Newt Gingrich Compares Park51 Project To Quran Burning: Obama Should Tell Imam 'Don't Do It'
Former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday urged President Obama to respond to the Park51 Islamic Community Center proposal near Ground Zero in the same way he did to a plan by Florida Rev. Terry Jones to burn Qurans on the ninth anniversary of 9/11. On Thursday, Obama encouraged Jones to call off his "stunt," which he eventually did. Gingrich said the president should ask the same of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a key sponsor and religious figure behind the Park51 project.
"I think the American people are prepared to say don't burn the Koran just as they wouldn't want to burn the bible or any other religious document," Gingrich said on ABC News's "Good Morning America." "But they are also prepared to say [to Obama] 'Why don't you be pretty blunt, be at least as blunt with Imam Rauf as you are with the pastor in Florida and tell him don't do it.'"
Last month, Obama weighed in on the Park51 project, saying that the planners had "the right to build" the 13-story Islamic community center two blocks away from Ground Zero. He later changed his tone, however, saying that though backers indeed had the right to go forward with the project, he would "not comment on the wisdom" of doing so.
Watch Newt Gingrich On ABC News's "Good Morning America":