May 23rd, 2008
03:21 PM ET
10 years ago

Texas pastor Hagee says split with McCain 'best for both of us'

(CNN) - Texas televangelist John Hagee said Friday his political divorce from Republican presidential contender John McCain is "best for both of us" and urged reporters to return to "the pressing issues of the day."

McCain renounced Hagee's support on Thursday after earlier remarks by the evangelist - suggesting the acts of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust were part of God's will - drew attention from reporters. The Arizona senator had stood by during controversies over other Hagee sermons, but said he considered the Holocaust remarks "deeply offensive and indefensible."

In a brief appearance with an Orthodox rabbi by his side, Hagee said his views had been "mischaracterized and attacked."

"Our search for an explanation for evil must never be confused for an effort to excuse evil," he said. "Many have wondered where God was during the Holocaust, but I think the more important question is what we will do here on Earth to make sure there will never be another Holocaust."

Related video: Watch a clip of Hagee's comments Friday.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Sharon R.

    I am no fan of John McCain but I believe that Pastors Hagee's comments were probrably taken out of content. The same happened to Rev. Wrights comments. I am a minister in a large church and most preachers take a scripture out of the bible and explain what was happening in that day according to how they interpret that particular scripture. Then they will compare it to something that may be happening in the present sense and explain how the past compares to the present, and how God may punish or condemn certain acts of evil.

    So, even though I am a Obama backer. I have read many of John Hagee's books and he is pretty much like the Rev Wright. He does not bite his tongue no matter whose toes he may step on. Just like Rev Wrights sermon's if we hear the whole sermon then we can understand that he is not saying the Holocaust was a punishment from God but God allowed it to happen for a reason just like blacks were put through slavery for a reason. If you read the bible and have wisdom to understand it.

    You can understand that God does allow tragedy to occur and out of the bad that does happen good comes out of each situation. I believe th church is sacred and not be mixed with politics. Allow the preachers to preach and stop condemning all of them when we have not listened to the whole sermon.

    May 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. rice, bryan

    isn't everyone feeling all warm and snuggly now that this is all behing us. i was starting to think that the gop were reacist, but now i am certain that hell froze over.

    May 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. America Speaks

    I'd like to introduce to you,


    P R E S I D E N T


    May 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. rlee

    how about asking him about his sexist remarks, his anti-catholic

    and the katrina victims are somehow responsible for their own deaths just like the holocaust victims.
    how about the press showing the video where mccain highly
    praises hagee and calls our nations capitol a "city of satan"

    strangethat the press doesnt care about those 'views"
    here is the link:

    May 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. proud army and navy mom

    Hagee, where were you when foxnews was doing way worst to Rev. Wright. Funny, i do not remember hearing you speak out.

    May 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Nothing to see here, move along...move along.

    Funny, the media doesn't seem to have the obsession with Hagee that they had with Wright – and Hagee just all but admitted that they parted company for publicity's sake.

    May 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. If not Hillary, then Mccain

    Washington, DC- Two veterans of investigations into Communist influence on the U.S. political process will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill to release two new explosive reports on Barack Obama’s ties with extreme anti-American elements, including agents of the Moscow-controlled Communist Party USA. The reports will shed important new light on Barack Obama’s mysterious past.

    May 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Nick in NY

    Clear political expediency. Of course a McCain staffer told him to drop hte Pastors to help him get eleected. So, of course it "helps him."

    May 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Matt

    well thats nice after Mccain courted hagee's endorsement, now rejects it. The media will spotlight many other shady mccain endorsements/advisors once hillary is out of the race. At least Obama rejected Rev Wright form the beginning. Id rather have someone like Obama than a man like mccain who actively seeks the endorsement of a jew/catholic bigot like hagee

    May 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Matt

    oops jew/catholic hater, bigot like hagee***

    May 23, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. April in Texas

    Man between Bush and Hagee I am almost ashamed of living in Texas as they are giving the majority of us a bad name....

