August 14th, 2008
02:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Pastor: Not going to play 'gotcha' with McCain, Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption= "The Rev. Rick Warren appears on The Situation Room Thursday"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Rev. Rick Warren said Thursday that his upcoming forum with Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will be aimed at asking them tough "heartland questions."

The author of the best-selling book "The Purpose-Driven Life" is to interview McCain and Obama on Saturday.

The candidates will appear together at Warren's 20,000-member Saddleback mega-church in southern California.

"Well, I'm a pastor, not a pundit," he told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux on Thursday's "Situation Room." "One of the things we're going to do is I'm going to ask identical questions to both candidates, which will be different.

"I'm not going to play 'gotcha' with one candidate and not with the other. This way, it will be totally fair. You compare apples to apples," he added.

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soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Willy

    I can't wait till the Clinton's over run Obama like they are going to do after the little DNC Circus show in Denver. Hillary 2012

    August 14, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Carl from MI

    Maybe he'll ask McCain about his cheating on his wife and dumping her for Cindy. Even FIXed News won't ask that question. Hannity brought it up, but he got slapped down by Colmes, and rightly so.

    Edwards AND McCain both need to feel the heat from their infidelities.

    What I'd also like to see is other religions get in on the interviewings as well. Christians believe this is a CHRISTIAN ONLY country, and they're wrong. This country is OPEN to all religions, and any of them who want their interviews of the candidates should be allowed their time of interview.

    August 14, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. republicans hate america

    in other words the flag pin issue will be brought up again to both candidates and the real questions that concern america will be ignored. not this time

    August 14, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Chalice

    Obama is a liar about his faith. I hope his performance shows that. It socks me howmany are fooled by him.

    I left the Democratic Party this year over Obamaand the lack of responsible leadership in the Congress.

    PUMA>>>>>>> NOBAMA


    August 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Vince, Jupiter, Florida

    For me religion is a primitive human instinct. Lets stick to what the founding fathers intended and keep religion OUT of our government. Just look back at the past two thousand years and it’s easy to see that evil hides in the church...

    August 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Orange County is Really Red

    I'm surprised Obama agreed to this. His campaign must be getting some funding out of it. Otherwise, why would you go to a county that a shoe-in for McCain?

    It's great for McCain because he can ride the Obama publicity wave, while shunning him at the same time.

    So who wins and who loses on this won?

    Winners: Warren & McCain
    Losers: Obama and his supporters

    August 14, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Obama will do okey if McCain gets asked first, like Hillary was always first.

    August 14, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Not So Friendly County

    This is a joke, right? That place is in Orange County, CA. The reddest county west of the Mississsippi. They don't care for Obama's kind, to put it bluntly.


    August 14, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Ken Stumbo

    I can not believe that we have a preacher going to ask our two
    presidential canidates questions in a form. What has happened to the seperation of church and state. I think if they want to deal in politics they should give up their tax exempt status. We do not need the churches opinion influencing the running of our government but we could use some of the free money they get.

    August 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Madeline

    LOL, he's probably faxed the questions to McCain already. How can he not be for McCain when he goes to the White House to visit his buddy, George all the time?

    Not a smart move on Barack's part. Stay away from that church and deal with reality. Orange County is not it.

    August 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Hank

    Most of the audience will be white, and they'll sprinkle some minorities in the choir to make it "look" like America. Not a good church, not a good venue.

    August 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Reno

    Come on CNN, you mean he's not going to "appear" to play gotcha. But he will–he's a Republican. They can't help themselves.

    August 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. One United States of America

    Why was Rick Warren chosen to moderate this forum? Talk about one-sided and disenfranchising. What segment of society does he represent – That's what he'll represent in the forum. Why another white male? What about a Jewish and/or Buddist moderator? Why not a cross-section of diversified America? There is no way he's not going to come across as pro-McCain. And if he does just that, It'll be CNN's fiasco like the Stephanopolis debate earlier.

    August 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    JD in Moraga, CA August 14th, 2008 4:30 pm ET
    Yawn. Another megalomaniac-church mini-messiah. The fact that he feels he needs to "play 'gotcha'" with either candidate says something about his personal integrity.

    I think he said he wasnt going to play gotcha, and this guy apparently lives offf of 10% of what he makes and the other 90% go to charity. I think that says more about his personal integrity.

    August 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. TRAVIS

    Wow, finally BO will have to answer some questions without a script....then all of America can see that he is not the messiah and is not ready to lead a country.

    August 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Belle

    Sorry to post this comment here folks, but the "Obamanation" book was written by a person VOTING for the Constitution Party, and DOES NOT like either McCain or Obama. So for Obama's action wire to call this a Republican book smear, well...that's the biggest lie of all.

    Didn't even want to read it until the Obama supporter on Larry King started screaming and calling the author a liar...and not letting him talk for 30 running right out to buy it....

    August 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Jessie

    This guy is so political–give me a break.

    August 14, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. ProudDemocrat

    Thanks God finally one with a brain, Mr. Rick Warren God bless you I am glad to see an honest person God doing his work. I hope he guides all the media network to do the same, take them out of their sinful behavior.

    August 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Lisa, MO

    I wish both candidates wouldn't lower themselves to such pandering. Who is this Rick Warren? Why does he get to "interview" the candidates. He's not a legitimate new organization.

    So will they be coming to my church soon?

    August 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Obama is the dumbest candidate ever

    Obama is going to lie to a pastor. He surely won't tell the truth. He hasn't yet.

    August 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. TX for OBAMA

    Grandpa is at Colorado meeting with a group of people. As you have guessed he starts off with a War Story!!!

    He just claimed the turning point of the Surge's success was a meeting he attended in Baghdad

    Stop the Confusion....OBAMA '08

    August 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Bean

    i don't buy it...

    August 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Obama is the dumbest candidate ever

    So, we'll get to see two candidates, one who will answer in a clear and concise manner, the other who will answer like this, "Uh, uh, uh, uh, um, um, uh, um, uh, um, uh, um, uh, um, uh, uh, uh...."

    Obama needs someone to teach him how to answer questions without sounding like Stuttering John.

    August 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Anne in CT

    I'm stunned. How did a presidential debate end up in this venue? Who is this man? Bringing religion into the fray is disgusting. These men should be discussing policies that will address the welfare of this nation as a whole – in an impartial forum. This really gives me the creeps! Shame on both candidates for agreeing to this holier than thou sham.

    August 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Clarissa

    This is so hypocritical. They want McCain to win, but the only way the forum will get publicity is to invite Barack as well.

    I bet you the pastor will ask Barack if he'll come back while the cameras are rolling. The church stands to make a lot of money with Barack there, not McCain. If he had just invited John, the event would have been free.


    August 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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