Presumptive republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has rejected the months-old endorsement of Texas pastor John Hagee after the publication of a recording showed the televangelist saying God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the Promised Land.
According to the Associated Press, Senator McCain said in a Thursday statement:
"Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.”
Hagee said he was withdrawing the endorsement, which the senator had accepted at a February 27 news conference in San Antonio before the Texas presidential primary.
In a Thursday statement, Hagee said critics are "grossly misrepresenting my position on issues most near and dear to my heart."
"I am tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues," Hagee continued. He said he would remove himself from any “active role” in the 2008 campaign.