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Video: Bloomberg defends mosque

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    >>> opponents are banding together forming the interfaith coalition for diversity. mayor mike bloomberg showed us what it looks like when a new york politician sticks to his position.

    >> there are people of every faith, including some in this room who are hoping a compromise will end the debate. but it won't. the question will then become, how big should the no mosque zone be around the world trade center site ? there's already a mosque four blocks away. should it be moved? this is a test of our commitment to american values and we have to have the courage of our convictions.

    >> politico senior white house reporter glenn thush joins us. i wanted to show you a little of an extraordinary "hardball." rick lazio running in new york against andrew calm mow.

    >> the imam spearheading this effort did in fact say american policies were an accessory to the crime of 9/11. this is the same month as the attacks on 9/112001.

    >> why don't you give us the complete sentence he gave. it would be more helpful. you gave half the sentence.

    >> as i recall, american policies were an accessory to the crime of 9/11. and people --

    >> that's not the sentence. i wouldn't say the united states deserved what happened but the united states policies were in excess, we could argue about the word accessories, he didn't see we deserved to be hit.

    >> even that as a complete distortion of the record we've been able to obtain for the imam. glenn , how do they get out of this politically?

    >> well, it depends on who you're talking about. lazio, the republicans are happy with where they are politically. as you said, the facts are definitely not getting in the way of people making political arguments on this. mayor ploom berg's staff was enormously proud of speech and the reception was really warm. i was taken by the comment about the fact he is not willing to go for this compromise that people even in the white house it's a statement about religious freedom in new york and any neighborhood in new york city has the right to have any house of worship . i think he'll get a lot of support in new york about that but it's going to be a powerful issue for republicans across the country.

    >> is governor chris christie trying to take a different approach. new jersey had huge losses with 9/11 and he's pointing out that we have to be sensitive to these families. i've heard from some myself. and that can't be overlooked. the the wife of the i mam said they have not contacted all of the family. this was governor christie on " morning joe ."

    >> my whole objection from the beginning was everybody turned into political football , positioning it for political advantage, that's not the way you bring people together. these are could be tententious issues i have great compassion for the victims of 9/11 and we should be concerned with what their sensitives are.

    >> go haetd, glenn .

    >> i've got to disagree with the governor. i don't thing everyone is trying to turn it into political football . bloomberg does have the presidential reflections but i don't think they are recognizable. i don't think the mayor is gaining anything politically. this notion that it's equivalent on both sides, that everyone, democrats or republicans or liberals or conservatives are trying to gain political benefit from this, i think that's a canard, there's a particular group trying to gain benefit.