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

McCain rejects endorsement of a second controversial pastor

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Kuilor2k

    I wonder if Obummer is going to ever get around to rejecting all those Hamas ties and his terrorist friends like Bill Ayres.

    May 23, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Barely a mention.

    May 23, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |

    Hillary Supporters:

    Let's get out and support MI and FL on May 31st. If you can't make it to DC, then get out in your own towns and pickett.

    I'm going down to the busiest intersection in town and will protest for either a revote or to count the delegates as is.

    Everyone should get out and support Hillary on this day! I'm taking all four of my nieces, who are so cute and so excited to see the first woman as President of the United States.

    Get out and show Hillary and the rest of the country that we, as Americans, will not stand for rigged elections.

    Hillary 08 or McCain if necessary!

    May 23, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Kuilor2k

    Interestingly enough, the Obummer supporters showed uss all that they put Candidate above Party. And we (the Clinton and/or McCain supporters can show them that we put Country above Party or Candidate.

    May 23, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Randy - Denver

    Wow he is really taking a risk as most of the radical right in this country supportr these two pastors. Maybe he does have a set.. small though they have grown!

    May 23, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Andrew

    As much as I love Obama, and as much as I detest the Bush administration... it's moments like these when I can't help but sincerely thank and respect Senator McCain.

    Thank you for doing the right thing!

    May 23, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Jennifer

    This is interesting......Why are these Pastors preaching hate messages? There are so many issues they can address that are more in line with God's message of love and care. It will be interesting to see if in the interest of being fair and balanced– CNN plays Pastor Hagee's sermon ad nauseum as they did Pastor Wright's sermon.

    May 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Jason, Omaha, NE

    I think this will show us something. Pastor Hagee is a man that McCain said was an amazing human being and that he actively seeked the endorsement of. This was after Hagee said terrible things about Catholics and Jews. If people brush this off as no big deal after the Wright issue with Obama, it will show that they were looking for an excuse not to vote for Obama because of a reason I don't think I need to mention. This is not much different and should be treated like the Wright issue was for Obama.

    May 23, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Billie

    Hey, I like John Hagee and Rod Parsley. If McCain has rejected their endorsement, I guess he doesn't want mine either, huh? I guess I will have to vote for a Democrat in November.

    May 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Paul Dobro

    Adultry as a crime, no wonder McCain rejected his endorsement.

    Considering McCain left his disabled wife (she had a car accident while he was a prisoner of war) and had many affairs while still married to her, including one that lead to his current wife, Cindy.

    May 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Judy, South Carolina

    You are being smart. RUn a clean campaign this fall.

    May 23, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Margaret

    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!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |

    This speaks to Johnny come lately reckless and poor judgement that he often accused Obama of. I suppose Johnny Mac Flop will not be able to use this issue in the General Election debate because Obama has something equally of the same nature to hit MacBush with.

    May 23, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Steve, Madison WI

    This of course will get no air time on Fox News, however they will continue to bring up Rev. Wright whom Obama has repudiated. The fact is McCain actually courted these endorsements and said he was proud of them – only now he rejects them. That is worse than Obama who was never endorsed by, nor did he seek, Rev. Wright's endorsement.

    Not to mention that this is just another McCain "flip-flop"!!!

    May 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Alice

    Now all he has to do is reject and denounce George W. Bush . . .

    May 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Delphin Mutaka

    I don't think america, should sink this low. We can't reject the amn who has helpped millions of people all over the world because of one sentence.

    Pause and think.

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. RON

    i like ROD... PARSLEY

    John Mccain is a scum.....thats why they wanted seperation of church and state.... for that reason Obama and everyone has to denounce any precher that has endorced them....

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Ruben Regan

    Democrates for 08

    Dont be a fool and vote Republican just because your candidate didnt make it. We all lose if that happens.

    Democrates for 08

    Either Obama or Hillery

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    For a guy who claims to be a reformer and an independent maverick, McSame employs too much of the same type of doublespeak Bush has used for the past 8 years, and he spends an awfully large amount of time courting the same far-right wacko extremists. I'm glad to hear that McSame is cancer-free, but face it, America: Electing this old man will amount to a third Bush term, and that would be a cancer our country couldn't possibly survive!
    OBAMA '08!

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Andy J, NY

    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.

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Ron Larson

    Actually Islam is not a conspiracy of evil, it's imply a false religion that rejects the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The history of Islam and the present conflicts in the world can be tied directly to this satanic heresy. ItMhammed advocated and promulgated violence acquiesence to it doctrines. Worship like we do, or we will not hesitate to rape, killtorture you. Now not all leaders or adherents follow that edict, but it's viloent adherents are icreasing, not because of the Bush Administrations policies, but because the most vocal of it's leadership beleives falsely that they are doing Allah's will by doing so.

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. nyDEMO

    btw – McCain's medical records EXPLICITLY STATE that he IS NOT CURED FROM HIS INVASIVE MELANOMA!!! Why did his campaign refuse to let independent physicians read the records? – cause they would have clearly pointed that out!!!

    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Liviu, Canada


    May 23, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. AJ, IL

    McCain did the right thing, although late, after rigorously seeking both these pastors' endorsements. With McCain's rejection of the evangelical community, he has lost the presidency by a bigger margin. Either the evangelical community will sit at home on Nov. 4th or vote for Bob Barr!

    Either way, advantage Obama!

    May 23, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. Bill

    Not quite the same thing as sitting in a pew for 20 years as a member of the church. Even CNN should be able to figure out the difference between this and Wright issue. Obama is not electable. Sounds like the democrats are going to steel defeat from the jaws of victory with an Obama led ticket.

    May 23, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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