August 16th, 2008
09:31 PM ET
6 years ago

Crowley: McCain tackles a question Obama dodged

McCain was direct where Obama went for subtlety.

McCain was direct where Obama went for subtlety.

LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Huge applause when John McCain answers the question Barack Obama wouldn't: when does a baby get human rights? McCain is clear: from the moment of conception.

McCain hints at approval for civil unions - but doesn't go that far, just says his opposition to same-sex marriage doesn't mean people couldn't "enter into agreements." Obama flat-out supported the idea.

McCain agrees with Obama that evil exists in the world. But these two men are so different - Obama is lyrical. McCain is staccato.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Peter

    Has CNN come out an officially indorsed McCain yet? Or was this it tonight? Are McCain and Obama to meet next week in Compton, CA? -a far more interesting and relevant forum there actually.

    Or maybe, this was a hour long McCain Stump Speach? Yeah, we get it McCain, you were in Vietnam, you hate "Reds" (or is it "gooks"?), and the most important issue in American lives right now are Abortion, Christian Persecution, and John McCains War Stories -soon be our own after he starts WWIII and puts us through another Cold War.

    How pathetic!!

    August 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. maxine

    I found it so funny that Candy should describe McCain answer to be Staccatto. here is why
    Staccatto it is a term used to describe a pattern of disordered language use that is presumed to reflect disordered thinking. It is usually considered a symptom of psychotic mental illness, although it occasionally appears in other conditions.

    Could that condition be AGE LOL

    August 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. Tiarella

    I'd love to see the questions posted followed by each candidate's answers side by side so everyone can compare the answers easily. McCain told such rambling stories, I missed his answers to the income tax and Darfur questions.

    August 16, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Rita Bunton

    I had a few typos in my last piece. I meant to say that in the eyes of God, evil and sin are the same. And if that's the case (and I believe it is, then this whole world is evil and sinful–not just Islamic terrorists. Sin is a day to day battle for all of us whether we want to admit it or not.

    August 16, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Vera

    McCain sounds a lot like Bush. He has very strong ideas and he leaves very little room for debate. This approach has alienated us from most of the world and worst of all gotten us into a unwise war.

    August 16, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Bridget Duff

    This biased statement from Candy Crowley? I am profoundly disappointed – I always thought Candy was a good journalist, but I am surprised at this anti-Obama statement! IMO, the quality of CNN's journalism has so deteriorated that I will no longer watch it or go to It used to be my "go to" source for everything - no more. If Ted Turner were dead, he'd be turning over in his grave – as it is, he has publicly stated his disappointment in the quality of the programming and journalism – and I can't blame him. Shame on you, CNN – you have sunk to the level of Fox News and Bill O'Reilly!

    August 16, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. Jim

    McCain gave the pat questions an evangelical would want.

    McCain did not answer the much repeated question, what is your tax policy.

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  8. syl parbe

    Candy comments are disappointing. She shows her bias when she said Obama is lyrical, McCain is staccato. Is she incapable of analyzing the substance of what is being said? It is an excellent idea that we are hearing their complete points out the inadequacies of the analysts.

    August 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. women for obama


    August 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. Emmy

    Wow, do you people have a hard-on for McCain, or what?
    Of the last ten items on your "ticker", 8 are of –and whose titles begin with– John W. McBush; and the last seven in a row are about that insane warmonger. You're about as "fair and balanced' as Fox News. Congratulations
    I guess.

    The U.S. so-called "Librul" media is a joke. I no longer get my news from any U.S. paper or television, I get higher quality, less biased, and propaganda-free news from Canadian and UK sources; who, by the way, ACT like real journalists, not vapid, D-list entertainers.

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Foreign Observer

    "Huge applause when John McCain answers the question Barack Obama wouldn't: when does a baby get human rights? McCain is clear: from the moment of conception." Huge applause for a position that's somewhere between moronic and utterly cruel. I have to disagree with CNN: this is not a great forum. It encourages applause lines without any depth. Imagine the simple follow-up every European journalist worth his salt would ask: "So you are saying that every woman who takes the pill or uses an IUD is a murderer?" Or: "Did you ever sleep with a woman you knew was taking the pill? If so, are you an accomplice to murder?" But you ain't gonna see that on the news here. Or will we?

