May 22nd, 2008
09:34 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 5/22/08

Another pastor and another political problem. When evangelical minister John Hagee endorsed Sen. John McCain it was no secret that was Hagee is controversial. He's called the Catholic Church "the great whore" and a "cult." But today, after a recording of Hagee saying Hitler had been fulfilling God's will surfaced McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement. What impact will this have on his campaign? We've got the raw politics.

Also tonight, a huge victory for the parents of Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect. A Texas appeals court said there wasn't enough evidence to support the initial claim of abuse and the state should never have taken children from the ranch. So what happens to them now?

CNN Sr. Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin has been following this story from the beginning and he blogged about the ruling. Jeffrey will be on the program tonight along with Rod Parker who is an attorney for the FLDS church. David Mattingly interviewed a young woman who gave birth while in custody of the state and Anderson will interview a former FLDS member who lived through the 1953 raid.

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not.

Anderson is anchoring the show from DC tonight but you can catch a glimpse of Erica on the studio web camera. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET.

We'll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Lesli

    Choosing a candidate by knowing their religious affiliation helps voters to understand a lot about the candidate. We might want to have separation of church and state, but a person can't separate the church from their beliefs and the way they would vote or govern without being hypocritical.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  2. Jeff Rinehart

    I was reluctantly considering voting for Mr. McCain until this evening. I can not and will not support my party this November due to Mr McCains decision to 'un-endorse' two Christian leaders in one swoop.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  3. Lisa - Ft. Lauderdale

    Greg – McCain wasn't going to reject Hagee because of his anti-gay comments – those comments are part of the Republican platform – they have to have a group that's ok to bash...

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  4. Megan Dresslar

    John McCain is doing right thing to rejected Pastor Hagee. I am so glad that what he did........

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  5. Kathie,Ontario. Canada

    Obama couldn't distance himself as quickly as McCain did for one reason. Obama is indebted to Wright for helping him with his
    political career by introducing him into the black community
    through the church and helping him get to the right people to
    advance his career.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  6. Antoine

    mccain has three pastor problems obama one,mccain has four terrorist connection problem and obama has one i think mccain is having a free ride

    May 22, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Diane

    You can not compare the two pastors. Obama's pastor was his spiritual advidsor for 20 years. He was inspired by him to write a book. Stop trying to put McCain on the same low level as Obama.
    Obama has too many questionable friends, The list keeps growing the longer this campaign goes on.

    Why should we believe any thing Obama says? Actions speak louder than words.

    Vote Hillary or vote McCain

    May 22, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  8. Chuck in Alabama

    Well put, Mike in NY.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  9. yassine from morocco

    very smart move from obama saying that he doesn't think that haggee's comments are shared by mc cain that way in the general election he's not gonna face rev wright controversy:)

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Shirley

    Honestly, why should we care? We are electing someone to run the country, not run a church. Seperation of church and state?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    Mike if it is an issue for Senator Obama – I'm sure it will be one for Senator McCCain as well.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Chanel

    I agree that Obama should work on getting more of the Jewish vote, but not if it means compramising his views on diplomacy. I believe most of the country agrees with Obama on diplomacy vs. McCain's views on foreign policy. I think that it would be best for Obama to "court" the Jewish vote by explaining the positives of diplomacy.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  13. Rose from Southern Calif

    Cynthia...Religion is a important part of being a candidate, its impossible to separate both.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  14. Lauren

    Why didn't McCain reject Hagee's endorsement after he said the Catholic Church was the Great Whore from the bible? He only rejected Hagee now that he thinks it might cost him Florida because of the Jewish vote. What a hypocrite!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  15. Pat

    I don't see an issue with McCain and the pastor because McCain handled it right. Unlike Obama and his pastor which I believe Obama has the same views as his pastor but puts on a good show in front of the camera.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Megan Dresslar

    You're right about that! I agree with you too.......

    May 22, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  17. Greg S. in Chicago

    McCain knew what Hagee's comments on gays, New Orleans, Catholics, etc., were BEFORE he sought his endorsement. Obama has repeatedly stated that he did not know about the controversial comments of Reverend Wright. McCain sold out millions of people to try to court what he thought was the block that could get him elected.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Kathy S

    Cynthia – you are right!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Obama doesn't have a Jewish voter problem in FL. He has a FL voter problem in FL. Why would anyone vote for Obama there when he has actively blocked seating the delegates?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  20. Tom

    I'm Catholic and still voting for McCain. I don't think McCain or Obama believe any of these crazy pastors. I would vote for Hillary though because out of all 3 I respect her the most. She's been fighting for national healthcare since the age of the dinosaurs. Even though I don't agree with her I think she has the most important criteria to be President: A fighting spirit.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  21. Dee Clements

    McCain spent a year seeking his endorsement to further his position with conservatives. Now, he rejects it and that of Parsley. Which way is it McCain. He said he did not vet Hagee before seeking his endorsement. OH another lack of judgement. First the war, now this. McCain will do ANYTHING or say ANYTHING if he thinks it will get him a hand ful of votes .If you don't believe it, just watch him for a week or two straight. I will guarantee that he will flip flop on something.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  22. EJ

    Something tells me that no matter what Obama says now he will try to use Hagee against McCain in the Fall. His cronies will find some way to justify it.

    Same as with Rev. Wright.

