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Thursday, May 22, 2008

John McCain Formally Rejects Pastor John Hagee's Endorsement

John McCain, in a statement to CNN, said, "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."

John McCain has officially rejected the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee after controversial remarks from Hagee, regarding Adolf Hitler, were widely publicized.

The controversial statements which were published, via a recording, by Huffington Post, who reported the statement as "God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land."

McCain rejects any comparison between his association with Hagee and Barack Obama's 20 year relationship with Jeremiah Wright, who caused a firestorm in the media with his controversial sermons which were blasted from one end of the Internet to the other, via YouTube videos.

According to the statement McCain gave to CNN, he said, “I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today."

After the news broke that McCain had rejected the Hagee endorsement, Hagee formally withdrew his endorsement of John McCain, saying his words were mischaracterized and he hopes McCain will accept the withdrawal of the endorsement so that McCain can "focus on the issues that are most important to America and the world."

"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.

Hagee had previously asserted his words were mischaracterized and you can listen to the full audio at the Huffington Post article linked above and decide for yourself whether his words are offensive or if the media distorted his views.

Hagee maintains "The intentional mischaracterization of my statements by an Internet journalist seeking to use me as a political football in the upcoming presidential race is a gross example of bias at its worst. I will not stand idly by while my character is assassinated and my views on the Holocaust are grossly distorted."

"To assert that I in any way condone the Holocaust or that monster Adolf Hitler is the biggest and ugliest of lies. I have always condemned the horrors of the Holocaust in the strongest of terms." He also pointed to millions of dollars worth of donations his ministry had made to humanitarian efforts in Israel.

The audio of Hagees words was published yesterday, May 21, 2008 and John McCain's reaction and rejection of the Hagee endorsement came out today.