    May 23, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Juliemn

    Obamas press working again, FOX is now the only fair and balanced news source, cnn is an obama network, and both are ruining America!

    May 23, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    I feel bad for Hagee. Politics and religion don't go hand in hand. Hagee is preaching what he believes and I feel bad for Hagee.

    May 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Jed in Texas

    I think Hagee and his church should taxed since he cant seem to seperate church from state.

    May 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Heidi in Houston

    Pastor Hagee's intolerance of the Catholic church or those comments calling Hitler the Hunter (I don't think he was being anti-semitic, but just insensitive in his comparison between a bible verse and the holocaust, stating that was the reason the holocaust was allowed to happen in God's world He created).

    Yes, these were comments he made many years ago and they're pretty much backward thinking.

    However, I do feel sorry for him because these are comments of an ignorant person. I don't wish ignorance on anyone. Another reason I feel bad for him is because he has vandals outside his home blowing out his car windows and he's receiving death threats. Making ignorant statements does NOT constitute having your life threatened. When Rev. Wright made his ignorant and/or intolerant comments, he got the same death threats. These people do not deserve to die for what they said.

    I think religious leaders in the future will stop endorsing candidates. Who needs the headaches or worse, the death threats and vandalism? Religious leaders might think before they endorse that something they said 10 years ago could be twisted or taken out of context. Then their names, smeared all over the media will make them a target.

    People need to calm down about these religious people. We have a variety of beliefs in the country and that's what the US was founded on. Please call on people to stop the violence against these people, in spite of how much their comments can be distressing. They are not worthy of death!

    May 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Drew, Central FL

    Let's see how the media and white america handle this one.

    May 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. asha sharma

    All candidates from both parties should stay away from religious fundamental nuts endorsements. These fundamentals from all organized religions of the world has brought more harm than good to mankind. Politicians need to have guts to denounce endorsements from churches/mosques/temples and synogoges etc. Most of us are only capable of practicing humanity which is the common thread that can unite all religions.

    May 23, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. sewong

    Pastor has god send another hunter(Bin Laden)?

    May 23, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Cameron

    I really don't care about this subject, just as I don't care about Wright. Stay out of the church–that's why we came to this new land, for freedom of religion. I hate talking about pastors and politics, it's silly. Give me some real news, not this tabloid stuff.

    May 23, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    May 23, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Hans-Erik Iken

    This guy is so full of a certain brown substance it is running out of his ears.....

    He is a racist, bigot, uneducated and a worthless piece of excrement that dares to call himself a 'man of faith'

    I doubt both claims: man and faith.

    I can only wish he would have to go through what the people here in Europe went through in those days, and preferably as a jewish guy. Then h can talk again. Until then he should just STFU.

    May 23, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Jill

    I think MacCain is an old fart. I dont mind Hillary, even though she has lied alot on the trail this year and changed the rules over and over.

    No way I'll support a guy like Obama,

    HILLARY 08 & 12 and then Chelsea....

    May 23, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    As a religious scholar I am always outraged whenever the name "John Hagee" appears on anything other than a porta-john. He is undoubtly one of the most pontificating, arrogant, and over-all mis-informed individuals who does nothing other than vomit out dogmatic proclamations to weak-minded parishoners for no other reason than to collect large sums of money. If his quest for knowledge was as great as his quest for bulls**t or food, maybe he would be a worthy advisary in selected Christian matters. As it stands, he is no more that an ignorant, snake-handling Bible-beater who should have been shut down by the FCC years ago.

    May 23, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Frosty

    I support Obama but these rejections of endorsements are getting ridiculous. Do we not have important issues we should be discussing?....*sigh*
    I don't believe everything my parents said let alone pastors and rabbis. Does it mean all 300,000 (including tv audience) people that might have listened to Hagee for many years are anti-semites or anti catholics? Wright's 5,000 congregation are racist and anti-american? I wish the media and the candidates themselves would stop treating us like idiots.

    Obama '08

    May 23, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. joel

    The hypocrisy these people dish out is for lack of a better word, insane.

    May 23, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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