(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.”
Well, this should be great for McCain, he gets to talk to GW's buddy Rick Warren. Obama on the other hand, should watch his back.
I believe in the separation of church and state, particularly when it's a Republican church with a Republican pastor.
I am sensing some thinly veiled rascism in several of these comments-right Kathy?
If you are afraid of an African-American President, have the guts to say so.
I hope the Secret Service will be there to protect Barack, it's not the best area for minorities.
I don't want to see these two share a stage unless it's for a debate or town hall meeting.
Although, I'm sure Obama will try to figure a way out of any debates or town hall meetings for as long as possible...otherwise, his candidacy will be exposed for the farce that it is.
If Warren is smart he'd better let McCain speak first, otherwise most people will leave after Barack speaks.
can't wait to see obama inspire the audience. can't wait to watch mccain read words robotically off of a telepromter, while saying "my friends" a lot. vote obama.
The average donation to the Obama Camp. was $68.00, How many special interest groups you know that go around making $68.00 donations?
The only special interest group here is the American People. By the way I rather have the Whitehouse sold to American People than Exxon and Haliburton.
It's hard to believe the comments included here: "What's up with McCain's left cheek?" and "Is McCain really planning on staying up that late?" and "McCain is not worthy to share any stage with Obama."
...and not to be outdone:
"Obama is a coward!" and "Obama will do anything to get his mug before a camera. He's so in love with himself. Maybe he should go campaign in Africa." and "Hopefully, McCain will take advantage of this opportunity to expose Hussein for the lying, pandering phony that he is now and always has been."
This is the voting public?
i can't wait till Obama rips McCain a new one in any debate shape or form because McCain can't do debates very well. HIllary was the best at debates but Obama got much better. I really do wanna see Hillary rip McCain in half in a debate but Obama will do!
Very smart marketing on Warren's part. If you want to draw a crowd in this election season, you'd better invite the GOP opponent. Otherwise this would have been a yarn.
Or maybe Warren just wants to invite McCain, whom he supports, and Barack for news coverage. Vert smart.
Saddleback Church is McCain territory. Yeeha!
Dear Mike TX,
YOU make race relations so difficult to improve, not Barack's faith. You're a joke.
I think you mean the: "Platform"....
i can't wait for the village idiot "McWar to get on stage with someone with a brain.
McWar should take a lesson in English and Geography in the next couple of weeks.
Is this the same McWar that challenged Barak to go overseas?...be careful what you wish for McSame.....he's got the news coverage.
I forsee a lot of retraction from McWars handlers...."he really didn't mean what it sounded like.".....oh yah
McCain should feel right at home at Saddleback, it's red, rich, and racist.
Rick sounds like John McCain in his invitation to Obama for town hall meetings.
You should come to France racist,
That is why we don't like people like you in Europe, people who want to live in the old time.
Wake up joker.
Obama is far from to be a racist. How could he be a racist if his mum was white?
Look o ridiculous you are, honestly some of you don't stop to amaze me.
merci beaucoup (thank you very much)
Knowing what I know of Rick Warren only from family members who have been sucked into the cult of multi-level marketing (Warren's book is a bible to motivational "pushers"), I can't say I am necessarily keen on the interview aspect of it. Knowing that Obama will handle that interview with his consummate grace and dignity, though, and that McCain will fumble with memory and history gaffes, I am not much concerned that this will affect the outcome in November in any way, shape or form.
Dear Mike, TX–
News Flash- Obama is the presumptive nominee of the DNC. He is legitimate. You on the other hand are not.
I'll check back with you after Baracks' win in November.
Can you add one more question?
Ask why Viagra is covered by insurance and birth pills aren't.
(the devil made me say that – HA HA HA HA)
I hope this is televised. While Senator Obama is open about his faith and speaks of it often, Senator Mccains seems to be a secret. Or maybe his has not come under the kind of scrutnity that Senator Obama's has.
What is wrong with you people?? Mccain and Obama both deserve our praise for making the run for what arguably is the most important elected office in this world. This debate will be good as it is not a media "owned" event and may actually show us the differences in ploicy and ideas that these men have. Those of you calling names need to step back and take a real look at each candidate.
To the ones saying that the comments are all for Obama, I suppose you didn't read most of them and hey maybe more Obama supporters look here then Mccain supporters.
Also, to the fool who says Obama would sit down with Hitler. you show your ignorance by invoking the feared name once again just like all of those who have no real idea what they are talking about. Yes Saddam was a bad person but are we really going to play world police to get rid off all of the bad people in the world. The war was wrong and you know it. The fact that Obama has stated he wants to try diplomacy before he attacks someone should make you feel better. Or would you rather he make up reasons and try to sell a war instead of actually thinking.
Ask yourself if you have actually looked at what Obama or McCain are saying they will do before you start make comments about them. Go to their web sites, look at their voting records, watch the debates and interviews they have done. Until you actually look at these things and stop talking from the emails, the conservative talking heads, the liberal nutjobs or that old guy you work with then you have no real ground to stand on.
THINK FOR YOURSELF!! The media is only entertainment these days, get the facts.
I don't trust Warren as he will be a mouthpiece for George Bush, and the Republican spin. How much did John pay him to set up this showdown?
McCain is Mr. Foreign Policy? He doesn't even realize that the Czech Republic and Slovakia are now 2 countries.
This guy is too senile to be President. Maybe he can retire (and he can take that annoying little weazel Lieberman with him).