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. Sharon Minnesota

    I just pinched myself and guess what? I'm a real person who has an opinion different from others on this blog. I do not lie or pretend to be someone I'm not. "A wise man/woman changes, a fool changes not". If you find it necessary to change something you have believed in for many years, then do it. Besides, just because my posts are making sense without being rude or vulgar doesn't mean I'm a hired writer.

    McCain has faults but one of them is not checking out of America on Sunday morning for 20 years.

    Barack is looking and sounding very PC lately but what has he really done and what is he really thinking? We may never fully know.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Melanie Myers, WA

    I appreciate John McCain's service, but so many others were prisoners of war as well. That should not give him an instant ticket to the White House. He served the country honorably, and we thank him for that, but he by no means is the right person for this country.

    No matter what your feelings are toward Barack or Hillary, this country needs a Democrat in the White House. If I don't get my first choice, I'm certainly not throwing America into another war with McCain. I'm jus not. No way.

    May 23, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. MM, WA

    appreciate John McCain's service, but so many others were prisoners of war as well. That should not give him an instant ticket to the White House. He served the country honorably, and we thank him for that, but he by no means is the right person for this country.

    No matter what your feelings are toward Barack or Hillary, this country needs a Democrat in the White House. If I don't get my first choice, I'm certainly not throwing America into another war with McCain. I'm just not. No way.

    May 23, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. R.I.F.

    McCain makes a big deal saying that Hamas endorsed Obama in which Obama never sought and has rejected.

    McCain spends a FULL YEAR SEEKING THE ENDORSEMENT OF HAGEE and was so proud of it he held a press conference with Sen. John Cornyn of Texas (by the way, someone who has had a relationship with Hagee for many years) so what's u with the Staigh Talk Express. According to McCain, if someone endorses you then you are suppose to conclude that you share their views. If you go out an seek those endorsesments isn't that even worse?

    May 23, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Carl

    FACT

    Tax revenue averages out to exactly 19.5% of the GDP from world war 2 all the way to 2006. This happens regardless of how much we pay in taxes....

    why? Because the government takes their money taxing the incomes and profits of businesses...

    FACT

    The economy expands faster, and more taxes are collected, when you lower the federal tax rate on the citizen.

    FACT

    World oil consumption demands 86.5 million barrels per day, while the supply is only 85 million per day. That means the remaining barrels are taken from oil company reserves.

    Hence the high price of gas. You ask why profits? It's because we are buying their personal reserve, and that is where the profit comes from...

    they dont' make a profit on the $750 billion they have to buy annually from foreign leaders...

    SUMMARY

    Do some research for yourself... ignore party lines, and have a brain...

    May 23, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    McCain's pastor problem is very different, and much more a negative reflection of the candidate, than Obama's Reverend Wright situation. Obama's connection was entirely spiritual, while McCain's was purely political. When Obama heard of the comments that triggered the Wright flap, he immediately rejected them, McCain had to know about the radical statements of the his two pastor indorsers ... they were all over the press ... and he sought out and welcomed their endorsements, only bailing after the Hitler remark made them both even more of a political liability. Flip flop. Finger in the wind. Whatever happened to 'Straight Talk'?

    May 23, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. huffmatyke

    God is not the author of confusion so when they don't agree somebody is confused

    May 23, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Charles

    OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I meant they AREN"T McCain's pastors.

    May 23, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. mike

    CNN keeps playing up this non-story. What is it with CNN? There is no story here. The guy was not his pastor for 20 years – OK? McCain didn't fumble – he rejected this guy right away. This is not anything close to the Obama/Wright story but CNN would love to make it controversial.

    May 23, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Doris, MS

    He had to reject Hagee, and quickly otherwise Hagee would be the subject over this long holiday weekend. McCain couldn't afford that.

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Debby

    Good for McCain dumping this pastor, and even better him not sitting in the pews listening to him for 20 years. It sounds like some of these religious leaders need to be muzzled.

