Fox News' Kelly left unchallenged Lieberman's assertion that McCain "accepted" Hagee's endorsement -- he actively sought it

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

On America's Election HQ, Megyn Kelly hosted Sen. Joe Lieberman in a discussion about the apology made by Rev. John Hagee, a supporter of Sen. John McCain, over controversial comments he made concerning the Catholic Church. But Kelly did not challenge Lieberman's suggestion that McCain merely accepted Hagee's endorsement, and Kelly made no mention of McCain's acknowledgment that he actually sought Hagee's endorsement.

During the May 13 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, host Megyn Kelly reported on Sen. John McCain supporter Rev. John Hagee's apology to Catholics for controversial comments he made concerning the Catholic Church. Kelly then played a clip of McCain saying: "The fact that he has made an apology, I think, is very helpful. Whenever someone apologizes for something they did wrong, then I think that that's a laudable thing to do." Citing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) statement that called for McCain to renounce Hagee's endorsement, Kelly asked Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), "How do we go forward on this?" Lieberman responded: "John McCain never went to Pastor Hagee's church. He accepted his endorsement." But McCain did not merely "accept[]" Hagee's endorsement, as Lieberman suggested; he admitted having sought it, which Kelly did not note.

During an April 20 interview on ABC's This Week, after McCain said he "strongly condemn[s]" "any comments that he [Hagee] made about the Catholic Church," host George Stephanopoulos stated, "Yet you solicited and accepted his endorsement." McCain replied: "Yes, indeed, I did." Later, when asked if it was "a mistake to solicit and accept [Hagee's] endorsement," McCain replied, "Oh, probably. Sure." But when Stephanopoulos asked McCain, "So you no longer want his endorsement?" McCain responded: "I'm glad to have his endorsement."

Media Matters for America has noted that, in addition to his comments about the Catholic Church, Hagee has also made controversial statements about homosexuality, Islam, and women.

From the May 13 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ:

KELLY: Senator John McCain campaigning in Washington state today, on day two of his environmental push -- and we're going to get to that in one moment. Meantime, however, controversial McCain supporter, televangelist John Hagee, apologizing today to Catholics for his cutting remarks about the Roman Catholic faith, which included calling the Catholic Church, quote, "the great whore." Moments ago, McCain responding to the reconciliation.

McCAIN [video clip]: The fact that he has made an apology, I think, is very helpful. Whenever someone apologizes for something they did wrong, then I think that that's a laudable thing to do.

KELLY: Well, the head of the Catholic League accepted that apology, by the way. In Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman, also a McCain supporter, joins us now. Good evening, Senator.

LIEBERMAN: Good evening, Megyn. Good to be with you.

KELLY: It's great to have you again. I want to ask you about this Hagee thing before we get to the environment --

LIEBERMAN: Sure.

KELLY: -- because it's, you know, the late breaking news of the day. The DNC already came out with a response to this, saying this is insufficient. They want McCain to do more. Let me show you what they said. They say, "Unless John McCain's idea of being a new kind of Republican includes cozying up to radicals who compare women to dogs, hold racially insensitive fundraisers, and call one of the worst natural disasters in our country's history 'God's punishment,' he should renounce John Hagee's endorsement immediately." They don't seem prepared to let this die. Where do you think it stands? How do we go forward on this?

LIEBERMAN: Well, look, I think that the DNC is obviously doing this 'cause they said Pastor Hagee is some kind of response to Reverend Wright for Senator Obama, but I don't think that's fair in the basic way that everyone has already said, which was, John McCain never went to Pastor Hagee's church. He accepted his endorsement. He represents a lot of people in this country, particularly Christians who care about the state of Israel. He founded a group called Christians United for Israel.

The statements that were brought out that he had made about the Catholic Church were a total surprise to me. I know, to Senator McCain, they were obviously reprehensible. And I give Pastor Hagee a lot of credit for just plain apologizing. And I must say there's a difference because Reverend Wright never did apologize; he just restated the objectionable and reprehensible things he had said.

KELLY: OK, let's move on to the substantive issues, and that is campaign --

LIEBERMAN: OK.

KELLY: -- or, sorry -- climate change. John McCain's been out speaking about global warming, something that is music to the ears of a lot of independents and some Republicans, but there are a lot of Republicans and a lot of conservatives who don't want to hear this, and they say he is not helping himself in the general election. How do you respond?

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Megyn Kelly
Show/Publication
America's Election HQ
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.