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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sink bucks Obama on mosque



Alex Sink, the leading Democratic candidate for governor, said this afternoon that she does not agree with President Obama's backing of a mosque near Ground Zero.

“Like all Floridians, I'm grateful for our constitutional right to freedom of religion," Sink said in a statement to the St. Petersburg Times. "When it comes to what to build close to the hallowed site of Ground Zero, I think it ought to be up to the people of New York City to decide. It is my personal opinion that the wishes of the 9/11 victims’ families and friends must be respected. They are opposed to this project and I share their view.”

Kendrick Meek, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, offered a more couched reaction. "Our nation was founded on the pillar of religious freedom and construction of the mosque should not be denied on religious grounds, but this is ultimately a decision for the local community in New York City to make," he said in a statement.

Said Marco Rubio, the Republican in the Senate race: "We are a nation founded on strong principles of religious freedom. However, we cannot be blind to the pain 9/11 caused our nation and the families of the victims. It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism. I strongly disagree with President Obama and Charlie Crist."

More reaction from Charlie Crist and others here. Obama, in Panama City, sought to clarify his remarks.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:20am]


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