McCain Renounces Hagee, Hagee Withdraws His Endorsement
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu May 22, 2008 at 04:42:48 PM EST
CNN reports that John McCain, apparently trying to stanch the bleeding, has finally "renounced" the endorsement of John Hagee.  Two hours earlier, Hagee withdrew his endorsement, (details on the flip) But, CNN reports, McCain  "...added that his relationship with Hagee did not compare with Obama's lengthy association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright."

Well, actually, it is far worse, as Bruce Wilson has reported here at Talk to Action.  It is rediculous that McCain's response is reduced to comparing problematic pastors, but if that is the game, I'd say Obama wins.

John McCain and John Hagee have co-endorsed each other (multiple times). John Hagee says God sent Hitler. McCain pursued Hagee's endorsement for over a year and showed up, at Hagee's July 2007 "Christians United For Israel" event, to give a speech. In 2000, McCain said he'd 'never' solicit political support from people like Hagee. In early 2007, John Hagee and Jerry Falwell helped stage a fund raiser for McCain. Hagee and his CUFI members envision 'worse than Auschwitz' for Jews in Israel. US Senator John McCain has shared a stage with Hagee multiple times, endorsing Hagee simply by his presence but McCain has also praised (multiple times, on national television and at public events) Hagee and Hagee's leadership. Hagee expounds a crypto anti-Jewish conspiracy theory.

Obama has certainly had a longtime and now defunct, personal relationship with Rev. Wright. But Wright has had no role in Obama's presidential campaign. Wright is not a politically powerful figure and has not sought to be.

Conversely, McCain aggressively sought out the endorsement of John Hagee -- one of the most prominent and powerful figures on the religious right, and every bit as controversial as say, Pat Robertson. Nevertheless, McCain turned a blind eye to the extreme views in Hagee's published work and public statements.

Here is what CNN announced about the renouncement:

The Huffington Post had published a recording of Hagee saying that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.

"Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well," McCain said in a statement to CNN Thursday.

Of course, it should be pointed out here, it was The Huffington Post reporting on Bruce Wilson's video expose that advanced the story, but did not originate it.

Here is the full text of Hagee's statement:

PASTOR JOHN HAGEE WITHDRAWS ENDORSEMENT FOR SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Ever since I endorsed John McCain for president, people seeking to attack Senator McCain have combed my records for statements they can use for political gain.  They have had no qualms about grossly misrepresenting my position on issues most near and dear to my heart if it serves their political ambitions.  

I am tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues.  I have therefore decided to withdraw my endorsement of Senator McCain for President effective today, and to remove myself from any active role in the 2008 campaign.  

I hope that the Senator McCain will accept this withdrawal so that he may focus on the issues that are most important to America and the world.

Much more to come on all this, I'm sure.




Display:
I have encountered Bruce as a tireless investigator- his tirelessness has paid off well today!!  Great work.

One question: what enables Hagee, a pastor and spokesman for (I assume) a 501(c)(3), non-profit religious organization, to endorse a political candidate?  The UCC was recently investigated by the IRS for simply allowing Obama to speak at a convention.

Perhaps this might be the next line of investigation.  Connections to presidential politics or not- Hagee is a dangerous man who needs the rug pulled out from under him.  These insane religious views are affecting US foreign policy, and must be discredited.

by Steven D. Martin on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:16:35 PM EST

as an individual.

They just can't do it from the pulpit or otherwise using 501c3 resources. I don't think Hagee's personal endorsement crossed any lines (barring any facts I have not yet heard.)

The Obama speech at the UCC convention was a borderline case. Pols speak to religious groups all the time, including and especially their own churches and denominations. The circumstances determine whether 501c3 resources have been inappropriately used to advance someone's candidacy. My guess is that the IRS will not find against the UCC on this.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:25:38 PM EST
Parent

The IRS has ruled on the UCC/Obama case, and has found no impropriety.  I think the news on that came out yesterday.

by Steven D. Martin on Thu May 22, 2008 at 06:38:46 PM EST
Parent




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