Catholic League president Bill Donohue says he wants to hear from Sen. John McCain about his tie to Rev. John Hagee, not his surrogates:
“On Friday, Sen. McCain said he doesn’t agree with everything that Hagee has said. But he didn’t list a single example. As such, his response strikes us as pedestrian: Is there anyone who agrees with everything said by someone else? Sen. Sam Brownback was more specific about what McCain allegedly believes. In a news release his office sent to us Friday afternoon (McCain’s staff has not contacted us at all), Brownback said, ‘While John McCain certainly cannot be expected to defend or espouse the views of every individual who has thrown their support to him, McCain completely repudiates any and all remaining elements of anti-Catholicism in America today.’ That’s a great statement. Too bad it didn’t come from McCain. But there’s the rub: John Hagee has contributed mightily to anti-Catholicism in America, so how can McCain have it both ways?
“Yesterday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson about my criticism of McCain. He asked, ‘Should John McCain repudiate and reject the comments, the support from John Hagee, just as Barack Obama has done that with the Rev. Louis Farrakhan?’ Hutchinson responded by saying, ‘Well, I think there are two very different situations. John Hagee, Pastor Hagee, has done some very good things, particularly with regard to Israel and the support for Israel and denouncing terrorism in that area. And he has a very large congregation. His endorsement, I think, is for people who believe and work for him. And he does some good things.’ She then said McCain wouldn’t support anti-Catholicism.
“Farrakhan has done some very good things, too. He has called upon young black men to steer clear of drugs and to support their families. Yet no one is citing his good work as a justification for his bigoted comments. The same rule should apply to Hagee. We hope McCain gives us something concrete the next time he speaks to this issue. And we’d like to hear from him, not his surrogates.”