McCain Severs Ties to Pastor Over Holocaust Blast

And Hagee withdraws his endorsement right back
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2008 4:30 PM CDT
In this April 6, 2008, file photo influential Texas evangelist John Hagee of Christians United for Israel addresses a crowd.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
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(Newser) – John McCain and John Hagee dissolved their union in tit-for-tat fashion today—one day after an offensive sermon about Hitler came to light. Hagee claimed God sent Hitler to perpetrate the Holocaust, because it was a “top priority for the Jewish people … to get them to come back to” Israel. McCain called the remarks “indefensible” as he “rejected” the controversial endorsement.

But the powerful pastor wasn’t taking no for an answer, instead arguing that his comments have been repeatedly mischaracterized, and he was thus rescinding his support of presumptive Republican nominee. Saying he was “tired of these baseless attacks,” he concluded, “I hope that Sen. McCain will accept this withdrawal so that he may focus on the issues.”