Did John McCain Speak at Bob Jones University?

Numerous bloggers think he did.

What actually happened was that Stephen Colbert, a comedian, recently delivered a speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (was it funny? imagine a junior higher having just learned about sarcasm, trying to insult someone).

Part of his speech contained these lines: “By the way, Senator McCain, it’s so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University.” Folks, Colbert was making jokes, not reporting the news.

Sadly, it’s no surprise so many people who read The Da Vinci Code think they’re learning theology.


  1. Hey, Austin.

    Thanks for the post. I watched Colbert’s speech. Yikes. Calling that “courageous” (as many are doing) is analogous to commending a kid kicking and screaming on the grocery store floor for his bravery. Ridiculous.

    What a jerk. :(

    (oops…are pastors allowed to say that?)

  2. Hi,
    Yes, McCain came to BJU during the 2000 Presidential primaries – the same time that Bush and Keyes came through.

  3. Well, not exactly to BJU. McCain was in Greenville and considered coming to campus. But then he apparently decided that there was more political gain in attacking Bush for coming. There are some interesting “what ifs” in the 2000 McCain story….

  4. Yes, McCain should have fired whoever came up with the campaign strategy for SC. It backfired dramatically, killing the momentum he had from his strong showing in the NH primaries. Funny that a little school in SC would make any difference.

    I believe that McCain did eventually set foot on the BJ campus for Terry Haskins’ funeral.

  5. OK … so he got it confused with Liberty University. I seriously doubt Colbert was trying to mislead the country with his humor the way the Bush administration misleads us on things that impact our Fourth Amendment Rights.


  6. PunditMom,
    I think you may be missing the point (although at the Press Club dinner the night of Colbert’s speech we could certainly accuse Bush of duplicity).

    The point is not to attack Colbert, who knew he was making a joke, but to express concern about potential voters who rely on comedians for their political knowledge.

  7. I was a student there at the time and assisted with the media coverage… McCain most certainly did NOT come to speak on campus. A prior poster is right about him being there for the Haskins funeral, but there was no campaign stumping by McCain on or adjacent to the campus during the 2000 election cycle (he preferred to flame us from a distance). I did particularly enjoy when Pat and Shelley Buchanan came and spoke to a voluntary assembly held in Rodeheaver Auditorium… he was (as always) on top of his game and wellspoken on every point. His dear wife was absolutely charming as well. I’ll remember that visit with particular fondness. Among the most unusual visitors to the BJU Campus during that time was Al Franken (there’s a shock!). He mentions it in one of his books (read the pages at the bookstore if you must but dont waste your money on the book). Even he was shocked by how polite everyone was to him… (see, we really are good people!). Peace!

  8. John McCain did come to BJU campus in October 2000 to attend the funeral of Terry Haskins. I saw him in Rodeheaver Auditorium (and later off campus at the graveside). McCain made no public appearance that I’m aware of. Terry had been McCain’s SC campaign chairman, and McCain (himself a survivor of melanoma) was a good friend to Terry and Gloria during Terry’s final months.

  9. It’s not Colbert’s fault about how his statements were interpreted but he never said McCain did go, but it’s obvious Colbert had more insight than any of you… Reports later in 2006 confirmed McCain considering to go to BJU and then by 2007, he did go… So much for McCain’s statement in 2000 “Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance” when he criticized Bush for previously speaking at Bob Jones University. Now McCain is trying to convince all the right-wing that he is as conversative as they get. I bet you when we get into the Presidential Campaign (after the nominations are complete) that he’ll sell himself as a moderate in order to get the independent voters. Talk about a two-faced politician… but I am sure most of you will say that all politicians are two-faced anyway.

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