McCain Rejects Pastors, Still Seeks Their Followers' Support

Following John McCain’s rejection of the endorsements he sought from pastors Rod Parsley and John Hagee, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert had the following statement:

“John McCain may think he solved a problem when he finally rejected the endorsements of John Hagee and Rod Parsley and their bizarre, hate-mongering, rhetoric. He’s got a bigger problem now.”

“For years, the Republican Party has relied on right-wing king-makers like Hagee and Parsley to bring their troops to the polls and win elections. But now, the American public is starting to understand just how far out of the mainstream these preachers and their political agendas are.

“McCain himself once called the leaders of the radical religious right ‘agents of intolerance,’ but changed his tune when he decided to run for president and knew he’d need their support. Now he’s got a hard sell: convince the public he’s a moderate, despite his conservative views, and try to win over the so-called ‘patriot pastors’ without acknowledging them publicly. Going in through the front door with endorsements backfired. Now, he’ll try the back door. After all, radical right leaders may well swallow their pride and back McCain based on his promise to give them the Supreme Court of their dreams.

“The American public has a good nose for sniffing out hypocrisy, and People For the American Way will help. For months, we’ve been pointing out McCain’s flip-flopping on Religious Right leaders, and posting the outlandish statements and over-the-top videos of Parsley and Hagee ranting away. Now the truth has reached a wider audience. We’re going to keep it up, watching for the next chapter.”

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