Republican presidential candidate John McCain has cut ties with prominent
Evangelical Minister John Hagee.
Senator McCain's move comes after some recordings of Pastor Hagee surfaced on
YouTube in which the minister said the acts of Adolf Hitler during the
Holocaust were part of God's will.
Brian Todd has the story.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
JOHN McCAIN NOW REJECTS AN ENDORSEMENT THAT WAS ONCE SEEN AS CRITICAL TO HIS
"John McCain will be a strong, courageous, and an effective leader from the
first day he steps into the Oval Office."
PASTOR JOHN HAGEE, A POPULAR TELEVANGELIST FROM SAN ANTONIO, WITH A 19-THOUSAND
MEMBER CHURCH AND A T-V MINISTRY SEEN AROUND THE WORLD.
McCAIN'S CAMPAIGN TELLS US: WHEN HAGEE ENDORSED McCAIN IN FEBRUARY, MCCAIN WAS
NOT AWARE OF REMARKS Hagee had MADE IN A SERMON YEARS EARLIER...
HAGEE CITED BIBLICAL PASSAGES, SPOKE OF WHAT HE BELIEVED WAS GOD'S PLAN TO
BRING THE JEWS BACK TO ISRAEL.
"God says in Jeremiah 16, Behold I will bring them the Jewish people again unto
their land that I gave to their fathers. Behold I will send for many fishers
and after will send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.
That would be the Jews."
HAGEE THEN SAYS THOSE JEWS WHO DIDN'T FOLLOW ZIONISM'S FOUNDER BACK TO ISRAEL
WENT THROUGH THE HOLOCAUST.
"Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he
forces you. Hitler was a hunter."
THESE PASSAGES WERE RECENTLY POSTED BY BLOGGER BRUCE WILSON-- AN ADMITTED
CRITIC OF HAGEE AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT.
WILSON TOLD US HE VOTED FOR HILLARY CLINTON, BUT WAS NOT STEERED TOWARD THIS BY
ANY DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES.
PASTOR HAGEE WOULD NOT DO AN INTERVIEW WITH US... BUT ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING
HE HAD BEEN INTENTIONALLY MISCHARACTERIZED, AND 'TO ASSERT THAT I IN ANY WAY
CONDONE THE HOLOCAUST OR THAT MONSTER ADOLF HITLER IS THE BIGGEST AND UGLIEST
A REPRESENTATIVE FOR PASTOR HAGEE SAYS HE WAS TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO HIS PARISH
HOW GOD COULD LET SOMETHING SO TERRIBLE HAPPEN.
HAGEE'S BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF ISRAEL FOR YEARS.
A LEADER OF ONE PROMINENT JEWISH GROUP DOES NOT BELIEVE THE PASTOR IS
ANTI-SEMITIC, BUT SAYS:
"The notion that the Holocaust was part of God's plan, uh- as a way of
punishing the Jews, is a deeply deeply troubling uh-- uh, assertion to be
repudiated by all people of conscience."
JOHN MCCAIN NOT ONLY REPUDIATES HAGEE'S REMARKS... BUT NOW SAYS IN A STATEMENT
TO CNN: "...I FEEL I MUST REJECT HIS ENDORSEMENT AS WELL."
MCCAIN SAYS HAGEE'S NEVER BEEN HIS PASTOR-- AND THE CAMPAIGN SAYS THE CANDIDATE
NEVER HAD THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WITH HAGEE THAT BARACK OBAMA HAD WITH
REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT.
HAGEE REACTED BY SAYING HE'S TIRED OF BASELESS ATTACKS, THAT THEY'VE BECOME A
DISTRACTION-- AND QUOTE: "...I HAVE THEREFORE DECIDED TO WITHDRAW MY
ENDORSEMENT OF SENATOR McCAIN FOR PRESIDENT."
BUT MCCAIN'S GOT ANOTHER PASTOR PROBLEM.
"Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the
PASTOR ROD PARSLEY, ANOTHER POPULAR TELEVANGELIST WHO ALSO ENDORSED MCCAIN IN
"It was shocking to hear that Senator McCain would associate himself with
someone who holds such bigoted views against Muslims and Islam."
PARSLEY'S SPOKESMAN TOLD US HIS STATEMENT WERE IN RESPONSE TO MILITANT ISLAM
AND ITS THREATS TO KILL AMERICANS. HE SAID PASTOR PARSLEY BELIEVES CHRISTIANS
SHOULD BE SUPPORTIVE OR MODERATE, PEACEFUL MUSLIMS. BRIAN TODD, CNN,
Pastor Parsley said it's only militant Islam that he opposes. But late
Thursday, John McCain rejected the endorsement of Pastor Parsley as well.