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. PUMA 4 HILL

    And everyone is shocked???
    This is a patriot of America and her values.

    If not Hillary, then McCain. It's really simple for me.

    Put aside the fluff and the rhetoric and you have Hillary...
    without her McCain is second best.

    August 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. Becky

    It was definitely a good forum, however it was frustrating to hear McCain, after Obama, answer the questions with out really answering the questions. rich is rich? Obama gives a straight answer and McCain launches into taxes not being the, how much money is rich? Too many 'canned' stories from McCain. I was waiting to hear something I hadn't heard before and most of it I have heard before.

    August 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. ice mike

    Oh give us a break, Candy. McCain gave an hour-long stump speech abour his favorites subjects:


    We all know the candidates were given the questions in avance, but the least MCCain could have done was wait until they were asked before he answered them.

    August 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Ike

    Was it just me or does McCain seem to be extremely emotional. This man is scary!!! He can't answer a question in depth, and he seems to have this boil underneath that pops out from time to time. This world has to many shades of gray and an enormous amount of complexities. Can we really, really elect another non intellect, bully politicking, president who cannot use the power of the bully pulpit to move this country and pursuade to get things done. He hardly can put two sentences together if he is not telling a war story.

    August 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  5. TroubledCitizen

    Tonight I saw John Mccain as someone who is very inclined to use force first. As a 25 year old man this idea really frightened me particularly when he brought his own torture experience. You would think that someone who had to endure such hardships would not want others to have to go through that was well. That was absolutely not the case with senator Mccain. What I saw today between these two candidates was a clear contrast in how they would deal with the outside world and I'm going to have to give this to one to Obama

    August 16, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. carla

    This debate underlies where we are going as a nation.

    Do we just want to be a people known best to elect good sloganeers who once they get elected hand the boat over to their handlers who got them elected?

    Or can we stand a leader who can actually think?

    I don't doubt that McCain is a war hero. But being able to tell stories by the crackling hearth isn't what I'm looking for to solve the critical issues facing us as a people.

    August 16, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Audrey

    I feel John McCain knew the questions already because he answered before they were even asked. And I believe he rehearsed his answers. Plus all McCain talked about was his military service, but nothing personal. I think Obama was the better candidate tonight.

    August 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  8. McCain was the man

    was a leaning strongly for McCain, but i felt that he fell flat. It's almost like talking to Dick Cheney. His answers were way to "political" and nothing from the heart. Obama actually thinks about a question and although i don't agree with everything he does, I think it would be nice to have a president that actually thinks before he acts/speaks.

    Maybe it's time for a change.

    August 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  9. Debbiw

    Just because McCain stayed awake for the full hour does not mean he was "on his game". I am sick and tired of his answer to every question relating back to war or force. He is a war monger and too quick to want to use force in every situation. Everything seems to be win-lose to him.
    McCain also voted for all those Supreme Court judges that he bashed tonight. Please see through this man....

    August 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Charles TR

    McCain nailed Obama....I expect a gain of 2 points for McCain...

    August 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  11. Ellie


    DID you see how quickly John McCain answered YES, YES, YES, before even hearing the question?

    Wasn't it just yesterday his campaign CLAIMED he didn't HEAR the question regarding Corsi's book?


    August 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. Joe

    The Obama supporters are going to find any little thing wrong with John McCain's performance tonight and they have surely displayed the consistent behavior from the left. They run out of substance to attack McCain on so they turn to personal attacks and baseless accusations that he had the questions beforehand. Is it so hard to believe a person can just be that diligent while answering questions? And though this may be difficult, try answering this question without any presumptive opinions. If you can't which I expect then you've just proved my piont. He could save a drowning baby in a river and y'all may think he staged it.

    August 16, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. loyd

    Is it me or did Mcain talk about ceasfire in Rwanda?? Is the country at war??? And how in heaven is he going to stop asking african countries to help?? And on it America's stand that Goegia did no wrong at all-Can someone help me understand why what Russia is doing is any different from what the US did with Kuwait, Iraq, Nicaragua...etc? Moral debate my foot!!!!!

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Rick K

    "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is simple, neat, and wrong." – H.L. Mencken

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  15. cal

    what are you kidding me? mccain was reading his stump speech all night, to a pro-republican audience.

    the only way mccain could have messed things up is if he fell off the stage.

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  16. Ellen

    I found Obama to be thougthful in his answers to questions and McCain to be rote!

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. Fella from Chicago

    John, you truly will be the leader of the free world. Obama just plain shucked tonight.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. Jean

    Typical Liberal behavior: when Obama does poorly...MUST be a conspiracy between Warren and Mccain.

    Grow up.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. danno

    McCain got experience that is why he got stories to tell. Obama got none...all he has are promises.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. marie

    Candy seems to be pro-McCain. A bit more reporting is needed that describes the anticipated line of questioning, demographics of the audience, ill-timing and lack of control by the sole, right wing moderator.

    August 16, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  21. Jim colorado

    Mccain wanted to jump in on the supreme court justices long before the question was to be asked. He new the questions long before the debate began. It was obvious the way he turned it into a stump speech with no real answer.

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. Jorge

    No wonder Obama refused town halls with McCain....I would have been his debacle. McCain is too much for him. Honor, integrity, valor,experience and real HOPE for our future.

    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  23. tonya

    Mccain talked about war war war war, thats all if I want to hear war stories, I would have called my grandfather, and anyway he knew the questions because they were asked to Obama first of course you can get your answers in line when someone before you are answering the same answers, anything you can do I can do better, I can answer questions better than you.

    August 16, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  24. lila

    Oh, and Obama gave indepth thought out answers and McCain gave black and white answers and ronald reagan stories.
    The single most telling question was the one about evil. Obama won that. McCain gave a dangerous answer that let us know he would start world war 3 with out deep thought.

    August 16, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  25. Kate/MA

    The show was just okay. I'd give it a C-minus.

    I could not help but wonder if McCain had taken a dose of the old fashioned "GERITOL" before the show. He has never acted so alert or upbeat as he did tonight.

    I think that Obama came across more honest and open than McCain.

    McCain's answers were "flip" sometimes and seemed "orchestrated".

    August 16, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
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