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. Genevieve M, TX

    I agree with Gene in OH. The children should not be returned to the parents' custody until the authorities do a through investigation. It's just a matter of time before the "skeletons in the closet" are exposed.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  2. Kimether - Atlanta, GA

    I'm so happy to hear that, Erica! Natural disasters have been completely out of control this season! What is going on, for real?!?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  3. Fay, CA

    I love this coverage of McCain’s “issues.” It is long overdue.

    EJ, I agree. One of the main reasons that McCain's been viewed so favorably by certain segments of the public is because he hasn't been examined as closely as the other candidates–the more we find out about him and his "issues", the less he may appeal to people–November isn't necessarily a "sure thing" for him yet.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  4. Kayle, CT

    I don't understand why religious figures play such a big roll in political campaigns. I mean isn't politics supposed to be evolving away from a religious type of goverment?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  5. Jolene

    I do find it interesting that the FLDS has been very open with the media these days when in the past the media was shunned. Seems a bit suspect to me.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  6. CaseyJPS - California

    "As a pastor myself I’ve seen both Hagee and Parsley many times over the years and neither represent a true form of Christanity. Both are filled with hate and in doing so they divide the realm of Christians all over the world. Maybe it is about time we all turn back to the Sermon on the Mount."

    Thank you for this comment. It is truly important to make this point clear to all. It's easy for someone (like me) to lump all pastors together.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  7. Megan Dresslar

    Yeah, Erica...... I agree with you..... They always safe with children while tornadoes coming down.......

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

    @ Angel

    The lawsuit, will go no where, as the court has stated, they defer those decisions to the individual parties!

    The lawsuit, will be a waist of money and time, and cost the Democrats, because the party, will be stuck in the primaries, while McCain campaigns an uncontested General election.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  9. mary

    Obama was big enough to say he knew McCain did not believe Hagee's words, but McCain used his problem with Hagee as a time to bring up Obama's tie to Rev. Wright. Now there's a big man, mister "straight talker" himself trying to turn people's attention back on Rev. Wright and Obama. And it seems like people can't get enough of it.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  10. Chanel

    It's good to finally hear from some of the men from the FLDS ranch.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Angel

    Now we'll here protest against the too-libral court system.

    It is the state's burden to provide evidence to support their case. If something happens to any of those children, it is Texas who deserves the scrutiny and not the courts.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  12. Pam McClusky

    And one more thing-Like Pastor Hagee or not,, if I were running for President of the United States, that is one endorsement I would not reject . He is a powerful and respected man. How utterly stupid of the media to think that anti-Hagee rhetoric is going to damage Hagee's reputation and turn the tide for McCain !!! Ain;t gonna happen.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    Katt, I don't think it should have ever been brought up in th beginning.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  14. Rich

    When is the world going to wake up and think for themselves. We are in the 21st century, not the dark ages.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  15. Greg S. in Chicago

    McCain is saying is saying "this comment" was too much – and he rejects Hagee's endorsement. The fact that Hagee made several offensive comments previously – and McCain stood by him anyway – and even today does not reference the earlier comments – implies that he was okay with them. I guess if you are okay with the views that God unleashes his wrath on people because they're gay, live in New Orleans, or are Catholic, then McCain is the guy for you.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  16. Kim

    Will the court still consider every single case or will it just send all the kids back?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  17. CaseyJPS - California

    We're going to be hearing about this particular FLDS event for years to come. I am truly sorry the children have to go through this. They'll all be adults by the time this passes.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  18. deborah,OH

    I couldn't have said it better Jeffrey!
    And, yes, what about separation of church and state? Where did that go?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  19. Darren James

    Why is it in every election in the US religion play such a big part? In Canada you rarely hear our leaders or future leaders wanting or needs the endorsement of a religious figure. In the case of McCain, he wanted the endorsement and now because the "fire" has gotten too hot he wants to fan the flames and walk away. US politics are like watching a bad episode of a Soap

    May 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  20. ericacnn

    the tornado was wild today, and the pictures really tell the story. a daycare was in the thick of it, but it sounds like the staff was well-prepared and kept the kids safe.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  21. Claire

    There are quite a few people that I know, including myself here in Florida that will vote for Obama if he is the nominee. Most people in my family and most people I work with all are behind either democrat.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  22. Megan Dresslar

    Megan O.
    I saw news on CNN on website, I looked it was so horrible tornado in Colorado, I see that only one killed by tornado......... my thoughts and prayer in Colorado..........

