Informal Remarks to Reporters in Panama City Beach, Florida
[in clarifying remakrs made at the Iftar Dinner on August 13 regarding plans to build an Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan]
...Well, my intention was simply to let people know what I thought. Which was that in this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion. I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about.
And I think it's very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about.
APP Note: This transcript was not released by the White House, nor included in the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. It was included in the White House Press Pool report issued by Carol Lee of POLITICO and reproduced widely on the Internet.
Barack Obama, Informal Remarks to Reporters in Panama City Beach, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/289138