The majority of New Yorkers want the developers of Park51, known to its opponents as the “Ground Zero mosque,” to voluntarily move the community center further from Ground Zero — but the majority also acknowledges the developers’ right to build there if they want.
Newt Gingrich doesn’t feel that way. In a radio interview today, he said he wants the national government to step in and stop the developers from building the Islamic community center by whatever means necessary.
“I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war,” he said, apparently thinking that if Ground Zero was a national park, Park51 would be restricted from building near it.
And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.
“The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to.”
And, if the federal government doesn’t intervene, and the state government declines to use its regulatory and enforcement powers to delay a private development project, Gringrich says the mayor should step in.
“I am surprised that Mayor Bloomberg said it was okay and I think that if he reconsiders it, he’ll decide its not.”
In fact, on whatever level, Gingrich thinks government intervention is the answer.
“There are a number of different steps that could be taken. There’s no reason this has to occur and whether it’s city, state, or federal there are plenty of ways for America to stop it,” Gingrich said.