In his speech, Obama said: "I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground."
Palin lashed out in her brief post. "Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people?" she wrote. "Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade."
The pay grade reference hearkened back to a 2008 campaign forum hosted by the Rev. Rick Warren between Obama and Sen. John McCain. Warren asked Obama, "Forty million abortions, at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"
Obama responded, "Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."
Last month, Palin asked New Yorkers and Muslims to reject construction of the mosque in a now infamous Facebook and Twitter post in which she used the word "refudiate" when she meant "repudiate."
On Friday night before Obama's speech, Palin tweeted, "Will Obama express US lingering pain& ask Muslims for tolerance by discouraging 9/11 mosque while he celebrates Islamic holy month tonight?"
Palin certainly got her answer from Obama and responded accordingly. She asked Obama why he wasn't encouraging the mosque developers to accept Gov. David Paterson's offer of state property as a possible site. Paterson's office would have to competitively sell state land by a bidding process.
"If the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated, I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need," Paterson said last week.
Palin asked Obama, "Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as 'hallowed ground'? I believe these are legitimate questions to ask."
On Saturday before Palin's post, a CNN reporter asked Obama, who is visiting Florida, about his Friday night comments. Obama said, "My intention was to simply let people know what I thought, which was that in this country we treat everyone equally, 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 a decision to put a mosque there."
Later in the day, White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said Obama was not backing down on his Friday night remarks. Instead, Burton said, "It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project."
Burton also said that it was Obama's duty to stand up for the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans.
"What he said last night, and reaffirmed today," Burton said, "is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a mosque."
In less than an hour after she published it, more than 5,000 people liked Palin's post. It had received thousands of comments.
One Palin follower wrote: "Doesn't this shlub Obama read history? The Muslims for centuries have built mosques on top of areas where there have won a major victory. They believe that killing over 3000 Americans is a major victory."
Another Palin supporter wrote, "Amen, Sister Sarah."
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