Speaking Friday night at a White House dinner to honor the holy month of Ramadan, the president said, "Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," an apparent show of support for the mosque.
On Saturday, while spending the day in the Gulf, the president clarified, "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."
Later in the day, spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement saying "the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night.
"It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans," Burton said.
This morning former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said it best
if you're explaining you're losing.
The president will be doing an awful lot of explaining over this issue because it's very confusing exactly what his position is.