GOPer Abandons Support Of ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ After Dem Opposes It

Richard Hanna, the Republican congressional candidate in NY-24, was the rare Republican who supported the proposed Cordoba House plans. That is, until his Democratic opponent, incumbent Rep. Michael Arcuri, announced his own opposition to the “Ground Zero mosque.”

Now, Hanna says that “building a mosque near Ground Zero is insensitive.”Originally, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports, Hanna said on August 9 that “it’s extremely easy to understand why people are upset by this, but this country was founded by people who were running away from religious persecution. So how can we become what we have beheld and found contemptible other places?”

Yesterday, Arcuri released the following statement:

As district attorney, I spent my career protecting victims’ rights, and to me, this is no different. The pain felt by many Americans from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is still very real, and I can understand how the thought of building a mosque near Ground Zero could reopen those wounds. For the sake of the victims and their families, I think another location should be chosen.

Which was followed by Hanna’s walkback: “As I said in previous statements, they have a constitutional right to build this, but with rights come responsibilities,” he said in a statement. “This is the wrong location. Building a mosque near Ground Zero is insensitive, an affront to the victims of 9/11, and it lacks respect for the general public’s feelings.”

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Welcome To The Neighborhood: A Look At The Area Around The ‘Ground Zero Mosque’]