May 23rd, 2008
10:01 AM ET
7 years ago

McCain rejects endorsement of a second controversial pastor

Sen. McCain is pictured in this file photo with Pastor John Hagee whose endorsement McCain also rejected Thursday.
Sen. McCain is pictured in this file photo with Pastor John Hagee whose endorsement McCain also rejected Thursday.

(CNN) - Hours after his rejection of Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement, John McCain rejected the backing of Pastor Rod Parsley, who said that Islam was a “conspiracy of spiritual evil.”

"I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America,” he told the Associated Press. “And I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement."

The decision to cut off Parsley could have the bigger impact on the presidential race: in 2004, the Ohio pastor was a major figure in an unprecedented evangelical turnout operation that helped an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative pass overwhelmingly, and which was widely believed to have helped President Bush carry the critical swing state state – and the presidency - by a slimmer one.

The leader of the World Harvest Church in Columbus also founded the Center for Moral Clarity - an organization which has held that adultery should be treated as a crime – during the last presidential cycle.

Related: McCain officially rejects Hagee endorsement


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Well, Well, Well.
    This is finally getting some over due press time. Everyone knew about McSame's controversial pastors who endorsed him and the ones he sought out to endorse him. What Rev Wright said was (ridiculous and foolish) but nothing compared to what these lunatics have said. Lets see how long the media will talk about this....

    May 23, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. sportsguydave

    Andy J, NY May 23rd, 2008 10:13 am ET

    Not even close to Obama and Wright… not even close.

    I say that because i know you liberal nut-bags are going to go off and cry racism. Open your eyes, and maybe use your brains and some reasoning skills.

    NOT EVEN CLOSE to the Obama and Rev. Wright situation.

    ======================================================

    Project much?

    Go back to kindergarten and re-take the day where we learned not to call other people names. And maybe re-do the rest of school too. You apparently weren't paying much attention.

    May 23, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Sara

    Some of you people on this blog don't even know what the hell you are talking about. You must be plants for McCain's – 527's or republicans.
    Your facts are not correct on Obama. – Rev.Wright is gone, Hamas is a joke – that McCain just keeps saying that, and No, Hillary stole all her issues from Obama and Edwards which she is running on. If you had listen to her since the start you would know this!

    May 23, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. MD

    These two clowns are the smallest skeletons in McCane's closet.

    May 23, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Richard

    would Rev M Huckabee remarks at the NRA in Louisville Ky be the reason way Mccain didn't have Huckabee on his list of VP want to be this week end!!!!
    well it's what i think!!!
    well while Mccain is kicking his REVs. out he may as well get REV Huckabeee too!!!

    May 23, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Bob

    I am getting kinda of tired having to walk around on egg shells when it comes to HRC supporters. Geeez, lighten up!

    May 23, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Gary Chandler in Canada

    What did JM say about Hamas favoring BO?
    "You can read a candidate by who supports him!?"
    If that is 'straight talk'? then John cannot remove the tar of these preachers. Doesn't he still have a 3rd one to denouce?

    May 23, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. James, Redlands, CA

    Hypocracy

    Flip flopper

    Political expediency

    McBush is not a straight talker

    He has lost his bearings

    He has joined hands with people who slurred him by accusing him of having an illegitimate black love child (a child he adopted from Bangladesh)

    He is not worthy

    May 23, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Typical Hillary Supporter

    Rev. Wright is one of the greatest orators in history. White folks have tried to demonize him, but it hasn't worked. Preach on brotha!

    May 23, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Elly

    I thought McSame was going to run a clean campaign
    first thing he does is get a dirty Jab in about Senator Obama
    Senator Obama took the the high road and said MCsame is not responsible for what comes out of anothers mouth ..pastor Hagee
    I have went to the same church for 30 years but I dont live by my pastors ideals I listen to and live by my OWN..Any intelligent person could figure that out.We as human beings live by whats in our own hearts and soul not what someone dictates to us!
    thats why the republicans are going down
    Americans are sick of the rovian playbook politics!!!
    Obama is intelligent and trustworthy
    He is quite capable of making sound judgements
    thats whats important!!!!
    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Jeff

    This just shows that there are a lot of crazy pastor's out there who say things that most people don't agree with. That doesn't mean that they are all around bad people or that everyone who sits in the pews believes them. Should we make John and Barack denounce and reject everyone who goes to one of these churches?!?!

