Dumping Pastors Is Gamble For McCain

In casting aside Hagee and Ohio's Parsley, Republican stands to alienate evangelicals
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 4:41 PM CDT
In this Jan. 20, 2006 file photo, The Rev. Rod Parsley.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)
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(Newser) – By rejecting endorsements from influential pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley, John McCain might have alienated evangelical voters, a key Republican electoral bloc. If they “feel this is an attack on them,” one consultant told the Washingon Post, “even if they don't agree with Parsley and Hagee or follow them, it could galvanize them against McCain."

Said one bishop who advises ministers on political issues, “He wants us to support him, but as soon as his back was against the wall, he overreacted. He is now less likely to get the evangelical vote and will have a difficult time getting strong endorsements from other ministers.”