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. JC

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal looks like the best V.P. candidate for McCain if you take a peek at the short list on CNN.

    His strengths are his experience in health care, education and senate.
    This is the man with both legislative and executive experience. He has lots more experience than Obama has, but he is younger.

    Jindal was born June 10, 1971 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University after graduating from Brown University. Together, Jindal and McCain sums up to 108 years old and tons of experience. Jindal will make a great V.P. for McCain.

    May 23, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. How can one not like Barack Obama?

    What is with the many Hillary supporters who are delusional about this FL/MI situation? Blame those states' leaders responsible for breaking the rules, not the DNC. Even Hillary had agreed to the rules.

    Why are they not excited about the most articulate, thoughtful, charismatic, and likeable presidential candidate of this generation?

    Why has the brillance of his campaign not convinced you he knows what he's doing and is prepared to be a phenomenal president?

    Hillary Clinton is a talented and intelligent woman. I can see why people like her. But how can one not like Brack Obama?

    May 23, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Independant

    To Ron Larson:

    You're an absolute bigoted idiot. You're the reason I reject most religion, because of the 'holier than thou' attitude you have.

    Just because a religion rejects what you beleive doesn't make it fundamentally evil. It makes it a different religion moron. And Christians seem to have a really hard time with that. I've never heard any religion spew more hate and bigotry than Christian ministers behind the pulpit.

    You're as bad, sir, as the EXTREME element that you categorize all Islam by. The problem with any religion is fundamentalist NUTBAGS like you.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    John, Catholic:

    Amen. I think this "preacher-gate" problem would go away if everybody just read the Bible.

    Unfortunately, reading the Bible is hard. Not because it's at a 12th grade reading level. Because it tells us EXACTLY what we don't want to hear.

    We also need to somehow get over our fear/hatred of Muslims. They worship the same God that we do. They are our brothers and sisters, too.

    I suppose this is a global version of "sibling rivalry".

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Angie

    This is kindergarden journalism. These people were not his pastor for 20 years. This is childish reporting. You are pointing a finger at Mcain to get Obama off the hook. Please report on some real news.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. james from brooklyn

    how hypocritical is that.........i'm glad these things are now surfacing......too many racist ppl in the gov't and act like the were civil right activist leaders...........he voted against Dr. Martin Luther King birthday ....and now haggee is showing me's funny how he kept on trying to tie Obama to the question...........we don't believe mccain...........i believe you share his haven't been honest, you are a flip are against the GI bill what makes me think you gona help me pay my student loan and help me get a compettive job in this economy..........all of your lobbyist are quiting because of foreign lien with dictators...........too many baggage with this guy ..........mccain.............never..............Obama yes i want him as my PRESIDENT

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. atypical white person

    This posting isn't directed toward this particular article, but rather to remind the public that there are a lot of Republicans out there acting like HRC supporters, many of which are those who threaten to vote for McCain if Obama gets the election.

    Nothing against HRC but the Republicans are VERY nervous about the prospect of Obama becoming the nominee because they suspect Obama will indeed win easily. .

    You'll see a lot of postings saying that Obama cannot possibly win the presidency. Again, there are many REpublicans who want to play the fear card in hopes of manipulating your decision when voting for the Democratic nominee.

    Obama supporters would do well to keep this in mind when posting inane comments directed toward authentic HRC supporters. Many of HRC's true supporters are creating the division.

    Knowledge IS power.


    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. don

    the truth is that McBush did not reject him when he talked about New orleans, about catholics, about Muslims. Now that he knows with this recent speech, it's going to cause a problem with juif community, he renouncing those pastors. We know where McBush stands.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. David S., CA

    I think it would have been more accurate to say that fundamentalist Islam is spiritual evil. But I do have major concerns that even in the so called mainstream Islamic community alot of hate is being promoted. Mosques even in our country tout how Islam will rule the world and Israel needs to be destroyed. It is something we need to keep close watch on.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. JA Cook

    So.... apparently Hagee's remarks about the Catholic church were acceptable, and his remarks about New Orleans deserving Katrina were okay too. Once it got to Hitler and the Jews, McCain had enough.

    Or was it that the bad press was catching up.

    Either way, it sure took McCain a long time to decide to back away from someone he pursued.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Cindy - Canada

    McCain Bushwacked Repbulicans are the most repulsive, racist, self righteous hipocrits this world has ever seen. I think you all need to get some self help! How you all can blog on here that McCains situation is not the same as Obama's is beyond comprehension and the media Republican bias is very obvious as well given the repeated beatings they gave Obama and this they wave off as no big deal. Why don't you just save the time and say I won't vote for a Black Man because I am a BACKWARDS REDNECK RACIST – at least that would be the truth instead of all the garbage that you are spewing on these blogs. Remember the world is watching to see what kind of Leader the US wants to be!!!!! THANK GOD you do not represent the majority of the country.

