Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John McCain discusses the country's Judeo-Christian roots, explains why the prospect of a Muslim in the White House makes him uncomfortable, and reveals that he wouldn't undergo a full-immersion baptism until his presidential campaign is over.
Watch segments of the video interview. Or read a transcript below.
Has the candidates’ personal faith become too big an issue in the presidential race?
Questions about that are very legitimate.... And it's also appropriate for me at certain points in the conversation to say, look, that's sort of a private matter between me and my Creator.... But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'"
It doesn't seem like a Muslim candidate would do very well, according to that standard.
I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it. I think one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is that these forces of evil have perverted what's basically an honorable religion. But, no, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles.... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would--I just feel that that's an important part of our qualifications to lead.*
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