(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.”
Obama should not lend the prestige of the presidential office to a blowhard like McCain by appearing on the same stage with him.
Good, now when people look in their eyes they will see War in McCain and change in Obama
There is a difference between arrogance and confidence. The look u see on Obama's face is one of Confidence. He's a black man in america one step away from being the potus. He should hold his head high. Arrogance is ugly, it kinda says i'm better than you. To me McCain and Cindy are the arrogant ones...and all their millions of dollars they have in their account. Maybe some of u people posted blogs should get some confidence in urself so u can notice the look of a confident person when u see one instead of being intimidated.
Go Barack!!! :)
please Obama, McCain has shown no honor is the race. after all of Mccains lies...it is time to take off the kid gloves. McCain has so much dirt from the USS Forrestal to his Military records he refuses to release.
Obama is not worthy to share any stage with McCAIN period!!!!
Latinos can smell a RAT miles away!!! and that is OBAMA!!!
Hispanic for McCain!!!!
The more the American people see these two side by side, the more obvious it will become who are next president will be. We need someone who inspires, with character and prestige.
McCain is a good man and a Hero. But he doesn't represent what America is anymore.
America has changed, and I think when you see how these two carry themselves, It will be obvious that Obama has what it takes.
sigh... I miss Hillary I hope the DNC take the chains off her and she is allowed to speak at the convention.
LOL, Barack is ahead, he doesn't have to debate. You're crazy. If McCain was ahead he wouldn't give Barack the time of day. I don't like McCain.
Barrack isn't man enough to answer questions with McCain in front of even this crowd. Obama should feel comfortable here with as many churches he has given political speeches at.
What happened to SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? Is this country in trouble.....................
What happened to SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? Is this country in trouble...........
Hillary where are you? ROLL CALL!
I trust Rick Warren to hold a meaningful discussion with the candidates and trust that he will not engage in a "lovefest" on either side. I want straight answers on issues like poverty, education, AIDS, cancer, prisons, etc. And I like the fact that they will be coming from a Christian commentator, who sees issues differently than mainstream media.
Barack will need support because this church is so Republican.
I think they should both appear together on an episode of "My Name is Earl".
I love Barack, and think he's brave. McCain has a built in support system, Barack doesn't. My vote, my money, and my support goes to Barack Obama. He wants to make a difference, and I think he can. He will be our next president in November and I can't wait.
David will meet Goliath at Saddleback Church, and I'm betting on David.
Monica: No we wont, No we wont get over it because if we were we would have by now- No this anger is going all the way to the ballot box.
Saddleback is a great church. People should come an visit and give it a chance.
Actually, Rick Warren seems to be a very nice man. I watched an interview with him and he seemed open to finding the common ground with Obama. John McCain can't even decide what religion he is. (He was Episcopalian for years, now he says he's been a Baptist for years (even though he didn't know you were baptised in the Baptist Church). He always says, "I don't want to talk about it". Obama talks about faith all the time. I think this debate will be an easy one for Obama.
Barack should have declined. Rick is going to make fun of Jeremiah Wright and put that whole issue back in the news. I would have respectfully declined.
Brandon: This is a conservative pro-life group it will be fun to see obama squirm and pander. They will not be voting for him in november this will be comical.
The problem with your sorry comment is that Obama doesn't squirm or pander for or to anyone. Anybody really listening would know that. He will be unafraid to state his view even to a crowd that won't agree. That's called integrity. Something cheating / keating / gw repeating McSuck probably can't even spell. (894 out of 899!!!!!! for crying out loud)
I don't think the church understands the news media that's going to circle like vultures. They should have just invited McCain. It's going to get crazy.
I have stopped reading these comments for about three months mostly because I could no longer stomach the doubletalk and cruelty of many Obama supporters. I return and I find that the doubltalk and cruelty continues. You criticize others for the very same "crimes" that you commit. Your thinking reminds me of Mickey Rourke's cousin in "The Pope of Greemwich Village" – completely amoral unless he feels victimization. Because I am not happy with either presidential nominee, I was not going to vote. When I see the mentality of Obama supporters on forums such as this, I realize I will probably have to vote for McCain.
Warren pretends to be neutral, but he is clearly Republican. The only issues he talks about that might be considered neutral is the environment and aids. The rest is right off the Republican platform.
PUMAs (IF you really exist – because we all think you are posing Repulicans) Take your anger, your decision to leave the party of your first choice for your chosen issues, and your irrelevance and channel it into something that is positive. It's old, It's tired, it's obnoxious, and it's not getting anywhere.
The last time Barack was at Saddleback Church,it was for an Aids Convention. He told the audience that he would not concede the church to the GOP. He said that he was at home at Saddleback because it was God's house. I really liked him.
Pastor Rick was very gracious to him, and that's why he is coming back.