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. jj

    Doesn't Obama dodge every question?

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. linda

    Yet when McCain was questioned several years ago what he would do if his own daughter showed up with an unwanted pregnancy he said it would be a personal family decision. HMMMM.

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. BJ

    Absolutely, McCain speaks directly and precisely... Obama tends to skirt issues, or dance around them, always leaving him room to maneuver sideways, backwards or forward.

    Bottom line, McCain is ready to be president, Obama is still trying to grope his way around.

    August 16, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. Ron Democrat turned independent

    don't worry act two obama will ad lib McCain's response and give his usual as i have said from the beginning speech don't you guys at CNN ever get tired of this

    August 16, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. A man of intelligence

    Barack Obama is much more thoughtful, intelligent and nuanced. McCain is very much like George Bush, nothing is ever very well thought out – never any depth to his thoughts or decisions.
    I am so ready for an intelligent leader after eight years of dah!!!!

    Obama 08 and 12

    August 16, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. Terry Grant

    You could have another post: Obama takes question McCain dodged.
    Obama clearly articulated how faith plays out in his day-to-day life. McCain simply told a 40 year old story and gave us no insight into his walk with God.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. KENT in NC

    I feel like both candidates did a fine job tonight. It was 2 hours of information that I wanted. I must admit that I was a bit bothered by the fact that Senator McCain seemed to relate almost everything back to National Security. While many people are moved by stories as they can better relate, I am not so moved to hear stories as McCain ventured into. I felt he got himself off track and wasted time doing this.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. South Texan

    Obama waffled on almost every question.

    McCain was brilliant tonight. I hope America was watching.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain left his babies moma for another woman so what moral voice does he have on this issue, and it is clear that he and his children by Cindy could care less.

    August 16, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Elizabeth

    McCain has mastered the art of the soundbite, and judging from the reactions of the audience, despite the last seven years under Bush, some Americans still like that. McCain basically said everything he's always said; no surprises at all, and kinda boring really. Obama was more thoughtful and nuanced in his answers, and did say some things that were unexpected. But we don't like that as a nation, so my guess is people would say that McCain won the conversation.

    August 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Becca

    Obama did not dodge the issue of when a baby gets human rights. He articulated, very well, the complexity of the issue both theologically and scientifically. McCain, however, continued to give canned answers that give intelligent people a reason to run in the opposite direction.

    August 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |

    McCain-A; Obama-C;
    As usual, Obama gave the slippery slope all around the mountain scenic route to answering specific questions. McCain, on the other hand, was very direct, precise and substantive in his remarks. McCain will (prayerfully) gain much more support and win this election. Although I had not earnestly considered supporting McCain, there is no comparison between the two candidates and their willingness to simply answer questions. Obama absolutely hung himself, in my opinion, when asked about the Supreme Court justices that he would not have appointed. Obama had the audacity to denigrate Justice Clarence Thomas because he didn't find him to be worthy of such an elevation (appointment to the court). He had the nerve to suggest that Justice Scalia was smarter, but... This response was incredulous in light of his own scanty resume (comparative) while he wants Americans to vote for him. Yet, when posed with the same question, McCain "respectfully" named the justices he would not have appointed, noting his objection to "legislating from the bench", amongst the divide he has with their rulings on the issues. Obama's answer reflected sincere arrogance (who didn't deserve elevation, smartness), while McCain simply dealt with the substance of the matter.

    August 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Jerry R Lucas

    McCain was to the point and on track, Obama was around the point and did want to asnwer the question up front and stright on.

    August 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. robert

    Ticker title could also be:
    Obama tackles civil union question McCain answers out of both sides of his mouth.

    Excuse me Crowley....

    Our interpretation of the candidates answers are as subjective as the questions and answers given.

    I didn't see Obama's ANSWER as a "dodge" at all. A dodge means you know you'll be grilled for your stance so you detract from the question. Obama's answer to the question took the context of the loaded question to it's greater meaning: "Should abortion be legal in the United States??". In that light Obama's answer was FAR more insightful and intelligent that McCain's "staccato" reply.

    August 16, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10