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. Marilyn, Powell Ohio

    Senator McCain will not be a very good president if all he will do with foreign leaders is tell them stories about when he was in Vietnam – you know, the war we lost. Also, he bragged he knows how to capture Osama Bin Laden and win wars – maybe he should let George W. Bush in on his secrets.

    August 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. texas DEM

    I wonder if Rev. Wright was in the audience?

    August 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  3. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    All I heard was another stump speech (rehearsed) from McCain. The reverend threw in a few questions to make it look like it was unbiased, but McCain just ignored the questions or answered with pandering and more of the same thing we hear day after day after day after day.

    McCain is not presidential. He is too likely to take us into more wars and bring back the draft for male, female, single, married, kids/no kids. He just wants wars and fighting. Not impressed. Won't get my vote.

    August 17, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  4. Ronald

    Gee...Fox news biased? No way....

    One thing about abortion...whether you are for or against is legal...we've had both parties in charge now for 35 years and Roe v. Wade has never been's time to move on to issues that affect all of us....the care of this country....abortion is important, don't get me wrong...but this country needs leadership now. The economy is shaky, jobs continue to go away....housing issues....Katrina clean-up still not right....war in Iraq and Afghanistan...the Russian issue... Ironically though, on the however many abortions done to save a mother's life...the right to choose can medically save lives, however many that is, for the few it has, it is a Godsend.

    A President needs to represent all people, to the best of his ability...not just those that share his religious/political views....elections are won by the narrowest of margins yet, a large amount of people's voices still get overlooked, sadly, go unheard....

    On evil? Evil has always and will always will never get rid of can you end an inanimate thing? Terror, fear, hatred, jealousy...though I wish a war could put an end to them, it can't...

    You need to decide who would best lead this country....Roe v. Wade is just a divider of the U.S., as is religion.... it's time we get on board for this country or it will continue to deteriorate...

    I hope for a United States once again....though it seems to be fading with each election....

    August 17, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  5. Truth

    I cannot see how anyone can see how Obama would make a better President than McCain. I read your comments – McCain is more military
    Obama is more warm etc. Name one issue where Obama is better than McCain I cannot find one. Don't mention character say what you want
    McCain showed character and love of country when most would have given in, during Vietnam. What is important to you in a President

    August 17, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  6. mary

    McCain did not have the questions beforehand. That's just a lame excuse because Obama couldn't give answers without his usual hmm.....uh.........duh....... because he had no teleprompter.

    August 17, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  7. Reality

    John McCain renounced America to appease the enemy in Vietnam, many other prisoners did not!!!!!!

    August 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  8. H. D. Weaver

    McCain seemed to know the questions before Pastor Rick could even get them out of his mouth McCain was interrupting with a story. I think that Obama did wonderfully and was thoughtful in his answers. The right would be critical of him if he had quick answers. What some people seem to be missing is that the substance of Obama's answers was real and really important. Bringing people and opinions together to help make decisions, study and consideration! Amazing concepts to have in the office of President.

    August 17, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  9. Flo

    Old trash-talking, blow-hard John wrote big checks that he nor the Saddleback crowd can cash! The bravado sounds good but let 's see him ride roughshod over Russia with those antiquated, Vietnam era ideas .

    The landscape has changed dramatically since Vietnam – Knowing the position we have placed ourselves in, Russia is "in our faces" daring us to engage them in direct conflict. Rather, like an old dog with no teeth, the entire world watches while all we can do is make empty threats with nothing to back it up.

    Our chickens have most certainly come home to roost...we now find ourselves in the very difficult position of being stretched so thin in two wars that we cannot even SAVE face – how are we to SAVE Georgia in the currently Georgia-Russia debacle. We muscled our way into Iraq based upon lies and garbage – now all we can do now is tuck our lil' tails and slink away in disgrace because we are guilty of the same things!

    August 17, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  10. Carl from MI

    They both had the questions FAR in advance to be able to respond to them like they did. This was a no-brainer!!!

    Plus, these questions were lobbed-in softballs!!!!!!!! Let's see how McCain does on the fast-pitched, hardball questions that he DOESN'T have in advance. Then we'll know the truth of the matter.

    McCain can't talk about anything other than GOP talking points. It was the same 'politics-as-usual' that GWB uses.... another reason why he has earned the name 'McBush'!! And another reason why he's going to lose this November by a landslide!!!

    And Candy... can you be any more OBVIOUS about which candidate you favor and are going to vote for? Whatever happened to objective reporting? Somebody should have gotten you a baby's bib to soak up all that drooling you did over McCain tonight. You're on the wrong network... Fox News called and said you've earned your 'fair and balanced' stripes!!!

