(AP) Republican John McCain on Thursday rejected endorsements from two influential but controversial televangelists, saying there is no place for their incendiary criticisms of other faiths.
McCain rejected the months-old endorsement of Texas preacher John Hagee after an audio recording surfaced in which the preacher said God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land. McCain called the comment "crazy and unacceptable."
He later repudiated the support of Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher who has sharply criticized Islam and called the religion inherently violent.
McCain issued a statement Thursday afternoon announcing his decision about Hagee.
"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," he said.
Later, in Stockton, he told reporters: "I just think that the statement is crazy and unacceptable."
Then in an interview with The Associated Press, McCain said he rejected Parsley's support, too.
"I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement," McCain told the AP.
RAW STORY has more here.
(with wire sources)
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast May 23, 2008.