LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Here is what's interesting about this forum: within minutes, Warren goes from asking about taxes to asking what to do with the 148-million orphans in the world to asking whether evil exists. It keeps up the energy.
My sense is this will be one of those times when we will learn a lot about how a candidate thinks - without any breaking news.
Whoa - stop the presses - a rarity: Obama praises Bush for increased U.S. efforts to battle AIDS around the world.
LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Barack Obama got in a good dig on Rick Warren. The question was about definition of "rich" - Obama basically said somebody who sells 25 million books - like Warren has. The crowd loved it; this guy has a mega-church, as well as a mega-fortune. But Warren didn't seem to take offense
LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Two young men are here wearing Obama T-shirts inside out. They whispered to me they were told they couldn't come in if they were wearing them the right way.
But overall, Barack Obama is getting a very warm reception. A lot of applause, and laughter. It will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to John McCain.
LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Twenty-one minutes in, Rick Warren raises the issue of abortion with a very direct, precise question: "At what point does a baby get human rights ?"
Pro-choice Obama ducks a direct answer, telling Warren that decision is "above my pay grade"
LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - The forum itself is very relaxed on the stage - neither Rick Warren nor Barack Obama is wearing a tie. Right off the bat, Obama gives the obvious answer as to who he will get advice from: Michelle.
We also got a quick mention of former Georgia senator Sam Nunn - a dark horse VP candidate.
Obama is trying to the broaden "values" discussion tonight in a way Democrats hope will help sway white evangelical vote. He says that biggest moral failing of country is not heeding the verse in Matthew about helping the "least of us."
Democrats have been beaten about the head on "values" issues; they want to move beyond abortion and gay marriage, arguing that faith is also about feeding the hungry and housing the homeless - two issues Democrats believe favor them from a policy standpoint.
(CNN) - What’s interesting here is that Pastor Rick Warren is asking some of the most astute questions I’ve ever heard in a debate - and so far they’re not about religion and values. They’re very sharp political questions.
(CNN) - Barack Obama just made a pretty bold statement on bi-partisanship. Ted Kennedy and Tom Coburn, the two senators he referred to, are polar opposites ideologically. He wants to get across to religious voters that he’s not a threat - what he’s saying is, ‘I’m going to listen to people on your side, not just the Democratic side’ - so they’re more comfortable with him as a candidate.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid added more than 65,000 new donors and raised more than $51 million in the month of July, the Obama campaign said in a statement released Saturday.
“The 65,000 new donors to the Obama campaign demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to fundamentally change business as usual in Washington,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in the statement.
The campaign of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, announced Friday that it raised $27 million in July. The Republican National Committee also announced Friday that it raised $26 million in the same timeframe and has received donations from more than a million donors during this election cycle.
The Obama campaign recently announced that it has surpassed the 2-million-donor mark and said Saturday that it currently has $65.8 million in cash on hand.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and thought to be on Barack Obama’s short list for vice president, is headed to Georgia Saturday night.
His spokesman, Elizabeth Alexander said, “At the request of Georgian president (Mikhail) Saakashvilli, Chairman Biden is heading to Georgia this weekend. He is leaving this evening and will be there Sunday.”
No other Senators are traveling with him.
In a statement, his office said he will meet President Saakashvili, Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze, and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft. He also will meet with residents who fled the fighting.
Biden said in the statement, “I am going to Georgia this weekend to get the facts first-hand and to show my support for Georgia’s people and its democratically-elected government. I look forward to reporting to my colleagues in the Senate and on the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Administration, about what I learn.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Evangelicals from across the country gathered by the
thousands on the National Mall in Washington Saturday in support of returning to core Evangelical issues - but also addressing some political ones.
The event was organized by a religious group known as "The Call." It was described as a time for prayer and fasting. But some participants talked politics as well.
"Those issues have historically not been political, they have been made political. When court imposed abortion, it became a political issue. When courts impose same sex marriage, it becomes a political issue, but those were issues within the realm of the church for years. They become political issues only in terms of how they are being discussed today," Tony Perkins, head of the
Family Research Council, told CNN.
The organization is opposed to abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
Many attendees were young, and sang along with bands playing contemporary Christian music as the lyrics were displayed on giant television screens.
Mike Huckabee, former GOP presidential candidate, former Arkansas governor and an ordained Baptist minister, made an appearance, telling the crowd he was appearing as a pastor, not a politician.
"It is easy to point fingers at the people who work and serve in this place, and to blame them for the problems that we face in this country, but the problems that this country has are with us, who claim we know the Lord but have not lived it, and we've not been as faithful," Huckabee told the crowd. "So, repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me until it starts in the temple inside me," he said referring to the U.S. Capitol.
Jim Hester, a pastor from Alabama, watched from a lawn chair. Hester, who said he'll vote in November but is "not a registered anything" said abortion was one of his top issues.
"I believe it speaks to character," he said. "I believe that someone who's willing to stand up for life period - there's a character definition in that."