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. Laurie, Northern California

    It definitely seemed like McCain knew all the questions ahead of time.
    He even tried to get to some questions before they were asked. How did he know that the Justices were going to be talked about?

    McCain doesn't listen to people, he has all the answers. He also dwells too much on the past, especially on Vietnam. I am wondering if that is all there is to him, "war, war, war" "fight, fight, fight" and "drill, drill, drill. He doesn't understand or care about what the rest of us are going through. He and Cindy don't need to worry about anything, they are set for life.

    McCain also avoided talking much about his greatest morale misjudgment, his failed marriage. He doesn't say anything about how he and Cindy had an affair and it was then that he got divorced.
    He also never mentions about the Lincoln Savings & Loan affair where he was called one of the "Keating Five". That scandal costs millions of lost dollars to many people. He sure didn't put the country first in those days. He put his lobbyists first.

    Time for a change in Administration. No more Bush/Cheney/McCain.

    August 16, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  2. Larry-Minn.

    Really unreal that most people cant just take there answers and make there own judgement.. you have Obama supporters slamming McCain..if they dont like his answers, then they can go to Obama a drule there, dont come to McCains spotlight only to slam him.

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. BKoi

    McCain, time to sit in the old folks home and tell you'r stories, we've all heard them many times before. How long do the American people have to pay homage to you? There is a whole new generation of hero's that didn't return, hospitals full of terribly wounded hero's , and thousands of children without mom's and dad's. This is from a war you said yes to , and all the while you say you "hate war". Aren"t you the guy that just sang BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB IRAN? How about some real strait talk JOHN! You are a phony! A man that promised a clean campaign, whats up with that? Anyone that fell for your , admittedly, well rehearsed, speech, deserves what they get!!

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. Todd Winters

    Of course they were short responses, he doesnt have the depth to talk about an issue that long.

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. On Point

    How can we ever say it's a fair discussion, when one person is told not to "stump" and the other is allowed to campaign throughout? How unfair. Barack Obama is a man of integrity who showed respect by answering the questions at hand. He dug deep, while John McCain threw his arm back on the chair, made jokes and told irrelevant war stories between hitting the audience up with talking points and sound bites. McCain may have responded to just 1 question (Yeah...I cheated on my wife with Cindy and when Carol was in an accident I divorced her and married Cindy a week later). Well...he never got that far because Pastory Rick did not press him to ellaborate on his biggest failure. How lopsided!!!

    August 16, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  6. Xavier

    As for the bad teachers comment from McCain. It should be noted that education and its current problems can be traced back to No Child Left Behind, an idea that sounded good on paper, but was never properly funded by the republican party. I teach in Texas, so I have been directly affected by the policies of Bush and his cohort Governor Rick Perry. We havent had a democratic governor since Ann Richards, and our education system has been suffering due to the lack of funding from a Republican administration. They come up with all these ideas that they want implemented into schools, but then say, "sorry , no money." In the end school districts are left to scrap to find the funds to implement these programs. The republican dominated Texas senate always says that they care about education, but cant find the money to implement improvements. They however can find the funds to give themselves raises.

    August 16, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Texas Teacher, Houston

    What happened, Crowley? You must have been too busy listening to your candidate to be fair. What happened to unbiased reporting? This is pathetic.

    McCain knew the questions! He controlled the interview and Warren let him. Obama got just as many standing ovations as McCain. And Warren was so eager to be sure that McCain got his at the end that he said, " Come on, everyone, let's stand up and GREET Senator McCain." Greet him? The talk was over! McCain played his part well. And so did Warren.. this was no conversation with the candidates, this was a set up! Same old dirty politics of the past almost 8 years!

    Bring on the real debates after the conventions!

    August 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. Chris

    You are wrong tedious898. Much of us white Americans would support Obama. We will never support McCain. Most of us are voting for Ron Paul. But if Ron tells us to support Obama, well, we'd probably do it. Crazy us.

    August 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. simon

    Difference between the young one and the old one?

    The young one thinks before he opens his mouth.

    The old one opens his mouth before the question is asked completly and then when the thought catches up to him, tries to go back and then tries to answer it again but half way through forgets what the question was and answers a different question

    August 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  10. Susan

    John McCain NEVER answered the question about what faith means to him, a cross being drawn in the dirt NOT an answer ?

    John McCain NEVER answered the question about his greatest failing. John McCain should have been honest, he should have admitted that he cheated on his first wife with MANY women, (including his CURRENT wife – Cindy McCain), who John McCain got a marriage license with, a month BEFORE he as even divorced from his first wife.

    AND as usual John McCain tried to manipulate the public with his Vietman stories. I will remind John McCain that there were over 300 US soldiers who were also in Vietnam prisons!!! The difference is that these other soldiers HAVE integrity, and DO NOT go out of their way like John McCain does, to exploit their experience as a means of getting what they want.
    When you know that there were over 300 US soldiers who were also held in Vietnam prison camps, it really shows you how much John McCain has really gone OUT OF HIS WAY, to exploit his Vietanam experience for political purposes. Notice that these other Vietnam prisoners are not using their prison experience as a means to get ahead. John McCain on the other hand, has been using his Vietnam story to get a head in life since he returned home.

