McCain Rejects and Denounces Hagee
John McCain has repudiated, rejected, denounced, distanced, and otherwise made it clear that he’s not a big fan of John Hagee, who he thinks is a nut.
The Huffington Post had published a recording of Hagee saying that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.
“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well,” McCain said in a statement to CNN Thursday.
Hagee is miffed.
“I am tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues. I have therefore decided to withdraw my endorsement of Senator McCain for President effective today, and to remove myself from any active role in the 2008 campaign,” he said in a statement.
The gays are ecstatic. Brent Childers, the Executive Director of something calling itself “Faith In America” has sent out an announcement saying,
Sen. McCain’s refusal to accept Hagee’s endorsement is yet another milestone in religious America’s slow but steady ascent to that pinnacle in the future at which gay and lesbian individuals are no longer harmed by those who use misguided religious teaching to justify a climate of rejection, condemnation and violence.
Watching Sen. McCain’s appearance on the Ellen Digeneres show yesterday and observing his body language, it raises the question in our minds as to the conflict between what Sen. McCain really believes and what people like Hagee have espoused for so long.
McCain had previously distanced himself from other nutty ideas espoused by Hagee but not declined to reject his endorsement. Responding to Hagee’s declaration that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for New Orleans’ sinfulness, McCain declared, “It’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense. I don’t have anything additional to say. It’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, I don’t have anything more to say….it’s nonsense. I reject it categorically.”
My strong guess is that McCain, like myself, had never heard of this Hagee yahoo but was approached by staffers telling him that he was a big muckety muck among a certain subset of the evangelical community and he should seek out his endorsement. Whoever’s responsibility it was to perform due diligence failed. I don’t think that person is McCain — that’s probably a step or two below his pay grade — but McCain hired that person, so he is accountable.