In the Arena

Yes, but do you denounce or reject it?

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John McCain just issued this statement about being endorsed by the extremist nutball preacher John Hagee:

“Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee’s views, which I obviously do not.

“I am hopeful that Catholics, Protestants and all people of faith who share my vision for the future of America will respond to our message of defending innocent life, traditional marriage, and compassion for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Hagee is a loose cannon Revelation literalist who believes that a Greater Israel–including the Palestinian territorities–will presage Armeggedon and the Rapture. He isn’t a big fan of Roman Catholicism. This is an interesting political situation for McCain, who angered wingnuts by–honorably–dissing Cincinnati talk show host Bill Cunningham earlier this week. A McCain rejection of Hagee’s support would be seen as another sign of weakness by Rush and such. An acceptance of Hagee’s support would spell trouble for McCain with catholics and sane people everywhere. So, what’s it to be, Senator?

Add: More on Hagee from Sarah Posner at Tapped.