Published August 18, 2010
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, in a surprise move Wednesday, became the second high profile Democrat to come out against the building of a cultural center and mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero.
“This is something that we ought to be able to work out with people of good faith," Dean said in an interview with WABC radio.
"We have to understand that it is a real affront to people who’ve lost their lives, including Muslims.
"That site doesn’t belong to any particular religion … So I think a good reasonable compromise could be worked out without violating the principle that people ought to be able to worship as they see fit.”
Dean, one of the more liberal members of the party who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 before serving as head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), suggested the mosque should be moved.
“Well I think another site would be a better idea, again -- but I would look to do that with the cooperation of the people who are trying to build the mosque,” Dean said.
Dean became the second high profile Democrat to come out against the building of the mosque just blocks from Ground Zero.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) became the first high profile Democrat to oppose building it. Reid is locked in a tight re-election race in Nevada against Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle.
“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley wrote in an email to NewsCore Monday. "Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else."
A Siena Research Institute poll released Wednesday showed that 61 percent of New Yorkers opposed building the mosque at the current location. National polls have showed a similar number of people opposed to it.