That didn't take long.
Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (R) -- who, according to polls, is losing ground in his primary race against Bill McCollum (R) -- is up with a TV ad criticizing President Obama's remarks on the mosque near Ground Zero.
But he isn't the only Republican trying to score political points off of what Obama said Friday night. Here's a release from Sharron Angle's (R) Senate campaign in Nevada: "As the Majority Leader, Harry Reid is usually President Obama's mouthpiece in the U.S. Senate, and yet he remains silent on this issue. Reid has a responsibility to stand up and say no to the mosque at Ground Zero or once again side with President Obama---this time against the families of 9/11 victims. America is waiting.”
And now Reid's Senate spokesman, Jim Manley, replies that the mosque should be built somewhere else. "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," Manley said, per the Washington Post. "Sen. Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else." Manley added, "If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 9/11, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation."
But the response from Reid's office precisely hits at why fellow Democrats were upset with Obama wading into the mosque issue with little back up -- it has put them on the defensive.
*** UPDATE *** We wrote that McCollum had been gaining ground on Scott in the polls. But a new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 shows Scott with a 10-point lead over McCollum.