(CNN) - John McCain and Barack Obama will share a stage next month, shortly before officially claiming their parties’ presidential nominations.
Both men will appear at a forum at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church August 16 – and briefly appear on stage together before being interviewed separately by the “Purpose-Driven Life” author.
“This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light,” said Warren in a statement released Monday.
He added that he viewed both men as friends, but “they also know I will be raising questions… beyond what political reporters typically ask,” including issues like climate change, human rights, poverty and HIV/AIDS.
The Saddlebrook forum will be co-sponsored by Faith in Public Life, which co-organized a similar event with CNN at Messiah College in advance of the Pennsylvania primary.
Barack Obama’s campaign has made an ambitious effort – unprecedented from a Democratic White House hopeful - to reach religious voters this campaign cycle. "Senator Obama has consistently been one of our nation's leaders in addressing the role of faith in his own life and the lives of the American people,” said Josh Dubois, National Director of Religious Affairs for the Obama campaign. “He's looking forward to going back to Saddleback with his good friend Pastor Rick Warren - where he already spoke in 2006 - to talk about the role of values in solving some of our nation's most pressing challenges, and what all Americans can do to bridge religious divides and move our country forward.”
John McCain – whose campaign has worked hard to hold on to conservative Christians who typically vote Republican – got a major boost Sunday with the news that long-time critic James Dobson of Focus on the Family was weighing an endorsement of the presumptive Republican nominee.
“John McCain has a strong record of working on the issues that are important with pro-family voters,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds of the Arizona senator’s decision to participate in the August forum. “Our campaign is working diligently to build even greater support for Senator McCain’s message of reform, prosperity and peace – so we are encouraged by signals of additional supporters and new venues for our conversation with voters.”
As an Obama supporter, I think Barack should be careful here. I also like that he is doing this, it is gutsy to march right into enemy territory like this. Orange County is a major Republican stronghold, so the crowd at this church will be slanted towards McCain. I trust Barack to give thoughtful, intelligent answers to the questions he will be asked. If the host stays true to his statement, and asks honest, good questions, I think this will be a good forum to hear what both candidates have to say.
Voting is your right–Godspeed.
You Obama haters need to calm down. He will debate (and wipe the floor with him) McCain once he is the nominee. Wait till after the convention and you will get more than you wanted from debates.
McCain will school Obama
Hispanic for McCain
I don't think, unless either candidate has a major gaffe, that this forum will hold much sway with most evangelicals. Warren doesn't have that much clout in the Christian conservative community; he goes after a different crowd.
If Warren is trying to soft pitch McCain, he should be careful, it could backfire. It seems to me like the Rick Warren crowd could be impressed if Obama says all the right things. If Obama is on top of his game and comes off as sincere, it could be a mild boost for Obama.
Honestly to be the president of the us require a lot of effort and not just that : I went to war and I have more experience.
You have to work to get it.
French people are very happy that the us came to rescue us however you republicans should feel ashamed of what you did by electing someone ignorant like George bush.
Republicans are too arrogant when they are presidents...
This guy doesn't even listen the united nations and also the European countries like France and Germany which were oppose to the war from the beginning.
May be Mc bush were thinking that Iraq is Afghanistan and that Saddam Hussein is ben laden.
Pastor Warren will be an entirely gracious host. There is a good chance of Obama being elected. They want to and will make great partners in many joint projects to come.
Well, politics aside–Orange County is a great place for visitors. They will fall in love with it's beauty–the mountains, the beaches, the ocean. Great place for a wonderful forum.
Hope Barack, and McCain get a change to stick around for awhile.
Having Obama and McCain on stage at the same time really works to Obama's advantage. The contrast between the taller, athletic, intelligent, and youthful Obama standing next to the shorter, older, and less well spoken McCain, will favor Obama heavily.
Watch your back Barack,
Orange County is Reagan Country. I'm sure you're brave enough to take it. Heck, you may have a few voters there.
Yupik1 July 21st, 2008 4:08 pm ET
Where's McCain's flag pin
Had to crack up about that one I guess he is not patriotic enough too should the media blow that one out of proportion? I should hope... if asked I guess he would say something to the effect of " my friends! that does not matter what matters is that I was a POW" LOL
GOOD SIDE BY SIDE PEOPLE WILL WAKE UP..
I HOPE THE MEDIA ASK HIM TO WALK ON WATER.......
MCCAIN WILL SHINE SHINE SHINE.......
i really want the separation of church and state as well. It will be hard to unring the bell, but I think we should try.
C. RICE WHO GOT HER NAME AND ALL THAT MONEY SHE MAKES OFF ALL OF US.........IS GOING TO VOTE FOR OBOMA......KNIFE IN BACK TO REP. COMMITTEE....SHAME ON HER........ SEE WHAT RACE STILL PLAYS IN THIS ELECTION???????
DOES NOT MATTER THAT HE IS A JR. SENATOR. IT IS THAT HE IS BLACK.....
HOW MANY TIMES HAS SHE SAID WE NEED TO CURE AM. AND THE RACE CARD?????????
WHO IS THE FIRST TO BITE???????
Realize that left leaning publications and right leaning publications will support their own. The right leaning media and blogs have plenty of double talk and cruelty on their side. Add that to a change of tactics on the part of McCain where he is mounting a negative campaign, something he said he wouldn't do, and no one should have anything to complain about here.
I understand why McCain is going, but I don't understand Barack. This is not the right county, or the right church for the DNC.
I could not have said it better!
I support the Obama demand for a variety of styles of debate. McCain's singular demand for the format that only suits his campaign is clearly designed to give us only a one-dimensional picture of the candidate, rather than the complete person.
Enough of McCain's double-talk smoke and mirrors approach to this election.
The most plastic church on the planet. Cindy McCain will feel right at home there.
Beware of an ambush by Sean Hannity, he and Warren are friends.