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At Maryland Mosque, Obama Calls Muslims 'Real Americans'

President Obama speaks during his final State of the Union address last month. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Visiting a mosque on U.S. soil for the first time, President Barack Obama urged Americans to reject politics that target those of a single faith and told Muslim-Americans “you’re right where you belong.”  

Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore offered him a chance to counter anti-Muslim rhetoric from some leading GOP presidential hopefuls such as Donald Trump. And it was met with resistance from some on the country’s political right. Calling members of the Muslim faith who reside here “true Americans,” the president thanked them for “serving” their communities and helping “build America.”  

'Big Men': Is Trump America's Berlusconi?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in front of a wax statue of John Wayne during a news conference at the John Wayne Museum on Jan. 19 in Winterset, Iowa. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A wealthy businessman-turned-politician promised his countrymen a “miracle,” serving voters a cocktail of bombastic nationalist rhetoric and boasts about his business acumen.  

Prominent publications such as The New York Times branded him “a man of no particular ideology,” who “exploited vague slogans” on the campaign trail. The Economist, Roll Call's sister publication, called him “a controversial tycoon with few coherent policies,” observing that the man “acts like a businessman who has seen a market niche ... and is rushing to fill it.”  

White House Tars Scalise, GOP After Trump's 'Muslim' Moment (Video)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest broadly tarred Republicans Friday, after Donald Trump failed to correct an audience member at a rally Thursday who asserted that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.  

Earnest said he has no idea why people believe Obama is a Muslim, but said there have been many Republican leaders, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who have cynically countenanced similar views by their supporters for political gain. "Is anybody really surprised that this happened at a Donald Trump rally?" Earnest asked. "I don't think anybody who's been paying attention to Republican politics is at all surprised.