    I would remind John McCian that the wife he cheated on, and dumped when he returned from Vietnam, suffered a whole lot more injuries than he ever did, when she, CAROL McCAIN, got into her car accident while John McCain was in Vietnam. This woman, CAROL McCAIN dumped like garbage, this woman suffered horrendous injuries for which she had to have 20 operations for after her car accident. None of the pain she endured mattered to John McCain, she was no longer good enough for him, and John McCain started cheating on her immediately, degrading her, and humiliating her before finally dumping her like trash.

    That is who John McCain really is, he is a man with NO integrity!!!

    August 17, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. gl

    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
    I have to agree! It really can not related to the average people other then the military people.

    August 17, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. Mir

    Anyone bothered by McCain's "rambling" on war stories: how about Obama's rambling with I..uh...I...uh..I..uh..well. Obama was evasive on every answer. McCain gave short, sharp answers and all of his anecdotes came to an answer for the question, not an evasive response. Like, what the heck did Obama mean when he tried to link what his mom told him to wanting to become president? that he wants to be president because it's about standing in someone else's shoes?? Sorry, but that made NO sense.

    August 17, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  13. Just Say "No" to John McCain!

    Yes, I truly believe that McCain somehow got the questions in advance. Otherwise, there is absolutely no way he would have retrieved John Lewis' name from his memory. John McCain does not believe in civil rights nor equal rights for others, especially women. He was attempting to pander to the Black community to make up for his voting against the Martin Luther King holiday. Buyers beware! A warning signal in my spirit sounded immediately after I heard his response to the first question that he was asked.

    August 17, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. Matt Wilson

    The questions asked at this forum were taylor-made for McCain, which explains why he answered most of the questions before the host even finished asking them. The audience was predominately far-right wackos that would not even consider voting for Senator Obama. All McCain had to do was open his mouth and the audience would give him a big round of applause.

    August 17, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. zeia

    What I find interesting is that McCain did not say exactly what his moral failure was. Why was his first marriage a failure…tell the people John…lets see what those evan. folks would say if they knew why it really failed…They would castigate Bill C and the other John but you are guilty of similar!!!!!

    August 17, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  16. women for obama


    August 17, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. Leroy

    I think this was a great idea for regular Americans can get a chance to look at these two candidates. If anyone watched this forum it was hard not to notice tha different standard being applied. Obama gave fresh answers while McCain was allowed to use campaign stomp answers. It was very obvious that McCain had an inside track on tha questions being asked. He answered questions before they was asked. "Yes Yes" is how he answered one question and the second questioned before it was asked. How he wanted to talk about supreme court judges before tha subject came up.

    August 17, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  18. Chris

    For anyone who carefully listened to the two candidates, it was clear that John McCain is obsessed with fighting wars. His painful memories as a POW should have seriously affected him mentally and it is clear that his goals in life are structured based on those experiences. Ironically, he is determined to take revenge from Bin Laden and that seems to be his main reason for running for presidency. Is there any religion that condones taking revenge? Is it Jihad?

    August 17, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  19. Kris K from CA

    Were we listening to Ward Cleaver or John McCain? He has all the answers and knows it all. His demeanor was insulting and degrading to the American public. Women do not want to give up their choice in any way. I do not want a National Father(or Grandfather) I want a smart, nimble, intelligent, thoughtful Preseident-that would be Obama.Someone who is calm, cool and collected. Not angry, combative and a know-it-all.

    August 17, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. Crush Rush

    This country is in deep stink if John McCain gets elected.Buy a shovel and start digging a shelter, a grave,or both, take your pick.

    August 17, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. CB

    Obama spoke from a personal faith base level and from his heart. John
    McWar did nothing but campaign and speak of war and every answer.

    August 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  22. pb

    Did McCain get a copy of the questions???? He had an answer before before the moderator finished the question. Since he has never ever answered questions this quickly it makes one think that he knew the questions first. Could we sink this low?

    August 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  23. gl

    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.

    Yea, I didn't get that one. How did he know about the Supreme Court question.

    August 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  24. brewme

    The most hatred I've seen on this site has come from the Obamabots or the Clintonites. This Saddleback production was totally bipartisan and Obama failed to answer ,(Danced Around), half of the questions.

    This was a slam dunk in favor of McCain. I love it....

    August 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  25. Jerry R Lucas RN

    For some they would love to make this about Racism and why white America does not want Obama. I for one was wanting to hear him speak up loud and clear. To give me a good understanding how he felt but, what I got was poll talk and no real answers just what he thought people wanted to hear.
    I am still on the fence about all of this but, I felt that McCain done very well tonight with no color vision used. Fast stright and clear with a understanding of what people want. So I now feel I have a better understanding of both men and I feel McCain was stright forward, where Obama was talking to the polls

    August 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
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