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NEW YORK (CAP) - Harry Potter mania is heating up across the globe with the July release of both a new movie and the last book in the series, and Republican candidates for the presidency are taking notice with a number of statements geared toward appeasing the religious wedge of their right-wing base.
"This is an evil, evil little boy," Arizona Senator John McCain said at a Fairbanks, Ala. fundraiser. "How's that song go? Harry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are, uh, burned at the stake."
Speaking briefly with reporters outside a Memphis NASCAR-themed tattoo parlor, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani took the opportunity not only to court his party's base, but also attack his potential future opponent.
"You know, I don't consort with witches, but then again, I've never partied with the Democratic front-runner either, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions there," Giuliani said to applause. "Seriously though, I'm a much bigger fan of the Left Behind series. I've never actually read one, but I hear they're great and I certainly look forward to reading one soon."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney downplayed a video making the rounds on YouTube that shows him trick or treating as Harry Potter in the early 1990's and suggested that his religion makes him the biggest witch-hater in the crowded Republican presidential field.
"The founder of my religion, Joseph Smith, had to actually beat the hell out of a witch to get the Mormon plates from her. That's how serious I am about the subject," Romney said on the campaign trail in Nashua, NH. "I certainly wouldn't let Harry Potter ride on my car, I'll tell you that."
The frontrunners weren't the only potential Republican nominees with an opinion on the subject:
-Former Congressman/actor Fred Thompson: "Let me tell you, I once did summer stock with ("Bewitched" actress) Elizabeth Montgomery, and she was a damn good witch. I read lines with her, I pretended to copulate with her in this one scene, and I say, Harry Potter, you ain't no Elizabeth Montgomery."
-Kansas Senator Sam Brownback: "We shouldn't embrace people descended from frogs, and we shouldn't embrace little boys being able to turn people into them. Ronald Reagan would have hated Harry Potter, and Jesus help me, so do I."
-Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo: "What is that, an English accent? If I was president, I'd erect a fence so high he'd NEED a broomstick to get over it."
Despite their protestations, the Potter juggernaut marches on with a July 10 release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in theatres and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hitting bookstores July 21.
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