(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.”
McCain should not appear anywhere with Obama except in a town-hall debate. No sense in legitamizing Obama.
Whats up with McCain's left cheek?
Is McCain really planning on staying up that late?
Oh oh! A quick look at the calendar indicates that 8/16 is a Saturday. I guess Sen. McCain has decided to work on the weekend this time.
The Obama campaign will get right on that, to make sure that their candidate does, in fact, appear to have a purpose-driven life in time for the forum.
McCain has been seen with Bush Sr.
McCain = 3rd Bush term
Where's McCain's flag pin?
i'm not at all happy about the religious apsect of it, but if this guy truly does what he says he's gonna do, it could be interesting. they could not be more opposite on the topics they mentioned.
it'll be interesting to see WHICH john mccain shows up; mcflippityfloppity has changed his opinions so many times i'm sure he cant keep it all straight in his head.
Has anyone read both essays?
Obama criticized mccain occasionally, but the majority of Obama's essay was an analysis of the situation in Iraq and what he would do as president to remedy it.
Mccain's essay was a 2 page rant on Obama. Practically every paragraph mentioned Obama with some criticism attached. I think all but 2 paragraphs had Obama's name in it.
NYT was right to reject it. This was not supposed to be an attack piece on each other, but an explanation of where they stand.
Go figure it would happen to Mccain – he was a D student after all.
Let McCain speak first that way Barack can wake up the crowd
There are three other candidates. Were they invited? Did they decline? Did they accept?
** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **
Get the name of the church right. It's Saddleback.
I still don't undestand how 41% of people will be voting for a walking skeleton. The guy looks like he could keel over at any minute.
the New York Times is going out of business..no longer relative
Where's Hillary Clinton? She's the one who should be sharing a stage – not the sugar plum fairy.
I can't wait to see this event.
John McCain doesn't believe in God so this will be awkward for him.
Can't wait to see this,
And CNN, please stop mentioning Dobson in your articles, it bring your article way down.
I think it's a great idea, since the republicans still do not believe that Obama is a christian, while they are convinced that Mccain is, as he pursuit his policy of winning"wars"
They're going to share a stage together before being interviewed separately?
This is as close as Barack Obama will come to keeping his promise to debate McCain "anytime, any place" and to do townhall meetings with McCain to answer real questions from Americans like me.
Obama is a coward!
Well Obama will win hands down if you don't ask about wars!!!
This is going to be great! Go Obama!
Look out Grampy you old mule; this young stallion's going to run circles around you and make you look like the stumbling, bumbling, uninformed (study up now) and out of touch relic that you really are. Just make sure you don't call Pastor Rick Warren an islmaofacist – at least not to his face anyway.
CNN what is your problem about posting my comment. It wasnt inappropriate of out of line.
I would have thought you would have been please of the statement I made
the messiah has arrived and when he returns from the middle east he will announce that the war will end on his ascension to presidency.