    August 17, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  11. Geri

    Both of them were given the questions in advance. What surprised me was Obama said he would take advice from his G'ma (he threw her under the bus with Wright) and from his wife(I've never been proud of my country and America is a mean country). WOW!!!!!!!!!!! That itself was a mistake.

    August 17, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  12. LLMTruth

    The fix was in; McCain was allowed to re-work the questions in order to give the answers he wanted. Cute little antidotal stories was not what Pastor Warren asked for, nor was it what I expected. My question is; why didn't the Pastor re-direct McCain to stay on point more often. This so-called forum had the putried smell of being contrived in favor of McCain.

    If I expect to see the real candidates, I guess I'll have to wait for the debates where what is being said will be more under control. This was very disappointing.

    August 17, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  13. Rosemarie

    Is McCain blaming his teachers for him graduating 5th from the bottom? What a DUNCE. This whole thing was a joke. Shame on Pastor Rick!

    August 17, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. xddy4u

    McCain didn't have to know the questions in advance. All he needed to do was answer the question the way an Evangelical would answer them, for which McCain did. Next week he would give a different answer if the Evangelicals changes their stance. I said at the very beginning that Obama was stepping into a vipers den, with King Cobra asking the questions.

    August 17, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  15. Arlene Hayles

    I watch the forum and there was a great difference between the candiate tonight. I believe that Sen Obama was thoughtful, humble and sincere in his response. He wasn't telling the people things that the want to hear but to speaking from a clear conscious. I pray he will continue staying true to his core values.

    Sen. McCain was pandering the audience and saying things to the audiennce the things that they want to hear. Which i beleive it is dishonest. He spoke alot about his war experience. I do respect his services to this country. I pray that Mccain will stop politicking.

    Pundits...on CNN..I pray that David G and others will do more reflection on the forum before opening their mouth. I believe both men did well in their own perspective but this election will be won by generation gap. I will contine praying for the media and the american people who are independent thinkers....we are at a critical point in our time. The conservatiove votes will be divided in half this election.

    God bless you

    August 17, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  16. Independent fromTexas

    McCain answered his questions vaguely, with little to no explanations. He was more of a story teller than anything else. Notice how he just barely mentioned his failed marriage. He "quickly" went on to talk about America's moral failings. He missed the point.

    August 17, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Brooklyn Girl

    "the public is getting tired of the obama shuffle and it is showing up in the polls."

    Wow. It only took the whole Primary Election for this to happen. The American people sure are quick.


    August 17, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. Mike Conley

    John McCain would not answer the question on who is he's going to tax. He's adopted the same old line that he's not going to raise taxes. Apparently he plans to keep rolling up deficits like GW. He'd rather win the presidency than confront the real issues and the real sacrifices that Americans need to make. John McCain More of the Same.

    August 17, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  19. fromaBadteacher

    Your intelligence amaze me, my friend, let me tell you McCain there's alot of first year teachers that will struggle with difficult students and we should not listen to the problems under your leadership we should just GET RID OF TEACHERS! Was that your excuse for lack of knowledge? "Bad Teacher"

    Teachers are in big demand and that just goes to show YOU ARE OUT OF TOUCH My Friend!

    August 17, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. Penelopep

    All that evangelicals wanted to hear was -pro life, marriage is between a man and a woman, the republicans wanted to hear no raise in taxes or lower taxes, oh and tax credits.
    That's what Mc Cain gave them, Didn't matter how long or short the answer was.

    August 17, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. Bob In Providence

    Obama did a good job! McCain, came on and was better!! One for McCain.

    August 17, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. nelda

    Obama seemed much more relaxed and spoke on a personal level. Almost as if he was sitting in your living room, sipping coffee and conducting a pleasant conversation. McCain seemed over-powered and went off the subject and began on these long "speech" campaign talks.

    McCain went off the topics because he already had his mind set up not to.

    August 17, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  23. Rod

    Define bad teachers McBush... Maybe those who do not measure to a one size fits all standard test or maybe those who belong to unions?

    August 17, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  24. Electress

    McCain was to the point, and excellent on his responses. Yes, Yes, on education, and yes to parents having the same choices as he and his wife does. He brought up Katrina (Obama never did), and said yes, yes, the charter schools, vocher schools, home schooling, they are working, and every child should have equal opportunity to enroll in schools with the best teachers, otherwise let the teachers who are not up to par find another line of work.

    McCain was rather attractive tonight!

    August 17, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  25. Brooklyn Girl

    I see by the number of anti-McCain post, that Obama must have paid his people/supporters to come on this blog to defend his weak performance tonight. Hmmmm!

    August 17, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
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