    Get over it, people have different beliefs and they are not all pretty, but they are entitled to have those beleifs. This is why we need separation of church an d state.

    May 23, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. roger

    McBush is only doing this so he can use the Wright pastor mess against Obama and scream that he is rebuking Pastors that say things that are "extremests" beliefs....I don't agree with what Rev. Wright said or how Obama handled it but I will still support Obama because the GOP is full of extremests & hypocrites.....

    May 23, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. MD

    To ALL THE WAY TO DENVER: Picking a president based on type of genitals sends a wrong message to your nieces.

    Perhaps if you had mentioned ONE positive thing about this Dracula of American Politics, I would have forgiven your sexist approach to politics.

    p.s.: Hillary Clinton is going NO WHERE. If she doesn't quit after June 3, I doubt if she could even hold to her Senate seat.

    May 23, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Ohio Voter

    I/m sorry but the people who say that wright and hagee and parsely are different situations are dillusional. people keep screaming " well obama known him for 20 yrs", and " Hagee and Parsly was not McCain's spiritual advisor", and this and that yadda, yadda, yadda. Oh shut up. MCcain complimented these people, courted their endorsement for political reasons. the media played CLIPS of what Wright had quoted from other PEOPLE, If people were smart and dug deeper into what Wright was saying then they wouldn't post ignorant comments McCain just isn't getting the media frenzy like Obama did just because half of America is ignorant to alot of things. McCain will blow over b/c he's not Obama, nor half white and black, or sincere, nor a threat to some ignorant folks.

    Obama stand Strong

    May 23, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Fitz

    Kuilor2k
    You posts are probably some of the most ridiculous yet on CNN. Are you just a dumb person or species of some unknown plant life somewhere?

    No offence to all the intelligent plant life we know about.

    May 23, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Nathan

    People keep giving the impression that Obama was sitting in a pew for 20 years, and every Sunday hearing the comments they heard on CNN over and over again.

    Obama is a man of tremendous intelligence and sincerity. McCain makes it clear that he believes that Obama does not share Rev. Wright's incendiary political views. Do people really believe that Obama thinks like Rev. Wright? Do they really believe that what we heard on YouTube was the content of every sermon, every Sunday? Would Obama find Jesus and stay in those pews if it was just the incendiary stuff? I think its clear that there were other things happening and the the kinds of things we've heard about Wright were rare outbursts.

    I have a good friend who, once you get to know him, you find is very anti-semitic. It's a very real flaw, but a blemish on an otherwise wonderful person.

    People are not the sum of their most outrageous beliefs. We see only the bigotry and hate in Rev. Wright because that's the only thing that's newsworthy. That doesn't mean that it's the only thing that was there - or even the most important thing. It also doesn't mean that Obama was listening to twenty years worth of hate.

    May 23, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Natalie

    Wow! 2 pastors, not just one! McCain actively sought their endorsement, and is now rejecting them only b/c their statements went public (even though he knew about them prior). To all those who say you won't vote for Obama just b/c of Wright, yet will vote for McCain, you're hypocrits (and possibly racists)!

    And I don't even want to hear "McCain didn't sit in his church for 20 years"...give me a break! Who's to say what that man preached about in EVERY sermon for 20 years? You saw 30 seconds of 2 different sermons! Not to mention, it was only 1 phrase from each that's drawing heat, "America's chickens are coming home to roost (we deserved what we got on 9-1-1)" and "Hillary has a better chance of being elected than Barack b/c she's white." Several people have admitted that they won't vote for an African-American/Mixed Race candidate, so I would say at least the latter statement was correct. I certainly don't agree with most things Wright said, but I am wise enough to see that the situations are very similar.

    Democrat '08

    May 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Josh, Chicago IL

    ALL THE WAY TO DENVER: What are you talking about? The thing that has carried Obama thus far has been his ability to bring out first time voters and moderate Republicans (like myself). Calling Obama an extreme liberal makes zero sense in regard to the stance he has taken on any issue.

