McCain and the Christianists


He's trying to mend fences:

In keeping with his "big tent" philosophy, McCain told CBN News that he's trying to reach out to moderates, liberals and religious conservatives. He believes that his overtures toward key religious leaders are significant.

"I have had meetings with [Southern Baptist Convention President] Dr. Richard Land. I have met with Reverend Jerry Falwell. I have had good conversations with [Evangelical leader] Reverend [John] Hagee. There are many others. Now I have not had a conversation with Dr. [James] Dobson because he has said he prays that I will not be the nominee of the party. I'm not sure where we start the conversation."

McCain has had a rocky relationship with religious conservatives going back to 2000, when he branded the Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance." Many Evangelicals have been wary of McCain ever since. Brody asked McCain, "Do you regret saying it? Do you feel like you need to apologize for it at all?"

McCain responded, "I'll give you some straight talk. I was angry after what happened. Many of them were traced directly to many in the Evangelical movement. Not overall, but there was a professor at Bob Jones University who told CNN that John McCain had to prove that he didn't father illegitimate children. That's not the way. So of course I was angry. And sometimes you say things in anger that you don't mean. But I have put that behind me. It's over. And it's something that happened, it's finished and I move forward not back."

(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty.)