Senators on Pres. Obama's Mosque Comments
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Fox News Sunday to discuss the controversy surrounding President Obamas initial support, and then clarification, of his statement concerning the mosque set to be built near ground zero in New York City.
Senator Cornyn serves as the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is responsible for getting Republican candidates elected to the Senate. Cornyn had this to say about how President Obamas comments, on the New York mosque, might play out on the campaign trail, It demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America. And I think that's one of the reasons people are so frustrated.
When asked directly whether this would be an election year issue, Cornyn said, I think this is sort of the dichotomy that people sense, that they're being lectured to, not listened to, and I think that's the reason why a lot of people are very upset with Washington. So I think in that, to that extent, yes.
Senator Reed, a leading Democrat on issues of national security, came out in support of the presidents statements by saying, The president, I think, is right to point out that our traditions do embrace tolerance for religions, all religions.
However, Reed also said that the issue of whether or not build the mosque resided with local authorities. I know it's a decision that the local authorities have made. It can be there if it is operates to foster dialogue, to recognize the commonality of religious principles. But it can't be there, and I don't think it should be allowed to be there, if it's going to be some type of way to undercut the truth, the reality, of 9/11.
Moving on to the overall election outlook for the 2010 midterms, Cornyn addressed what he saw as the overriding issue, the economy. These races are going to be decided based on how people feel about the economy, how they feel about spending and debt.
Some Democratic candidates have shied away from having President Obama campaign for them back in their home districts and/or states. Senator Reed dismissed this strategy, and said the opposite would probably happen. He said, I think he will be out there and making the case that we have to go forward. To go back to the Bush policies would be a disaster for the country. And many candidates will be wanting that message.