    May 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Democrat in Houston

    I don't find some of pastor Hagee's preaching offensive. The bible is very difficult to comprehend. Just read the book of Revelations. Is very creepy and in many ways reflects our lives.

    Jesus was a Jew and it's written Jews to be persecuted just like Jesus was. The Holocaust was part of that prediction unfortunately.

    God Bless America and all the Jews.

    May 23, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Karen from Texas

    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?

    May 23, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. Joe G

    Let's see now. Obama stays in the Wright church for 20 years. Has his kids baptized by Wright. Is married by Wright. Wright gives L. Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award. The Wright church sells Farrakhan speech recordings in their lobby. And Obama calls Wright his councilor, his mentor, his friend, his uncle.

    How does this equate to Pastor Hagee?

    May 23, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Ben

    The only thing worse than a racial biggot is a religeos loud mouth idiot who claims all other faiths are the path to the devil. Why does the media give any time at all to these phony rich preaching hustlers
    who live very well from the donations of their equaly stupid flock!

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama


    As a Roman Catholic I am insulted. Jesus did not preach hate, His command to us........... "LOVE ONE ANOTHER."


    Fine vote for whom you wish, BUT do not complain when our national debt bankrupts our nation! $10 TRILLION AND COUNTING, owed mostly to CHINA!

    And you THINK Bush has made our country safer! HOW IS IT SAFE TO OWE CHINA TRILLIONS? When they call in the debt and we are on our knees.......... you can pat yourselves on the back for voting for another Republican!

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Preston

    And now we see McCain in desperation imitating what Obama did. Only Obama didn't wait to reject endorsesments by those who use hate rhetoric like Louis Farakhan.

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. James

    Why did'nt the biased media pay attention to Mc cains pastors problems like theydid for Obama shame on them. Obama had a personal reletionship with his pastor though he never heard him make those statements, these things do happen you can no someone all your life and don't know that they hold certain believes.

    Mc cain however knew about this pastors problems before he endorsed him, Mc cain only wanted to get the pastors evangelical votes so he never denounced him even when he made those statements that makes Mc cain a real hypocrite and a politician who will do anything to get elected. Shame on him.

    Obama 08

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Bill NY

    I find it highly amusing to read that people will not vote for Obama due to lack of experience.
    When I look at the current administration and all of the experience within, it appears that experience might not be all its knocked up to be. When I hear alleged democrats say they will vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination it reminds me of the bathroom scene in the movie Trading Places when one brother says to another that they would never let a n****r run the family business. There are many out there who will never admit it is his race that will prevent them for voting for him. In today’s world it is a rare thing when someone actually qualified will go into public service. Mr. Obama could have made a fortune many times over by going into private industry, but instead chose to serve the public(and not the other way around mind you).
    Sadly I believe that in the end he will have thrown his pearls before swine.

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. RogerD

    McCain was NOT a member of any of these Pastor/Preacher's churches. He did NOT sit through 22 years of Sunday sermons with any of these guys.

    Obama on the other hand IS a member of a church which was lead by a Pastor that preached/preaches hate. He DID sit through 22 years of these sermons and even had the hate preacher baptize his kids and perform his marriage ceremony.

    All of you people who say "oh poor pastor wrights comments were taken out of context", "oh he said all those we deserved 9/11 comments 8 years ago", blah blah blah, he is OBVIOUSLY an AMERICA HATER and a HATER of WHITE PEOPLE but that is ok I suppose.

    Obama supports are obviously made up of FOLLOWERS, enjoy that Cool-Aid people.

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. wycliffe, NJ

    I am a preacher and preach the Gospel according to preseident Obama. If two people present hope and fear....go for hope.

    shame on you MCbush.....Hypocrite..remove time to remove the log in your own eyes.

    obama 08

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Emma

    Why should I support Hillary Clinton when she is trying to force herself on the Obama ticket?
    Why should I support Hillary Clinton when she is destroying the Democratic Party?
    Why should I support Hillary Clinton when she lied when she signed the no campaign pledge for both Michigan and Florida and now trying to backpeddle because the anointed one dis not run her campaign efficiently?
    Why should I stand out on a street corner yelling Hillary's name when she made $109M, let her pay some unemployed voters to yell her name?
    Lastly, I don't want her on the Obama ticket and I don't like liars!

    May 23, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    80% of the country things we are on the wrong track but 45% of people would still vote for McSame.

    Maybe some people are born to harm themeselves.


    May 23, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Joshua College Station Texas

    The religious intolerance of Old Squinty Eyes (McCain) is now being seen for what it is. Conservative = intolerant. I know—I was one. Glad that is behind me.

    May 23, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. jim

    McCain refuses to repudiate Hagee when he insults all Catholic Americans with his moronic views, but he dumps him wihtin seconds when he insults Jewish aAericans with more moronic opinions. So much for the "Straight Talk Express", we know who John panders most to now!

    May 23, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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