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Obama Has No Regrets About 9/11 Mosque Comments But Democrats Up for Election May Be Feeling the Pain

August 19, 2010

Obama has just recently been quoted as having “no regrets” for his comments regarding the Ground Zero mosque, the 9/11 mosque, or what is supposedly going to simply be an “Islamic community center” (although how that is different from a mosque when the Imam admits that religious worship will be done there is beyond explanation), but others are stating that Obama’s lack of regrets adds to the perception that Obama really is more suited to teaching law than working in politics.

While some attribute Obama’s newest low rankings to the economy, others postulate that his mosque comments really have driven his approval ratings to new lows:

More than half of Americans now disapprove ofPresident Barack Obama’s job performance, new polling found, as the Ground Zero mosque controversy appeared to further erode ratings that the nation’s stagnant economy already had damaged.

Gallup’s tracking poll for Saturday through Monday found Obama’sdisapproval rating at 51 percent, a new high, the organization said Tuesday. For the third day in a row, the president’s average approval rating was 42 percent, also a low for Obama.

“It’s certainly a reasonable hypothesis that the mosque comments are a cause of his lower approval ratings and his higher disapproval,” said Frank Newport , Gallup’s editor in chief.

This latest three-day tracking began the day after Obama delivered a speech in which he said a group of Muslims had the right to build a house of worship anywhere local laws allowed, and that the nation’s commitment to religious freedom must remain “unshakeable.”

The tracking poll doesn’t ask respondents to explain the factors behind their ratings.

All this comes as other high-profile Democrats are heading to the polls this fall.  And it’s set to affect other political races beyond the President’s realm, encompassing a large number of Democrats running for election this fall:

A CNN/Opinion Research poll released last week found that nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed the mosque plan, while 29 percent approved.

In a new question, the latest poll found that many New Yorkers believe the project is protected by the Constitution, even if they oppose the plan.

Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, say the developers have a constitutional right to build the mosque. Twenty-eight percent say they do not.

Among those who oppose building the mosque, about half agree that developers have the constitutional right to build it. Twenty-eight percent of mosque opponents say they do not have that right.

Nearly a quarter of voters questioned said the issue will have a major effect on which candidate for governorthey support. Thirty-seven percent say it will have some effect, while about 40 percent of voters say it won’t matter.

The poll showed Republican Carl Paladino, who has taken the hardest line against the project among the candidates, is continuing to gain on Rick Lazio heading into the GOP primary and also gaining on Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Still, Cuomo continues to have twice the support of either Lazio or Paladino.

Of those who see the issue as a major factor in their vote, almost all — 92 percent — oppose building the mosque near ground zero.

Obama is accused of seeming insensitive to the families affected by 9/11, acting the professor rather than the president:

From statehouses to state fairs on Tuesday, Republican incumbents and challengers unleashed an almost unified line of criticism against the president days after he forcefully defended the construction of a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from the site of the 2001 terror attacks.

Recalling the emotion of that deadly day, Republicans said that while they respect religious freedom, the president’s position was cold and academic, lacking compassion and empathy for the victims’ families.

“He is thinking like a lawyer and not like an American, making declarations without America’s best interest in mind,” said Andrew Harris, a Republican running for Congress in Maryland against first-term Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil…

“Well I think it’s another example of him playing the role of law professor. … We can have a great debate about the legal arguments. But it’s not about that,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in an interview Monday on Fox News.

Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

Democrats face an unforgiving political landscape 11 weeks before midterm elections, with high unemployment, ethics charges against two senior House Democrats and Obama’s low approval ratings taking a toll. The president injected another issue to the mix when he said last Friday that Muslims “have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country” and that included building the Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

A day later, Obama told reporters that wasn’t an endorsement of the specifics of the mosque plan.

Republicans called it the “9/11 Mosque” and the “Ground Zero Mosque,” falsely describing it as if a place of worship were being built in the crater left behind when the Twin Towers crumbled. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott started running a TV ad in Florida that said: “Mr. President, ground zero is the wrong place for a mosque.”

While Obama may be quoting the letter of the law, many complain he has missed the spirit, comparing this Ground Zero mosque to a Japanese memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I hear the drumbeats, marching, marching, down, go the Democrats…

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