    May 23, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Anon

    Has anyone checked out Rod Parsley's sermon's on tv where he talks about Catholics going to hell?

    May 23, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. David - NYC

    The GOP is a complete joke. The sad thing is, a large part of the GOP base actually agrees with Hagee and Parsley.

    The republican base represents everything that is WRONG with this country.

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Ron Larson

    McCain has no pastor problems....he neither attended nor had the long term realtionship that Obummer had with Jeremiah Wright,a nd in fact, the fact the McCain has immediately seperated himself from Parsley and Hagee is msot of us in the Body of Christ know that these two are Word of Faith heretics, false prophets, there greed and self promotion are legendary, and he wisely distanced himself from these "spirings without water."

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain needs to be honest and tell people not about his most recent appointed pastor, but the one prior that had been his pastor for many years. Cindy needs to be honest and release her tax information, with all McCain's lobbyist having left, could her tax information show some connection. Keeping them honest.

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Marty

    I have not heard the term Obummer before, but it works for me.

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    What's more foolish – suffering a fool for years and taking the good with the bad? OR, not doing a background check and asking for a live in?
    Not being judegemental, but to give a crude analogy,
    one sounds like a marraige where one of the spouses does some whacky things but on par has been a good spouse and parent.

    the other sounds like you want to be married, so you go out and date and ask someone to move in with you (or in the same complex) without doing any background check.

    Something to ponder, which is a worse demonstration of judgement?

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Richard

    please don"t forget REV M. Huckabee remarks at the NRA in Louisville,Ky. after all he has said he would like to be The VP with J. Mccain.
    you news people have let Huckabee play this off as a joke.
    it's not a joke to point guns or shoot people
    I would like to no way Huckabee thinks this would be a joke?
    I would like to no if Huckabee would think it was a joke if someone said what he said about him?.
    NO!!!!
    HUCKABEE WOULD BE CRYING LIKE A BABY!!!!
    AND CNN WOULD BE COVERING EVER TEAR

    May 23, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Abraham Medina, Hurst, Texas

    Sheer politics. Of course, McCain does not want to lost the almost 3 million Jewish votes!

    May 23, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Lucky

    Whole heartedly agree with you, "Eith". Go McCain! Go Republican!

    May 23, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Nursie

    Wright ,Hagee,Parsley are held accountable for the thing they do and said in the eyes of God. God do not hold Obama and McClain accountable so why should I.

    May 23, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Tino

    Took him long enough. Perhaps it just slipped ol' McCranky's mind. That seems to be happening a lot these days. Of course he just acts as if this information is completely new and shocking to him, when this stuff has been out there for months. And if anyone wants to question the mighty McSame on that, then he'll just call you a naive, unpatriotic terrorist co-conspirator. A pleasant man indeed.

    May 23, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    The evangelicals are truly lunatics and we better keep them out of politics or the entire country will have to be in church everyday.

    May 23, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Just want to know

    Steve From Oregon May 23rd, 2008 10:44 am ET
    First off; it's good to hear the Senator is cancer free. Back to the subject. His actively seeking endorsements from these two nut cases shows just how uninformed and ill prepared he is in his campaign. Doesn't this give us a clue as to his ability to head this country? He is an uninspiring Senator who seems to make decisions for stupid reasons. ie: Not revamping the GI bill because he's afraid what it will do to the service retention rate. Give the military men and women their due Senator. You can always bring back the draft if you get elected.
    Vote Obama, President for the next eight years
    ---------------
    i second that motion steve. two candidates have stated that they, because of their many years of experience, they would be the best person to be the next president, McCain …..two pastors within the last 48 hrs, Clinton ….using the people that are already drained financially and emotional from hard ship, flip flopping on her agreement not two count the two states that broke the DNC rules and lastly she TOLD a group of bloggers who support her candidacy that she encouraged efforts to LOBBY the committee on that day (May 31).

    These two are wild……

    May 23, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Arthur

    Didn't Mcain seek the endorsements of these two wackos?

    May 23, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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