Why is John McCain allowed to welcome an endorsement from the Rev. John C. Hagee, whilst Barack Obama is forced to denounce - nay, reject - the endorsement of Minister Louis Farrakhan, despite the fact that Obama never sought this endorsement?
Here's what McCain said about gaining the endorsement of Hagee:
When he was asked about Farrakhan endorsing him, Obama said he didn't court the endorsement and didn't welcome it, and that he had denounced Farrakhan repeatedly.
Clinton sensed an opening, though, and tried to make it seem as if Obama's denouncement were too weak a condemnation.
She said that she had rejected support from an anti-Semitic group in her 2000 campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from New York. "There's a difference between denouncing and rejecting," she said. "We've got to be even stronger."
Obama adjusted quickly, dismissing Clinton's gambit in a tight answer that made her complaint seem silly.
"I don't see a difference between denouncing and rejecting," Obama said. "There's no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it. But if the word `reject' Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word `denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce."
Said Clinton, "Good. Good. Excellent."
Mr. McCain, who has been on a steady search for support among conservative and evangelical leaders who have long distrusted him, said he was “very honored'’ by Mr. Hagee’s endorsement.Why is this blatant double standard being allowed?
Asked about Mr. Hagee’s extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee’s belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that “all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee’s support.'’
Catholics United have sent a letter to McCain asking that he reject Hagee's endorsement. They state:
In his book, Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee has a chapter entitled “Centuries of Mistreatment” where he makes derisive claims against the Catholic Church. In one alarming and unsubstantiated passage, Hagee suggests that Hitler’s attendance in a Catholic grade school produced Hitler’s anti-Semitic world view. This rhetoric is part of a pattern of behavior employed by Pastor Hagee to discredit the Catholic faith.Will McCain reject this endorsement? Or is that something we only ask of Barack Obama when endorsements which he did not solicit are offered to him?
To help set the record straight, Catholics United asks that you distance yourself from Pastor Hagee’s anti-Catholic rhetoric and reject the endorsement. We suggest that you do this publicly and in unequivocal terms. By publicly addressing this issue, you will reaffirm to the American public and to Catholics that intolerance and bigotry have no place in American Presidential campaigns.