McCain Flip-Flops In 30 Seconds: Hagee Endorsement A ‘Mistake,’ But ‘I’m Glad To Have’ It

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"McCain Flip-Flops In 30 Seconds: Hagee Endorsement A ‘Mistake,’ But ‘I’m Glad To Have’ It"

Last February, hard-line conservative evangelical Pastor John Hagee endorsed Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) candidacy for president. Despite Hagee’s history of controversial and bigoted comments –- such as calling Catholicism “The Great Whore” and blaming Hurricane Katrina on gays –- McCain said he was “very honored” to receive the endorsement, one which he also reportedly sought.

McCain has since both “repudiate[d]” and defended Hagee’s intolerant remarks. But McCain’s double-talk on Hagee went a step further yesterday on ABC’s This Week when he seemed a bit confused as to whether or not he still accepts Hagee’s endorsement –- first agreeing that it was a “mistake” to accept it, but less than 30 seconds later saying he is “glad” to have it:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So was it a mistake to solicit and accept his endorsement?

MCCAIN: Oh, probably, sure. […]

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you no longer want his endorsement?

MCCAIN: I’m glad to have his endorsement. I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything. And thanks for asking.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/04/mcchagendr.320.240.flv]

Indeed, McCain has been confused quite a bit lately on a wide range of issues:

– McCain has said waterboarding “should never be condoned in the U.S.” but voted against a bill banning the CIA from using torture, specifically including waterboarding.

— McCain says he is “a consistent supporter of educational benefits” for the military but has indicated he will not support the bipartisan 21st Century GI Bill.

— On at least three occasions, McCain baselessly claimed Iran is training Al Qaeda in Iraq but argued the error was an isolated slip of the tongue.

— McCain falsely suggested that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a “sect of Shi’ites.”

— McCain falsely claimed Moktada al-Sadrdeclared the cease-fire” after recent fighting in Basra and has said he is both a “major player” in Iraq and that his influence “has been on the wane for a long time.”

— Economists and nonpartisan analysts have said recently that the numbers in McCain’s economic plan simply “don’t add up.”

— McCain has made the elimination of earmarks a cornerstone of his presidential campaign but he can’t name any he would eliminate.

— In a matter of one day, McCain said Americans are both “better off” and “not better off” than they were before President Bush took office.

McCain’s latest 30-second flip-flop represents the political dance he must engage in to try to appeal to both the conservative evangelical wing of the Republican Party and independent-minded Americans. But despite all his back and forth, the media still seem happy to promote McCain’s self-proclaimed persona as a “straight-talking maverick.”

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