- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Obama said Wednesday he has “no regrets” over the comments he made about the right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York.

Mr. Obama was asked about his comments while he was concluding a town-hall-style meeting on the economy in Ohio. He has drawn criticism from Republican officials and others who say the Islamic center, including a mosque, should not be near the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The president inserted himself into the debate over the mosque last week when he said Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in the United States.

A day later, Mr. Obama told reporters that he wasn’t endorsing the specifics of the mosque plan.