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BREAKING NEWS: John McCain jettisons the Rev. John Hagee's endorsement

May 22, 2008 |  1:21 pm

John McCain, who at one point actively pursued an endorsement from controversial pastor John Hagee, just severed ties after reports surfaced of yet more incendiary comments by the conservative minister -- this time targeting Jews.

The comments came in the late 1990s, when Hagee said that the Nazis were doing God's work to shepherd Jews to Palestine. Hagee also has referred to the Catholic Church as "the Great Whore." McCain earlier disassociated himself from Hagee's comments but kept the endorsement. This afternoon, he jettisoned the endorsement.

But he also tooks pains to point out his "minister problem" is different from the one that Barack Obama has been dealing with.

“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Rev. Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well. I have said I do not believe Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Rev. Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for 20 years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today."

-- Scott Martelle

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