POLITICS
05/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain's Hagee Rejection Shows Evangelical Outreach Was A Ruse

John McCain's rejection of John Hagee's endorsement today is the starkest example yet of McCain's ham handed approach to dealing with the Christian Right and with handling religious matters generally. It's a striking contrast to era of George W. Bush, whose political rise was largely a result of having mastered Christian Right and evangelical outreach, in connecting with believers personally and mobilizing them organizationally.

McCain's deficiencies in those areas also contrast sharply with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, whose sophisticated campaigns to win evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, and other religious voters just four years after John Kerry refused to engage in faith-based organizing and messaging suggest that both learned more from Bush about religion's role in American politics than McCain did.

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