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. Robert in Toronto,ON

    McCain is now in damage control. 2nd rejected endorsement? He'll have more rejected endorsments than made endorsements at this rate....

    Hillary Clinton fans – you need to grow up and stop acting like babies. You don't agree even half of the policies of McCain, and Clinton and Obama have 90% of the same policies....SO IF YOU VOTE FOR HIM, YOU ARE VOTING AGAINST CLINTON.

    So all this talk of states that Obama can't (or wouldn't) win wouldn't happen if people started putting their COUNTRY first before their own bruised EGOS. Where's your American pride now?

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Rick

    John Mcain is a stinking ******.

    Sorry I repudiate my last statement.

    Yes that's how silly and dumb it looks, you asked for his endorsement and now you screwed yourself.

    Oh ya Bush killed our economy worse president ever....

    Sorry No repudiation for this one.

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. mlk

    It's amazing how the Obama campaign is trying to stray away from it's own guilt.
    1) Pastor Hagee was not McCain's Pastor of 20 years
    2) Pastor Hagee was not McCain's spiritual mentor
    3) McCain didn't write a book based on his pastor
    4) Mccain didn't have a personal friendship with his pastor for 20 years.

    On the other hand:
    1) Obama had and still has a personal relationship with his pastor for the past 20 years.
    2) Obama has said in the past and in his book he shares the same values as his Pastor, (This must mean he doesn't respect or like the white man)
    3) Obama's embraces the black value system, hey where's the white value sytem, maybe McCain should embrace that!
    4) Obama is good friend with Dorothy Tillman who wouldn't even let a couple white wiaters work a birthday party for a former mayor of Chicago.
    5) Obama went to Farrakhan's million man march even though he says he didn't.

    I don't understand how so many white americans are so blind and sheepish to this racist candidate!

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. "The Great Elephant Is Wounded"-Kareem From Hampton, Va

    Roland Martin warned conservatives didnt he? This is only the beginning...

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. T. Duncanson

    "Religious" people are some of the biggest hippocrites on earth.
    Especially when it comes to politics. Just read some of the hateful blogs
    or some of these characters. The american flag and cross are two of
    the favorite garments that bigots use to hide themselves.

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Randy - Denver

    Dan B

    you asked a good question I can only respond by saying that he did not know about them for the same reason that those voters in FL and MI did not know their votes would not count when I did in August of last year.. it was not important enough for them to look into things

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. paul

    Clinton won swing states because her scandal has not been brought into the news yet. Her supporters will be gone as soon as they learned her scandal. She had said MI,FL were not important to her when she won super Tuesday, (her says has been recorded, and been aired in CNN months ago). Keep in mind, this is her 'family business', she will do everything to save it, even goes to No.2, Clinton is counting to jump from No.2 to No.1 in few months,

    May 23, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Bored with idiots

    FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE SEN. OBAMA SAT AND HEARD ANGRY HATE SERMONS FOR 20 YEARS....PLEASE ANSWER ME A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS:

    1) If Rev. Wright spoke on the racism in America regularly for 20 years, why is it that Sean Hannity's people looked through more than 6 years of DVDs that are sold in the church bookstore and ONLY FOUND 6 MINUTES of footage with those messages to loop? Why have we not seen more sermons from different days throughout the years?

    2) Aside from the AIDS was created as genocide comment....what did Rev. Wright say that was untrue?

    I know none of you have the guts to actually think about these questions. You think you need an excuse to not vote for Obama, because you want to conceal the truth that you can't vote for him because you ARE the Americans that Rev. Wright was speaking about.

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. RayRay,NC

    Margaret May 23rd, 2008 10:11 am ET

    The difference is Hagee was not McCain's personal pastor of 20 YEARS!!!! He did not sit down and listen to the extreme rhetoric for years and then choose him to be his spiritual advisor during his campaign. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

    My question to you Margaret is did McCain sit in any church for any period of time. Sounds like McCain is a man who trying to please the people for the moment for whatever advantage he can gain. In other words he has no morals nor any conviction from any sermon.

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. mild

    Hagee and his hate filled comments have beeen all over-in books articles, interviews, video tapes, and the internet.

    He has blamed the jews for the holocaust, made a contiuous line of sexist remarks, blamed gays for katrina, made deplorable comments about catholics. But hey that's all okay by the media.
    Hey that is all okay by mcCain.

    The excuse is that mCCain wasnt fully vetted. BS! everone knew Hagees creepy world view. McCaibn knew, the media knew.
    The truth is that the media didnt care ( WASP and men in that group)
    Does thast mean that the media is sexist , anti semitic, anti catholic, anti gays? Sure looks like it
    No they cared about an angry black man for WEEKS on end. Does that mean that they are racist ? sure looks like it.
    Hagee apparently gets his TWO minutes of fame-not even worthy of fifteen minutes.

