President Obama's words at a White House Ramadan gathering Aug. 13, 2010 regarding a mosque being opened near the Ground Zero 9/11 site:
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. 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 that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.
In terms of the Constitution, the message was spot-on and not debatable. Many on the Left, Right and Center agreed with him.
Shortly thereafter Newt Gingrich committed what Mike Barnicle labeled “political pyromania” (see “IN THE NEWS” at right) and dropped an “N” bomb by equating Muslims to Nazis—pouring gasoline on what might have remained a brush fire.
The following day, President Obama caved. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. What was intended as nuance was pounced on by the media as a John Kerry flip-flop; where he was for the mosque before, now he was against it.
Suddenly the Ground Zero mosque took over the news.
Direct marketers who fail to take current news into consideration will be sunk by it,” wrote Martin Gross, author of “The Direct Marketer’s Idea Book.”