08/14/2010 -- During prepared remarks, President Obama said the following this past Friday, August the 13th, at a Ramadan dinner that was held at the White House . . .
"But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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."Also present at that dinner were a mere three Members of Congress.
From the same L.A. Times story, linked above, they were identified as follows:
. . .
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
The Honorable Andre Carson, United States Representative (Indiana 7th)
The Honorable John Conyers, United States Representative (Michigan 14th)
The Honorable Rush Holt, United States Representative (New Jersey 12th)
. . . .
(my emphasis added)
Following strong negative reactions that night and the following morning, the President apparently decided that he was NOT being clear.
He has since backtracked, per Politico:
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there."Perhaps the best proof that he was indeed backtracking, was the fact that the next day, the White House press spokesman (Bill Burton) felt compelled to publicly deny that the President was in any way backtracking.
Obviously, someone must have thought he was! Otherwise, why would you publicly deny it?
Here was what Burton said in pertinent part:
"Just to be clear, the President is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night."Burton went on to add that the President was merely speaking from a position of defending a "constitutional principle," and that he was not in any way passing judgment on the wisdom of a local project. So, as for the wisdom of the project, the President is back to voting "present."
Hey, here's a thought . . . maybe Congressman Rush Holt (in whose district I reside) can help to clear things up! As noted above, he was one of only three Members of Congress present at that dinner.
Perhaps he has an opinion of his own to offer on the wisdom of building the Mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero. Congressman?
Who knows . . . perhaps Rush Holt can also help clear up what the President meant when he said what he said on Friday night.
And, perhaps he could also add a comment on why he hasn't said a single word about it since Friday night, even though he was present at that White House dinner. As one of the special insiders in attendance, no doubt he heard all the chit-chat!
Rush Holt . . . "Let YOU Be Clear . . ."