McCain Admits Hagee Endorsement Was A Mistake

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 20, 2008 12:42pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports: Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admitted this morning that it was a mistake to accept the endorsement of Evangelical pastor Rev. John Hagee. When asked in an exclusive "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos if it was "a mistake to solicit and accept his endorsement", McCain replied "oh, probably, sure." Despite admitting his error, McCain made clear he’s still "glad to have his endorsement."   

McCain spoke out against Hagee’s "condemning of the Catholic church," but added that "I admire and respect Dr. Hagee’s leadership…  I admire and appreciate his advocacy for the state of Israel, the independence of the state of Israel." McCain has previously admitted to soliciting Rev. Hagee’s endorsement.

Sen. John McCain also raised questions concerning Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama’s relationship with the founder of the radical Weather Underground group, Bill Ayers.  Asserting that the issue was "open to question," McCain said that Obama should condemn comments he’s made comparing Ayers to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

"The worst thing of all, that, I think, really indicates Senator Obama’s attitude, is he had the incredible statement that he compared Mr. Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, with Senator Tom Coburn, Senator Coburn, a physician who goes to Oklahoma on the weekends and brings babies into life — comparing those two — I mean, that’s not — that’s an attitude, frankly, that certainly isn’t in keeping with the overall attitude," McCain said.

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