    I find it incredibly ironic that this is a year where most fiscal conservatives (like myself), whom could monetarily afford four more years of Bush, are willing to open up our check books for what we know will amount to higher taxes (a Dem in the White House). Yet, we still have blue collar individuals whom need help, and need it badly, voting for "experience" and a conservative agenda.

    Remember that when you get laid off some time in the Summer of 09.

    Change in 2008!

    May 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Saad from NJ

    This is so sad. We are supposed to be the greatest county in the world and the most tolerant.... at least that's what our forefathers envisioned. For us to blame 'a' religion for individual fanatics who hurt innocents in the name of a religion is not right. Every religion, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and all others teach a way of life that leads to peace. Religion does not teach wisdom. It is the individuals who have to gain that by learning the good from a religion, whichever one he/she belongs to. And for those who lack it, whether it be someone who carries an action that hurts innocents, or be it those who blame a religion for people who carry those actions, will never have achieved the level of wisdom that each religion teaches us to achieve. Very sad.

    May 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Natalie

    Wow! 2 pastors, not just one! McCain actively sought their endorsement, and is now rejecting them only b/c their statements went public (even though he knew about them prior). To all those who say you won't vote for Obama just b/c of Wright, yet will vote for McCain, you're hypocrits (and possibly racists)!

    And I don't even want to hear "McCain didn't sit in his church for 20 years"…give me a break! Who's to say what that man preached about in EVERY sermon for 20 years? You saw 30 seconds of 2 different sermons! Not to mention, it was only 1 phrase from each that's drawing heat, "America's chickens are coming home to roost (we deserved what we got on 9-1-1)" and "Hillary has a better chance of being elected than Barack b/c she's white." Several people have admitted that they won't vote for an African-American/Mixed Race candidate, so I would say at least the latter statement was correct. I certainly don't agree with most things Wright said, but I am wise enough to see that the situations are very similar.

    Democrat '08

    May 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. John

    Reading through these comments really shows off how stupid and uninformed the American populace is. Maybe we need a dictator to keep the idiots in line.

    May 23, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Julie

    Sorry gramps...too little too late. Maybe you should have vetted these folks a little before you SOUGHT OUT their endorsements. McCains campaign is a mess – is that how he'd run the country if elected?

    May 23, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. If not Hillary, then Mccain

    Karen from Texas May 23rd, 2008 11:28 am ET

    Hillary supporters, are we on the same team? Are you a democrat or a Hillacrat? Which one? Hillary and Obama are on the same team. To say that you will not vote for him due to your democratic person is not the winner, you are stating that you will not vote for a democrat? What is really going on?

    .. Karen we want an elected president by the people,and not a king crowned by the media.

    May 23, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Sam

    McCain believes "there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America"? His senility must be kicking in even harder. This country was built on the freedom of speech and free exchange of ideas, even crazy ones like this newest right-wing pastor, Hagee and Wright. This country is not about blind submission; it's about open discourse. What's with him?

    May 23, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Nathan

    People keep giving the impression that Obama was sitting in a pew for 20 years, and every Sunday hearing the comments they heard on CNN.

    Obama is a man of tremendous intelligence and sincerity. McCain makes it clear that he believes that Obama does not share Rev. Wright's incendiary political views. Do people really believe that Obama thinks like Rev. Wright? Do they really believe that what we heard on YouTube was the content of every sermon, every Sunday? Would Obama find Jesus and stay in those pews if it was just the incendiary stuff? I think its clear that there were other things happening and the the kinds of things we've heard about Wright were rare outbursts.

    I have a good friend who, once you get to know him, you find is very anti-semitic. It's a very real flaw, but a blemish on an otherwise wonderful person.

    People are not the sum of their most outrageous beliefs. We see only the bigotry and hate in Rev. Wright because that's the only thing that's newsworthy. That doesn't mean that it's the only thing that was there - or even the most important thing. It also doesn't mean that Obama was listening to twenty years worth of hate.

    May 23, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22