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. Sammy

    How convenient: they endorsed him; he didn't endorse them. McCain specifically went out to seek Pastor Hagee's endorsement! Is this the straight talk we are expected to believe? Go figure.

    May 23, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Andrew17

    McCain sought out these peoples endorsement. Now McCain is saying “He endorsed me and I didn't endorse his views". He's making it seem like he didn't ask for his endorsement. The news should call him on this more. This is not like what happen to Obama with Hamas or Farrakhan. This people endorsed him without his knowledge. McCain’s words are trying to blur reality.

    May 23, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Reginald

    I am sure these two controversial pastors will not receive as much airtime as pastor Wright.

    May 23, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. George

    If Mccain denounces this pastor, there is no difference between Obama and Mccain. I will vote for Obama. I believe that Mccain respects his voters' sentiment.

    May 23, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |

    He says his situation is better than Obama's.







    You gotta love him! He is so sincere WOW!!!!

    May 23, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |


    You are so naive not to look at History (obviously not a college major these days). Obama's arguments for winning in Nov are weak.


    1. Extreme liberals have a history of losing the general election
    2. Some states always vote Republican
    3. Moderate Democrats (swing voters) are voting for Hillary. These are the voters that have a history of voting for a moderate Republican over a Liberal Democrat. These are the so called Reagan/Democrats.

    Don't be naive to the facts. Obama will not re-write the electoral map. Most educated people learn from history.

    I guess if the DNC forces Obama on us, they will learn that history repeats itself.

    Good Luck Dems....

    May 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Clinton or McCain - NObama!

    McCain did not sit in church and listen to these crazy rantings and subject his children to them like Obama did.

    These pastors only endorsed McCain – they did not marry him and baptize his children, and they were not his "spiritual advisors" like Wright was to Obama or inspire McCain to write a book like Wright did for Obama. Also, McCain did not make excuses for them like Obama did in the beginning for Wright.

    I think Obama should not want to make an issue of this, since all it does is invite comparisons against his long relationship with his formerly beloved uncle Reverend Wright.

    May 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    Oh boy.......2 pastors....where in the heck is THAT coverage CNN??
    Now I am also hearing that here are INFORMAL talks for HRC to exit the race....As an Obama supporter, this is a good day!!!

    May 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Venus


    Got a little pastor problem huh?

    This is the leveage cards Obama needs against Mc Sane!

    I guess Mc Sane and the Repubs thought they have an easy win to the white house...

    May 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. What do YOU know

    McCain should have no problem rejecting the votes of the 12 million americans that will actually vote for him then, cause they are all close followers of these types of "pastors" He's playing with a double edged sword and doesn't know what to do with it. He jsut doesn't realize that he is going to be hurt either ways by these loons coming forward for him. Besides, you'd have to be dumb to think he doesn't secretly support these ideas behind closed doors.

    May 23, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Quid Pro Quo

    These pastors have been saying these thing for years, McCain took his endorsement anyway so he must share his views as well, how could McCain not have rejected him for the past 20 years.

    Sound Familiar?

    May 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. Louis

    I don't see how this is any trouble for McCain's campaign. It only helps him with independents. Regardless of what anyone feels about Islam, they would agree with McCain to not talk like that.

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

    What is most troubling to me is, how few pastors who have been studying the Bible for decades know the heart of God or understand the Love, Grace and Mercy that came through Jesus Christ.

    May 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Ruben Regan

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

    Democrates for 08
    Democrates for 08

    Either Obama or Hillery

    May 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Gene

    Isn't McCain coming a little late to the denouncment party? Didn't we tell him a couple months ago he should distance himself from this pastor, after the Katrina comments?

    Political expediency doesn't seem to be his strong suit.

    May 23, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. pee-d-feet cause somthing stinks

    This will never spin the way Rev. Wright did, it's not that PROVOCATIVE when caucasions speak ill of America and others.

    OBAMA 08

    May 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Tex

    This is odd when you consider that McBush actually sought and coveted these two endorsements to get himself in with the religious right. It's been several months since he had these endorsements and people both within his campaign and outside have been telling McBush about the radical views of these two pastors. Why did he wait so long? I think politics was one factor: to get the votes of the Republican religious right. The second reason is the problem of age, senility and health of McBush. He is only presenting part of his health records. He is still hiding the damaging information. His greatest problem along with his flip flopping is the past personal problems of Cindy.

    May 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. trellskig

    I don't hold you (McCain) responsible for these two Reverends words, just as I don't hold Senator Obama responsible for Rev. Wright's words. But, to say "Hitler was sent to exterminate the Jews"! Is this guy MAD? No person on this earth deserves the treatment these and other people (in these kinds of situations) have endured.

    I wonder sometimes why certain people think the way they do and what kind of person you are to spew this kind of nonsense and hate!
    And they call themselves Pasters, Reverends, etc...

    May 23, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Dem Supporter

    U know what I don't like about this whole mess, is that when Obama had the Pastor problem there was so much light shed on him and his pastor. Now McShame can repudiate and denounce this endorsement enough said. But what really is unkind McShame only repudiated and denounced these pastors when the said negative comments about the Jewish religion. What this says to me, is that McShame is not really religious. He is trying to win Florida, which has a large Jewish community, and he is trying to save face. This candidate is fraud. He and Hillary are both cut from the same cloth.

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. OBAMA 4 President

    Who Cares? McCain is not going to win anyway!

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Ndalio

    Too late McCain, what happened to the pot will happen to the kettle.... check on someone's record before seeking his endorsement!
    let the people have their say on this issue.
    We need changes, n real changes!!

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. oscar

    Please, you guiys want to be foxnews you are trying to stirr controversy on something that the public doen't care.
    Obama pastor now thast controversy.


    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Charles Chambers

    Do you really think this minister is anything close to Rev. Wright, Obama's noted pastor that married and guided the future President. This is the lowest from of tit-for-tat that I have seen in the media and it is disgraceful.

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. mike coard

    i just heard that charles manson just endorsed barak obama for president. hmmm i wonder what this means.

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Halem

    The age of rejecting Pastors.....

    I hope this campaign does not focus on why, whom and when to reject pastors, instead focus on the real issues for the American people: Economy, Energy crisis and War.

    May 23, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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