Friday night, during an Iftar dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, President Obama caused a stir by wading into the controversy surrounding the Cordoba Ground Zero Mosque Project:
But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that 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. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
The reaction from the right blogosphere was swift and nearly unanimous, and GOP leadership pounced.
On Saturday, right after Air Force One touched down at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Obama made the following remarks at Naval Support Center – Panama City:
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there,” Obama said yesterday in Panama City, Florida, during a trip with his family to the Gulf of Mexico. “I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding. That is what our country is about.”
Give the President some credit. It took 2004 Presidential Candidate John Kerry many months to declare that he was for the war in Iraq before he was against it. This Obama dude, though... He’s panther quick. He walked it back in less that 24 hours.