    May 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  23. Katt in FL

    So now that they both have a "pastor problem" we can expect it to be a taboo subject in the general election, right? Some how, I doubt it.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  24. DeniseGA

    @ Diane

    I'm still puzzled how someone can vote Hillary or McCain!
    Their policies are the polar opposite. How can you vote either, if you vote based on that you agree with. Seriously, I'm really curious. I've seen that statment more and more often, since Hillary started losing.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  25. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Cynthia; The candidates can and will tell you anything to get your vote that is why voters must examine their past promises and records in order to make an informed decision.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  26. Gene C., OH

    Not one child should be returned to the Texas compound until the whole story is known.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  27. Genevieve M, TX

    I am watching 360 tonight with a group of visiting relatives. When Erica was talking about the lady in China who was breastfeeding the babies- a collective "ow" was heard in the room. As for my opinion, I think she did a very nice thing, feeding the babies.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  28. Chuck in Alabama

    I think McCains statement about "20 years" was simply a warning to Obama not to make a big issue out of Hagee.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  29. Kim

    I still think Mc Cain looked very shaken, blinking all the time and searching for words.... political tactics coming back to haunt him

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  30. Chanel

    Jimmy- I still think that the majority of Hagee's followers will vote for McCain. To vote for a democrat would be to vote against their conservative beliefs. In the end, that is what should matter. The same goes with people who talk about voting for Hillary or McCain, the majority will not vote against their economic interest.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  31. Veronica from Central Florida

    McCain reached out to Hagee and Parsley for endorsement for political reasons. He now renounces Hagee because he is trying to get the Jewish vote in Florida. He has the nerve to say he was not in this church for 20 years! Obama did not get his pastor for political reasons, he went to this church to glorify Jesus Christ. McCain should try reaching out to the church's for a relationship with God rather than for political reasons. Whatever happened to separation of Church and State. Should what pastors say on the pulpit have anything to do with politics?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  32. EJ

    I love this coverage of McCain's "issues." It is long overdue.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  33. CaseyJPS - California

    Can someone analyze McCains body language while he was making the statement against the endorsement? Just curious...

    May 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  34. Stella

    McCains rejection/denouncement of Pastors Hagee and Parsley, which the later his did call "a great spiritual leader" etc...shows what a hipocrit he is. What is his religious association? Does he have a pastor or church, or just look in the phone book for the most "popular" pastor for votes...that disgusts me.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  35. CaseyJPS - California

    What does it tell you about McCain that he waited so long to publicly denounce the endorsement. I don;'t appreciate game playing. It's just not honest.

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

    Diane – I'm sure if you check all the candidate I'm sure they all know some questionable people. Low level? .

    May 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  37. Pat

    I'm sure if McCain went to that pastors church for 20 years it would be an issue but that isn't the case so i don't see an issue with McCain.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  38. Antoine

    if someone seeks the endorcement of hitler i believe they share his veiws .if you seek the endorcement of hagee i believe you share his views too

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  39. Megan Dresslar

    Yes! I agree with you...... Mike in NY

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  40. Pam McClusky

    Hagee's comments are being taken out of context. McCain does not have to agree with every theological issue that Hagee raises. This just shows how weak McCain is – the water gets hot and "cuts and runs". That's not gonna get my vote. I want a Prez with hutspah !

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  41. DeniseGA

    I think the difference is Obama and McCain is,

    Obama knew a different side of Wright, the side that helped the community for the last 40 years.

    McCain, knew about Hagee and Parsley, but still actively sought their support for Political gain!

    There is a big difference!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  42. Fay, CA

    Obama has continued to do well in his campaign in spite of the Reverend Wright controversy–if that is the only card the people have to attempt to break him, it hasn't been successful so far and as the campaign goes on, he tends to do better and gain more supporters–it will be interesting to see what's going to happen if he becomes the nominee.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  43. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Pat, I agree. McCain was much more decisive. Obama waffled about Wright for weeks.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  44. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    the video of the tornado is really intense

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  45. Gail B. Paul

    Why did John McCain only denounce the pastor when he spoke out against the Jewish community. What happened when he spoke against Catholics. Maybe he was not a member of either pastor's church, but he begged for that endoresement. It was a sought after endorsement, and the little guy got what he wanted. Why did his staff not know about his Jewish statement as they knew about the Catholic statements.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  46. Cynthia

    Rose I think a candidate can tell you anything in order to get your so what I have learned to do is listen to everything said and make my decision based on that..

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  47. carmen

    Lauren, I agree with you. McCain is a wolf in sheep's clothing who will discovered as the campaign progresses. So many of his "principles" have already begun to bite him

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  48. Jimmy H

    Hagee not only has the 20,000 that come to his church regularly, but the one million plus that watch him live on television, and also the many who read his books. To denounce John Hagee is to denounce everyone who follows him and believes in him. This is a step back for McCain, he has already lost my vote and my families vote. McCain should of done his homework before seeking Hagee's endorsement.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  49. Jeffrey

    As a pastor myself I've seen both Hagee and Parsley many times over the years and neither represent a true form of Christanity. Both are filled with hate and in doing so they divide the realm of Christians all over the world. Maybe it is about time we all turn back to the Sermon on the Mount.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  50. Chanel

    Angel – I sure hope not! That would be incredibly divsive. There would be no way for the Democrats to come back from that, no way.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
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