Mosque debate divides Democrats, especially in NY

NEW YORK (AP) - Several New York House Democrats are scrambling away from President Barack Obama's claim that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero.

As many as eight New York House Democrats are believed to be vulnerable in the next election. Several have broken publicly with Obama on the mosque.

The latest is Rep. John Hall, who represents a suburban district north of the city. He says he believes the mosque should be moved somewhere else.

The matter has even quieted the normally loquacious Sen. Chuck Schumer. He is seeking re-election this year and has yet to weigh in on the controversy.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is also facing voters this fall. She says she supports the center but would also back efforts to move it if community members decide to try to do so.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)