Splitting with President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that he doesn't think a proposed mosque should be built near Ground Zero - the site where New York's World Trade Center towers stood before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
Reid, who is in a tough re-election battle in his home state, weighed in with a one-paragraph statement from his Washington office indicating that "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion" but that Reid nonetheless believes "the mosque should be built some place else."
Obama made the previously controversy the national spotlight Friday when he backed the building of the mosque in a speech to a group of Muslim-Americans, draping the issue as a matter of America upholding its commitment to religious freedom.
But Obama clarified his remarks the next day, stating that he wasn't commenting on the wisdom of building the mosque near Ground Zero. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."