Gingrich aide: Mosque at Ground Zero is like statue of Marx at Arlington

Spokesman Rick Tyler also compares Muslim place of worship to a shrine to Mussolini


Justin Elliott
July 30, 2010 8:28PM (UTC)

Newt Ginrich's spokesman told Salon in a phone interview today that building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a statue of Mussolini or Marx at Arlington National Cemetery."

Asked what the 19th century German philosopher had ever done to America, Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said: "Well let's go with Lenin then." Tyler explained that he was talking about Lenin, who died in 1924, as representative of the Cold War and ideologies opposed to America.

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(For the record, the planned Muslim community center is not "at" Ground Zero, and there has been a mosque in the neighborhood for decades.)

Tyler is a longtime Gingrich aide who leads the group Renewing American Leadership, which is currently raising money off of anti-mosque sentiment. The mission of the group is "to preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage by defending and promoting the three pillars of American civilization: freedom, faith and free markets."

For his part, Gingrich has focused his anti-mosque arguments on exhortations for the United States to be more like Saudi Arabia.


Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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