As we noted last week, ever since courting John Hagee and receiving his endorsement in February, John McCain hasn’t been quite sure how to handle the controversy that came with it, at times trying to distance himself from Hagee and then turning around and bragging about his close ties with him.
When he was asked about the endorsement by George Stephanopoulos over the weekend, McCain basically summed up his have-it-both-ways position by saying it was probably a mistake to seek it while maintaining that he is glad to have it.
While McCain has gone out of his way to repudiate Hagee’s anti-Catholic statements and views, he’s hasn’t weighed in on Hagee’s other controversial views, such as his belief that New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina because the city “had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.”
McCain was probably hoping that Hagee would stop saying outrageous things like that and that the controversy would eventually go away – but that is not what is happening because, as Think Progress reports, Hagee continues to insist the New Orleans was targeted for destruction by God because a “homosexual rally” was being planned for the following Monday:
[Dennis] Prager followed up by asking [Hagee] if all natural disasters are a result of “the divine hand” and if there is “any natural disaster that is not the result of sin?” Hagee responded by saying “it’s a result of God’s permissible will” and “that there was going to be a massive homosexual rally there the following Monday,” which he said “was sin”
PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct though that in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?
HAGEE: In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.
PRAGER: No, I understand.
HAGEE: It was scheduled that Monday.
PRAGER: No, I’m only trying to understand that in the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God’s hand was in it because of a sinful city?
HAGEE: That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct, yes.
Considering that McCain is scheduled to be in New Orleans tomorrow, this might be a good time to get him on the record again about just how glad he is to have Hagee’s endorsement.