Yesterday, Catholic League president Bill Donohue criticized Senator John McCain for embracing Rev. John Hagee; the Texas minister has a long record of Catholic bashing. Referring to Hagee’s endorsement on Wednesday, McCain reiterated his position on Thursday saying he was “pleased” to “have received the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee.”

Interestingly, the Hagee endorsement didn’t sit well with presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee; he expressed his “disappointment and surprise” with Hagee for not choosing him.

Donohue weighed in on this today:

“If Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama were fighting over the support of Louis Farrakhan, we’d say they’re nuts. So what are we to conclude about McCain’s embrace of Hagee, and Huckabee’s lament for not getting the bigot’s endorsement?

“I am pleased to have the unsolicited support of Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; he is one of the nation’s most prominent Jewish leaders. Here is what he told me: ‘We Jews should know best, from our own history, that looking away and ignoring someone’s hate and bigotry because it is pointed at another group and not at us is short-sighted and wrong…Jews as well as all Americans need to make equal demands of our political leaders to renounce support from bigots and hate-mongers.’ He concludes by imploring McCain to ‘reject Pastor Hagee’s hate whatever the political calculations and consequences.’ [To read Kula’s entire statement, click here.]

“Just this week, McCain repudiated the remarks of talk radio host Bill Cunningham. He should now repudiate Hagee’s long record of bashing Catholicism. After all, George W. Bush apologized for speaking at Bob Jones University, and Hagee makes Jones look like a lightweight in the ring of bigotry.”

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