August 16th, 2008
09:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Crowley: McCain talks his way into a 'lightning round'

LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - Asked whether he believes in merit pay for teachers, McCain said yes - and let's find the bad teachers other jobs. The crowd loved it.

Warren pointed out to the staccato McCain - who was reeling off short, direct responses - that he was answering the questions so quickly he might face a few more (or, as Warren called it, "the lightning bonus round.")

Like Obama, McCain uses the "define rich" question to talk about taxes - where there is a very real, very big difference between the two.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    The big difference between Obama and McCain. McCain projects a military, strong, authoritative patriot type of president. Obama projects a definate intellectual someone that would share a cup of coffee with you listening to "All Things Considered," on NPR.,

    August 16, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Director

    Not an answer regarding merit pay or solving issues surrounding supporting educators

    August 16, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. RyanD.

    Cute, McCain can give a stump speech and Candy Crowley can drool over it.

    He got through all the questions and more in 40 minutes.

    Way to give "in-depth" answers, Mr. Soundbite.

    Obama 08'

    August 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. TheTruthHurts

    Thank God. He cleaned that up. Started bad, but did a great job. Showed his humanity without and used stories more than stump speeches. That's the benefit of being around 50 years – lots of stories. Smart and effective move.

    Policies still suck, but good job McCain.

    August 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. ricardo williams

    It is obvious that both John McCain and Borak Obama knew the questions. John McCain more so crammed his answers and even answer the questions before they were completed. This is not Family feud john mcCain. Warren said he is friends of both these candidates, but it seems like he set up this interview and leaked his questions to John mccain. A waste of time. Let's get a forum where people can call in an ask questions to both candidates. This forum where your friends and family ask you questions that you prepare for is a waste of time. Sorry Warren that was a cheap shot.

    August 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. Justin in CA

    Did anyone find it funny that he said yes and yes to the two questions before he was even asked them. Is the church picking sides?

    August 16, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Obama answered the questions way better than McCain even though he was asked the same questions first.

    August 16, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. marianne Robbins

    John McCain sees everything through the eyes of the military. How is it that a pro-life commitment like he espouses cannot see the
    hypocracy of these positions...I am confused

    August 16, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. Bob in NH

    And who exactly will rate who is a good or bad teacher? Are we going to have "No teacher left behind" and have standardized tests? Who would make the decisions on what is good or bad teaching? Ask any student or parent who is a good or bad teacher and you'll get numerous responses.

    How lame.

    August 16, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Ladera Mom

    Wow, McCain would make a great president. I am just in awe of his honesty and non evasiveness. I am going to pray he wins every day!!!

    August 16, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Grandpa was getting too personal. The American people want to know what he will do as president, not what he did in vietnam...!!

    August 16, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. Ron Democrat turned independent

    as always, McCain answered the questions honestly and directly .predictably obama did his usual dance around, and talked in generalities. the public is getting tired of the obama shuffle and it is showing up in the polls.

    August 16, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Karen - Canada

    Sen. McCain is a great story teller... but didn't impress me otherwise... too much like a campaign speech. He seems to be stuck on his military records to win over voters. There was little news about him that I haven't heard before. Sen. Obama shows a lot more insight ... very thoughtful in his responses without trying to tell stories to win over the audience.

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. Jake Rasmussen

    McCain gave a great answer about "poor and rich". While Obama defined it as "having" a payroll.
    What if we defined rich personally instead of in community?

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. Craig

    Rewarding excellence in Education is a good thing. Developing a plan for it must be one that is fair to all. The measuring of success is the most difficult part of the problem.

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. Marques

    Yes, he was answering quickly, but he wasn't answering the questions! He was asked to define rich, and he said he couldn't define it...lower taxes for all. Oh and he LOVED mentioning Vietnam. When asked about his hardest decision, he referenced Vietnam. Ok. Great. You decided to keep your butt in a prison instead of seeking your freedom (by the way, we lost that war) but give us an answer that's relevant for the American people. Thanks McCain for giving us the circle-speak that we are SO accustomed to from our politicians.

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Matthew

    McCain keeps flip floping on abortion. He's for a womans right to choose in one place... then he's pro-life in another! It's getting ridiculous.

    Poverty? McCain has no plan...

    Health Care? McCain has the same plan as Bush...

    I can never vote for him.

    August 16, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Linda

    I was expecting the same "game" with both Obama and McCain. Instead it appeared Pastor Rick fostered the political game of McCain during his hour-long spiel. How unfortunate. Senator Obama answered the questions thoughtfully. McCain is nothing but one-liners. He runs the same ones over and over and over again. There was nothing new. He immediately went into platform mode and Pastor Rick didn't know how to get him back on point. He allowed it. I was expecting fairness.

    And, did anyone count how many times they heard McCain say "my friend" during his hour? I found it weird. I am NOT his friend, don't think I'll even get to meet him in my lifetime let alone be his friend, and was insulted to hear him say it. McCain was able to play politics with his one-liners. . . At one point when asked what his definition of marriage was, it was almost a Bush moment. Like he was going back to the memory cards so he could recite correctly what his party's thoughts were on marriage.

    The first hour was great with Senator Obama. The second hour was a waste of my time.

    August 16, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  19. south central

    Yeah McCain says no new taxes. Bull, how is going to off the deficit this country has. He makes it sound good, but I don't believe him.

    August 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. DT

    I think John McCain was given the questions by Rick Warren. I also think that Rick Warren gave McCain more respect than Obama. Warren bantered around with Obama and simple sat there and let MCcain run on and the body language was very clear. Warren looked at Mccain in awe and treated Obama like a home boy. Quite telling.

    August 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. Judie

    Acually did anyone notice that John McCain answered at least three questions before they were asked completely , the questions about teachers for example Warren asked the first part of the question and McCain answered the question , yes, yes and let the bad teachers go. He answered this way somehow knowing there were three parts to the question. I believe that John McCain was very well rehersed for this program,

    August 16, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. JC

    Mccain wiped the floor with Obama. Obama sounded indecisive and just plain young, while Mccain was there to win! I hope CNN starts provided objective coverage and stops this Obama lovefest.

    McCain is obviously presidential, Obama is not!

    August 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  23. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    mccain, didn't answer the tax question, but skirted all around it.

    August 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  24. J.C.

    It's very interesting that Senator McCain is a very private person and yet he is a straight talker. That's why he would roll out answers so fast. If he did not know the questions in advance, you can't call him being senile at all.

    It may be the age difference between McCain and Obama. Senator Obama hasn't had the life experience to think through these questions in his head, but McCain knew them all.

    Thanks to Pastor Warren for offering such a unique debate format for us to peak into the souls of these two candidates!

    I can't wait for more debates.

    August 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. paulie_nj

    McCain answers quickly because he answers honestly and directly. Obama thinks about his answers, appearing to tailor his answers to suit the liking of his constituents.

    August 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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