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. Julie

    Yes, there is a big difference between the two. McCain gives simplistic, black & white responses; whereas Obama looks at the bigger picture, recognizes grey areas and is more open to debate. We need a president who sees and operates from a global perspective. Who does not tell stories, but understands that issues are complex, not simplistic as portrayed by McCain's staccato responses.

    August 16, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Jason

    No doubt the Obama-brainwash gang will be out in full force, but the proof was in the pudding: McCain shoots and scores. How many times can Obama go "" before people GET IT? We need a decisive, firm president, not some liberal Ed Kennedy lover who has one term in the Senate. I hope people reflect on this forum and wake up. Also, it sounds like Obama isn't even sure he wants to be a candidtate anymore!

    MCCain deserves to be president, not Obama

    August 16, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. PE

    Are you kidding me? This is best you could come up with...never mind. Not much to work with McDonald.

    August 16, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. Terri in Fl

    I felt Obama was speaking from his heart – he spoke directly to Mr. Warren – McCain was campaigning – that's why his answers were so fast and furious – he was checking the boxes for the evangelicals – that's all. I don't think McCain was genuine or open or took this as anything more than an obligation he had to take care of and quell the evangelica worries about him.

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. tedious898

    McCain / Puma's...I give your candidate a lot of credit. His approach and demeanor were very clear and concise. It was policy from McCain – unvarnished, brash and confident. Tons of stories of being a prisoner and the tough circumstances surrounding same.

    My candidate was very humble and introspective. His message during this forum was one of self appraisal and deprecation.

    I'm not turning my support ...there is simply no way I'd ever support John McCain. But he's a better polician than I gave him credit.

    Obama '08

    August 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. Ms. Holmes

    I think McCain has it wrong. I don't think that there are as many bad teachers as there are bad school districts. If the government and states would invest more in failing school systems and give these so-called "bad teachers" the tools to work with they probably wouldn't seem so "bad" after all. Not only that, public schooling is a right afforded to every citizen that if funded properly there would not be a need to home school or use vouchers.

    August 16, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Dayahka

    Sounds great until you realize that not that many people want to be teachers, at least not in American schools, and there is a great demand for teachers and not a very good supply, so if you fire the bad teachers, you'll end up with no teachers. This is just another jingoistic response that appeals to silly people, but has no substance and thought behind it.

    August 16, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. JDS

    I believe that McCain knew the questions and prepared for this. The first question...3 people... a list like that is not lightning fast for anyone to respond to,especially someone like John McCain. BUT regardless how could ANYONE believe that automatically John Lewis would come to McCain's mind???? It just is not believable. Does anyone think it is??
    This was a campaign event for McCain, NOT a "civil forum".

    August 16, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. Rommel

    Lets not find the bad teachers new jobs. Lets work with these teachers who want to help others become better at their respected profession. If a system produces bad teachers we shouldnt just get rid of the teachers, the system should be fixed.

    August 16, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Micael Boren

    Rick Warren let John McCain define the answers the way he wanted to (scripted). What a disappointing forem!
    Where was the real (and thoughtful) answer to taxes and "definition" of rich....oh, yes, that would be John McCain and his family, who do not want to pay taxes!

    August 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  11. marianne Robbins

    John McCain needs to address the future, please, and stop drawing attention to the horrors he, albeit heroically, endured many many years before. He is an honourable man and this does not become him.

    August 16, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Chaz Groves

    Candy hit it on the head in the post event analysis...(to paraphrase) "McCain seemed to answer the questions before they were answered".

    Yeah, like asking if they could get back to the Supreme Court question well before Warren asked it of him. Sorta seems like the "cone of silence" room had a few leeks.

    McCain's crisp answers are uncharacteristic. He also got the security question not offered to Obama. This whole thing has the odor of fix...either by Warren or someone else but stink nonetheless.

    August 16, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. Charles

    McCain seems so rehearst. I dont feel that he opened up at all. It was just talking points and a stump speech. I have already made up my mind, the only way John McCain will get my vote is putting huckabee on the ticket. I am with the other disanfranchised conservatives, the GOP and McCain have been ignoring us and courting the left. I may just stay home this year. I got an email this morning discussing the possibility that the conservatives and evangelicals may form a new party. I would love the opportunity for a new party. I am very unhappy with both.

    August 16, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  14. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Unfortunately, we had to listen to McCain's ramblings of stories from his past instead of answering the questions at hand. Obama answered the questions that were answered and didn't use the time to "stump" as the pastor stated. McCain chose to make jokes and show all of us he is lost in his own mind, and his past...........

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. Diane

    There is a reason why McCain was able to give quick answers. He knew the questions. There is no doubt about it. He was also able to direct the entire conversation. Who is the one being interviewed? Also, the pastor clearly asked Obama not to answer using a stump speech, but he allowed McCain to do it throughout. Very disappointed.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. PA

    how about some of the low points of mccain's when he dodged the question about privacy by talking about "cyberspace"...when he doesn't even know how to use the internet...or when he claimed that $5 million income was the baseline for defining "rich"...yeah, if you're worth >$40 million i guess some multi-millionares are barely getting by...also the questions seemed biased towards mccain...why don't you just invite the guy to ramble on about his time in vietnam by asking about his "toughest decision"...or maybe bait the candidates to agree that human rights apply at conception when you know obama won't agree while mccain will

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. lrich

    I wasn't sure how I felt about McCain and felt bad that he was the best we could do in the Republican party. However, after tonight's interview, I feel quite strongly that of the two, he has the most experience to make the tough decisions that are going to have to be made at this time in history, as leader of the United States.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Tom

    Finally some real questions!! And some real answers. There needed to be more of this kind of questioning 9 months ago. Rick Warren did a great job. The other guys did OK too.

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    this is whreI find a much lesser quality coming from McCain. He is so quick at responding to put down people...and not look at the whole picture why some teachers may get different results...for him you are good or bad and if you are bad you are not worth looking at since he gives you the label that stereotypes people and divides people. I guess he will never look how badly Bush has failed in the last eight years...he is selective of who is good and who is bad, what is good and what is bad according to his principle of unity behind a party, behind a chief...quite a maverick!

    August 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. carol

    It seemed to me, Pastor Warren allowed Senator McCain to be campaign more than he allowed Senator Obama. Was that due to him being the older canadiate. (out of respect)? McCain talked more than Pastor Warren did.?????

    August 16, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Interesting

    The issues were great ones to didscuss. Obama elaborated on them. McCain told long stories of his war-life. I really couldn't compare issues. I think McCain avoided answering directly instead it was a ha ha and let me tell another story........................

    August 16, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain never directly answered a question, he made jokes, talked about other people.

    August 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Greg P.

    Obama gave insightful, fully faceted answers to some tough questions. McCain was a gifted, veteran politician that knew how to work the audience.

    We've seen and had to live with the results of leaders that have simple answers to complex problems.

    August 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Connje Perry

    People should now be clear on the differences. Obama definite winner. Mc Cain came off as politics as usual in Bush White House

    August 16, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Rebecca Rose

    I was on the fence post before tonight. I've comtemplated not voting for the first time in my life. Neither has impressed me. One candidate with too little experience. The other too old. Well, the old guy is sharp. I would certainly not want to debate him. McCain has served our country his entire life. Whom else could possibly be more qualified or deserving?

    August 16, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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