    They even tried to use Wright in Mississippi where they lost a long time Republican seat.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  23. lynn

    The way McCain decisively distanced himself from the latest statements of the influential pastors who have endorsed him is what Obama should have done when Wright statements just surfaces in media. Obama was too hesitant to break the ties with his pastor and you can't compare the closeness of his relationship with rev. Wirte with McCain and Hagee. I'm not a McCain supporter, but I have to admit that he was lot more convincing in handling this kind of situation then Obama

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Mike

    Hagee and McCain will be a non-issue in the General Election but Wright and Obama will be a Big factor for November. There is nothing more for McCain to reject ... Hagee was not his pastor and McCain never shared his views.

    Otoh, Obama still has not cleared his positions on 'black liberation theology', the 'black value system' and reparation.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  25. DeniseGA

    @ Kim I agree, that is why he didn't say pastor.

    @ JoAnn I think if Obama wanted to use this, he would have, but he didn't in fact read Kims post, he didn't even imply that Hagee was McCain's pastor. I think that shows he is trying to not slam McCain on this.

    I do believe McCain and Obama want the campaign to be about issues. This country has serious issues and Wright or Hagee can't do anything about it!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Chuck in Alabama

    Obama was wooing Jews today. Saturday I'm sure they will all be told by their rabbi whether or not they should support him. Yes, I know about the church and state laws, but, sure seems alot of religious leaders steer their flocks in political regards.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Jolene

    I'm always amazed at endorsements anyways. It's as though the voters need to be "influenced" into voting for a candidate rather than just make up their minds on their own.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  28. Cynthia

    There is a separation of church and state and this should have never been brought up about any of the candidates.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  29. Rose from Southern Calif

    McCain wants the Catholic's votes and Jewish as well, McCain is no fool its all politic's.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  30. Angel

    Sen. Obama's getting a bit too comfortable counting his eggs before they hatch! A Florida SUPERDELEGATE has filled a federal lawsuit against the DNC and is sure they will win if all their delegates and votes are not seated and counted...Michigan will follow "suit."

    I too feel an explosion a-comin'!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  31. Megan Dresslar

    the panelist have good point are talking about pastor Hagee as rejected by John McCain.......

    May 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  32. Chanel

    Hagee's statements have always been "out there" to say the least. There is no way that McCain could not have known how contraversial he is. However, McCain was desperate to get evangelical voters and he thought that Hagee was an easy way to do that. Sticky situation, but in the end, I don't think anyone believes that McCain actually believes the contraversial remarks that Hagee has made. I do not think it will hurt him in the long run.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  33. Tracey - Boston


    Very good point!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  34. Rose from Southern Calif

    McCain what the Catholic's vote, and Jewish as well. McCain is no fool.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  35. Lisa - Ft. Lauderdale

    Does anything that Hagee or Wright said have any bearing on the ultimate issue – which candidate will best lead our country? Personnally, I am much more concerned with the fact that our national high school grad rate is about 75% and, in many areas, as bad as 50% – what are those other kids going to do? The future of our country is at stake....

    May 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  36. DeniseGA

    @ Derek

    I agee, McCain, went after those endorsements!

    Obama said and his Senate Schedule proved, he was not present when Wright said those things. I give him the benefit of doubt.

    But McCain knew about the stuff those pastors said.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  37. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Chuck in Alabama; That will be a difference lost on the cable news channels and the Obama supporters.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  38. Kevin Leo from Jonesboro, GA

    Barack is too classy to use the Hagee situation personally. Some of his surrogates and supporters will fan this flame far more than he ever will.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  39. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Hagee has 20,000 followers. Have to wait and see what they will do

    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  40. Yvonne

    Obama never sought the endorsement of Rev. Wright for political purposes. His pastor was like an Uncle and he was aware that he needed to distance himself from him. But he did not bring him into the race like McCain did.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  41. Carmen, Marina, CA

    Church and state should remain separate, as our Constitution stipulates. The mix really got out of control with Bush in 2000 and 2004, invoking a religious sentiment to his candidacy and the great rise of the evangelical movement in the Republican party. It was like the tail wagging the dog.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  42. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Mike Syracuse, NY; Good point! Something tells me that no matter what Obama says now he will try to use Hagee against McCain in the Fall. His cronies will find some way to justify it.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  43. Chuck in Alabama

    I think the converse is going to be true. Religious leaders that don't agree with Hagee will probably come forward to support McCain.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  44. Kim

    McCain actively sought Hagee's endorsement, even though he knew how right-wing and controversial Hagee is. Another example of placing political expediency over personal principles...

    @Mike: I think Obama wanted to say "his pastor", then noticed that by saying this he'd draw an obvious parallel to Rev. Wright and imply that McCain was a part of his congregation and decided to say the name instead.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  45. Megan Dresslar

    Chuck, I also agree with you....... too.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  46. Kevin Leo from Jonesboro, GA

    Barack did not seek out Rev Wright's endorsement the way that McCain sought out Hagee!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  47. Rose from Southern Calif

    Who died and made Pastor Hagee God? Those without sin through the first stone, remember Hagee.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  48. Kano

    It's called guilty by association. That is why they are similar. So why is McCain getting a free pass

    May 22, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  49. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Thank heavens for the common sense of Candy Crowley. The public is getting sick of gotcha and apology politics.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  50. Yvonne

    The things Hagee and Parsley have said are actually more controversial then what Rev. Wright said.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
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