Chris Christie Warns Republicans, Democrats Against Playing 'Political Football' With Mosque

08/17/2010 12:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, issued a warning to members his party, as well as to Democrats, on the danger of playing "political football" with debate over plans to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Politico reports:

[Christie] on Monday became the most prominent GOP figure to warn against "overreacting" to the threat of terror and painting "all of Islam" with the brush of terrorism amid the swirling controversy about the Ground Zero-area mosque.

The remarks from Christie, who took office in January, were a striking departure from major GOP players like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, who have been adamantly opposed to the construction of the proposed Islamic mosque and cultural center two blocks north of the northern perimeter of Ground Zero - putting them at odds with people like New York City Mayor Bloomberg and, to a lesser degree, President Barack Obama.

The New Jersey Governor signaled that he wouldn't personally weigh into the debate on what has become an increasingly hot topic for discussion among lawmakers.

On politicizing the issue, Christie said, "All people in our country suffer when those kind of things happen."

The former federal prosecutor says the sensitivities of the families of the 9/11 victims should be taken into account. He also says America cannot condemn all of Islam because of the actions of terrorists.

Some have said the building is insensitive because the terrorists who struck the buildings in 2001 were Islamic extremists.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Obama have backed the right for the developers to build the Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero.

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