should have the "wrong" kind of religious facility

    August 11, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. allahsux

    Don't you get it? Long ago, our Prophet went to paradise and was told a story by Allah. Now, we repeat everything back to him 5 times a day. I'm sure he really needs that.

    August 11, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    I think Weprin is right. Why even use the tragedy of 911 in an ad in the first place, especially now that we're so close to the anniversary. Besides, anyone that supports something has NOTHING to do with why they cannot be a congressman?????

    August 11, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  8. Me

    This is wrong. It isn't a mosque only, It isn't on or at Ground Zero and the President most certainly has nothing to do with it being built.

    August 11, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    It's an Islamic Center, it's not a mosque, and one of the biggest contributors to the building fund is the second-largest shareholder in NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox News.

    That's right, folks, Saudi Prince Al-Walled bin Talal holds the second-largest amount of stock in the fear and ignorance propaganda machine known as Fox News.

    August 11, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  10. Dale

    If that Muslim mosque is built at Ground Zero Al Qaeda and the Muslim brotherhood wins.

    August 11, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. J.V.hodgson

    I see clearly now the constitutionalist Republican acknowledges it not; when it suits to score Ideological or political points by nasty advertisements. The constitution grants all religions no matter how perfidous or unacceptable to anyone ( eg the texas Offshoot of the mormon church) to practice thier religion or Build a church any where they goddam wish.
    This guy is shame ful does he not rememberor be accurate meaning:-
    a) There was a mosque directly in the area of the twin towers or ground zero, why was he not against that 10 years ago?
    b) This new one is not at ground zero its two blocks away and constitutionally cannot be opposed or prevented even by the supreme court.
    For me you can flip flop on many things but if you flip flop the interpretation of the constitution for attempted political , for me man you just lost It. I do not want that kind of person in national office making Judgments on my behalf.

    August 12, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  12. Sniffit

    GOP political ads circa 2046: 9/11 imagery and demagoguery about muslims.


    Maybe it's YOU. Are YOU next? Have YOU checked YOUR papers yet to make sure you meet their standards for being sufficiently American?

    "I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. "
    -Thomas Jefferson

    August 12, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. omegarising

    No other choice..RON PAUL 2012!!

    August 12, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. Joan

    It is not a "mosque at Ground Zero. It is a community centre two blocks away from Ground Zero. It would benefit the whole communitey and is supported by the Mayor and planning department of New York. Please do not start up with the inaccurate coverage. It is long past time to use this as a political hate issue again. This political ad is a disgrace and shows no class at all.

    August 12, 2011 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  15. Republican's are fraud's !

    Seriously ? Is this the best that Turner can come up with ? That issue is dead and so is Turners bid if he seriously thinks people aren't smart enough to see through that nonsense ! Herman Cain tried that same garbage and his numbers have been dropping ever since ! We no longer have time for idiot politics ! We need problem solvers ! That district is solidly democrat and needs to stay that way !

    August 12, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  16. Tony

    Rebulikans will stoop to anything to get elected, and if they lose they will sue in court to have the results overturned.

    August 12, 2011 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  17. Sue

    It is only shameful to Weprin, because Turner is using his words/actions against him. And, that is a very important issue. The voters should be made aware that Weprin supported Obama and the mosque, because this issue is going to be surfacing again right after the election!! Obama Democrats are always trying to run away from their words/actions!! I hope that at least this issue wakes up the NY voters!!

    August 12, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |