(08/17/10) THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg applauded President Barack Obama for announcing his support for a planned mosque that would be built near Ground Zero.

In response to the president?s support, Bloomberg said that Obama is "a person who understands the value of diversity and understands the importance of protecting the right that you have under the Constitution of the United States, included in that is the right to speak and the right to pray any way you want."

"It would be a sad day for America," Bloomberg said about the possibility of opponents stopping plans for the mosque.

Bloomberg previously came out in support of the mosque.