    Where is mCCain in all this? He courted this creep Hagee for a YEAR! he WANTED THIS NUT AND THIS NUTS VIEWS!
    gee, MCain will be a REALLY CREEPY PRESIDENT_ one who hates women catholics, jews , and gays. Looks like he will hate almost everybody to get a vote. Another hate filled white house.
    McBUSHED-the third term..

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Chris from San Antonio

    How many republicans that crucified Obama for what his pastor said are now saying, "A pastor has no bearing on the candidate?"

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. R.I.F.

    This is why there is suppose to be a seperation between chuch and state. There are a lot of preachers that say a lot of things that are debatable or not political correct. People talk about Wright, but Hagee has a congreation of over 17,000 members. I'm sure many have attened his church for years. We shouldn't think that the 17,000 people at the church thinks these same things that Hagee says. 17,000 haven't gotten up and walked out of his church...why? We go to church to praise God, or whomever you praise, and fellowship with fellow memebers. Pastors all over the nation, black, white, jewish, latino, etc from time to time go off on tangents and start making bold statements. No one just pops up and runs out of the church. Hillary attended a church Sunday in Kentucky. When the pastor started talking about Infidelity, I;m sure she got a little unconfortable but didn't run out. I would like to see how many people go to church on a regular basis and agree with everything that the pastor says.

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. NELSON

    Bad Move! Mcain will loos the General Election.

    May 23, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Maragert, read Pat's posting of 10:31 EDT.
    The fact that McCain went looking for this preachers endorsement tells me that he was looking for political gain, without regard to the deeper issues. So, either he didn't look hard enough, or he didn't think that what he found was a problem. That in turn, is a problem for me.

    Fortunately, there was a report two weeks ago that talked about us Christians not automatically supporting the GOP because of a series of issues – environment, poverty, Sudan, etc. And it doesn't appear the GOP is taking the biblican principles to heart in responding to some of these other issues.

    But, we'll see.

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. faye, NV

    Look, I don't believe Obama nor McCain supports the belief of any these preacher/pastor.

    I like John Hagee and Ron Parsley but I do not agree with everything they say.

    Therefore stop judging people, lest ye be judge.

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Rob

    Neither McCain nor Obama can cater to the far right on religion;theirPastors.America has religious freedom;believers;non-believers which is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Ken

    Kuilor2k

    Obama has Hamas ties? Really? Do you have a source? If this were true Fox News would be all over it,

    Stop listening to Sean Hannity and quit going to Karl Rove for your talking points.

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. shahed

    Pastor Parsley called Islam an Anti-Christ religion. Either he is a bigot or he is ignorant, or both. Islam embraces Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad as prophets, and the Quran makes it mandatory for every muslim. A whole chapter titled Mary, is in the Quran. In Islam, Jesus is called the Sinless prophet, and according to the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, 'If there is anyone who has already found a place in Paradise, it is Mary, the mother of Jesus'.

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. JAMES (GEORGIA)

    WHAT I HOPE IS ...FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAS STATED THEY REFUSES TO VOTE FOR OBAMA AND WOULD VOTE FOR MCCAIN IF CLINTON DOESN'T STEAL THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION TO SIMPLY VOTE FOR MCCAIN. MY CHOICE WOULD BE FOR WHAT THE INDIVIDUAL HAS SAID OR DONE NOT BASED UPON WHAT THEIR SUPPORTERS MAY HAVE SAID OR DONE. AS THIS POLITICAL PROCESS PLAYS OUT IT IS CLEAR THAT AMERICA HAS COME A LONG WAY BUT CLEARLY STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO. MAKE YOU CHOICE BASED UPON THE ISSUES AND WHAT IS BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY... NOT BASED UPON HATE, PREJUDICE OR PURE IGNORANCE!

    May 23, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Dave, Osteen is folksy isn't he?

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Steve From Oregon

    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!

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Obama 08

    Rev Wright did NOT preach hate for 20yrs people. Barack did NOT have a personal relationship with Jesus when he joined that church but now he does so at some point Rev Wright preached the word of God as I have heard myself from him over the years. This was his Pastor NOT policy advisor. I do NOT always agree with what my Pastor says but I have been a member for 8yrs. Now people will come out and defend Hagee and Parsley just like Rev Wright supporters came out and did. You reap what you sow as the bible clearly states. Now the shoe is on the other foot and Hagee has to defend his ministry. How does it feel???

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. jake

    There is difference between listening to someone for 20 years plus calling them your Mentor and someone endorsing you because they are a Republican. Any Obamabots who think otherwise are racist. Period

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. John, OH

    Looking at this from a broader perspective, it means that McCain can't hit Obama over his pastor. The only problem is the rumored video. But it probably won't materialize.

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Esther

    Two Controversial Pastors??? And he actively sought both of their endorsements, and now 'rejects' his own decision? This is just plain ridiculous. As soon as I get home and turn on the t.v. all I will still hear about is Obama's FORMER pastor, who's political input HE NEVER SOUGHT!!!! SSOOOO UNFAIR!!

    May 23, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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