With the nomination well in hand, John McCain has at last rejected the endorsement of pastor John Hagee, who once suggested that the Holocaust was a case of divine providence. McCain stood by Hagee in the past, when the minister’s incendiary remarks about Catholicism and the supposedly divine cause of Hurricane Katrina first came to light.

Read McCain’s statement, which takes a jab at Barack Obama.

And if you’re the curious type, you can read all about Hagee in his own words on his Web site.

Washington Post / The Trail:

When asked what McCain thought of the remarks, campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds responded with an e-mail from the candidate denouncing Hagee.

“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them,” McCain said in the statement. “I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee’s endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well.”

The comments represented a significant shift by McCain, who had refused to reject Hagee’s endorsement in the wake of other controversial comments, such as the reverend’s attack on Catholicism and his implication that Hurricane Katrina represented divine retribution. After learning of those comments, McCain said just because someone endorsed him did not mean he endorsed that person’s views.

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