Obama ‘Recalibrates’ on Ground Zero Mosque

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Photo: Getty Images

What a difference a day makes. On Friday night, President Obama backed the construction of a mosque and community center near ground zero in lower Manhattan — or so it seemed. After withering attacks from Republicans, he recalibrated on Saturday:


I was not commenting, and I will not comment, on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there.

Really? Let's go to the tape. In his comments on Friday, given at a White House iftar, or Ramadan sunset dinner, he said:


As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And 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.

So the president thinks Muslims have a right to build the center but won't say whether he thinks it's "wise?" That sounds uncomfortably like being against same-sex marriage but opposing the California law that outlaws it. And Mayor Bloomberg's non-calibrated defense of the mosque is looking braver by the day.

With Remarks on Mosque, Obama Enters Risky Debate [NYT]