August 17th, 2008
11:18 AM ET
12 years ago

Crowley: McCain was on his game

McCain won over the Saddleback crowd.

McCain won over the Saddleback crowd.

LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) - During a break, someone yelled: "We love you John." In fact, McCain was on his game, doing better than I thought he would, given that faith is not his most favorite subject to discuss in public. And in fact, it does seem that the crowd is greeting him every bit as warmly as they did Obama. (Although: as far as I can see, the two Obama supporters who told me they were forced to turn their t-shirts inside out left a while ago.)

Act Two is over - and McCain gets huge applause, and a standing ovation.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (788 Responses)
  1. Ian MacIsaac

    I wonder if McCain got the questions beforehand...

    August 16, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. Jane, College Park. MD

    I am an Independent but I just made up my mind tonight.
    One candidate pandered and even used the word 'pander'. He also showed the type of rashness, quick temper, and preempting the questions that i don't want anyone who would have access to that 'nuclear button' to have.
    The other was thoughtful, smart, and showed that he would listen to other peoples' views, but respectfully disagree.

    One was mediocre (like our current president), and the other was sharp (i would want him to represent me)

    I also asked myself which one of the two candidates I would rather have as my neighbor?

    I am voting for Senator Obama.

    August 16, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. Love Huckabee

    As a former Huckabee supporter, I still don't know who John Mccain is, and I still support Barack Obama.

    John McCain was campaigning. He didn't answer one heart felt question, without a normal speech response.

    August 16, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. justwaitandsee

    The Religion version of the ABC Debate

    The Fix was in. How many people here believe this was the first time McCann got the questions. And the Pastor seems to allow him to speak freely but prepared to interrupt Senator O answers.

    How many more commercial ran with Senator Obama compare to Senator McCain

    McCain appeared to get to the Supreme Court question before it was even asked

    Why were the questions framed different when Warren promised that they would not be.

    Why is Warren asking McCain about the Republic of Georgia, he did not ask Barack these questions?

    The Pastor's single intent was to afford McCain a free press while attempting to undermined Senator Obama

    Senator Obama you have stop trusting everyone. The Pastor supported Bush Twice so he is clearly a man without good judge of character.

    August 16, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Robert

    McCain really didn't answer some of the questions and the moderator did a terrible job of sticking to following up and getting ANSWERS. Just one example – McCain was asked to define at what income level does he consider someone "rich."

    McCain never answered. Obama said $250,000 and up. McCain said 5 million, but he acted like he was joking. Was he serious? The moderator was terrible. Really needed an experienced journalist for this job.

    August 16, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. Blogger For John McCain

    John McCain "ate" Senator Obama tonight. I am looking forward to the debates in the fall.

    The contrast between the two is so obvious that it is a no brainer who is the most presidential of them.

    What a different debate would have been if Senator Clinton had been the Democratic nominee....

    Today we just saw "Mumbo Jumbo Kumbaya of Hope" defended by Senator Obama vs "Real world politics based on good experience and judgment" defended by Senator McCain.

    It's really up to the American voters to decide what they want for their future!

    August 16, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  7. nick

    why on earth did Obama agree to this? pandering to religious bigots. He's gone down in my estimation.

    August 16, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. Ralph B

    Obama supporters: Please just be honest with yourselves and admit that he looked like a smooth-talking ROOKIE who isn't ready to make the hard decisions a President needs to make.

    McCain showed the experience, track record, and intestinal fortitude needed for the job.

    Be honest with yourselves.

    August 16, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. Sue

    I was completely impressed by Obama. McCain however, did not impress me at all. He wasn't anywhere near as personal as Obama.

    Obama has the ability to talk to anyone about anything. It seemed that McCain was too rehearsed, and political.

    August 16, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. sh

    It is very clear from some of the answers MAOLD gave that the questions were already given to MCOLd for preparation. I am still puzzzled at when MCOLD talked about the Judges "Can we go back to judges question? How doesw he know there are judge question Can someone explain to me. What about the teache question looks like MCOLD already new the answer before Warren asked it.?

    Why did Warren allow MCOLD to give the stump speech whereas he said to Obama that he does not want stump answers. Please someone should look at this.

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  11. Probama in Paradise

    I was really disappointed in the audience's responses. Obama took his time to think and reflect before answering while John McCain went on and on with War talk while the audience went wild.

    Is it just me or are americans just not ready for intelligence and humility in the oval office? How sad...

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  12. ImJustSayin

    I believe McCain scored better because so many in this nation don't want nuanced thoughtful answers – makes them think too hard. They want the short, flip pat answers. Thoughtful people want thoughtful answers. If the electorate – not just evangelicals – don't want to think, we're doomed.

    McCain to me came off as flip. He defaulted to his stump lines and i agree with one of the posters – enough of the POW stuff.

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Alan Boyer

    McCain stumped most of the night. I appreciate is service to the country but that doesn't qualify him to be president. If being a POW was a prerequisite for being president, thousands of people would be qualified.

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. Michael Andrews

    I feel much better about McCain tonight and much less confident in Obama. Obama doesn't know what he believes and he thinks Americas biggest problem is the neglect of the "underpriveleged."

    Between this interview tongiht and each candidate's speech following the initial attacks by Russia on Georgia, it is obvious who has the strongest leadership abilities.

    Obama wants to continue leading America down the socialist path while McCain seeks to stay true to America's rich heritage.

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Every Wilson

    John McCain was on his game, he was irreconcilible on every issue, uncompromising, thuwart, conventional, alienistic, hard, symbol of the old guard, partisan, old politics, old washington, old way of thinking, nonfuturistic in thinking and nonintrusive as usual. But, he wants Americans to believe, he is diplomatic, a communicator, thinker, non-partisan, compromiser, thoughtful and caring

    August 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Cupper

    I was half waiting for McCain to start talking about the big snow storm of '76.

    Because, ya know, there is nothing us youngsters like better than stories about the weather from old people.



    " I spent the next three years in a POW camp, forced to subsist on a thin stew made of fish, vegetables, prawns, coconut milk and four kinds of rice. I came close to madness trying to find it here in the States, but they just can't get the spices right." -Principal Skinner

    August 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  17. Debby

    We are voting McCain. Obama without a teleprompter was not cutting it and to much stuttering. He is an empty suit and he proved that tonight.

    August 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. Bob G.

    Of course he was on his game – he's being doing townhall meetings for months – staight talk to the american people.

    About his father, a high ranking admiral? More than high ranking – he was the Commander in Chief of ALL naval forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam world. His grandfather was also the CIC of ALL naval forces during WWII. He could have had a free ride, but he chose to do it his way.

    McCain – he's the real ONE!

    August 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Catherine

    I felt like Obama was having a true conversation with Warren. Obama was insightful and thoughtful in his response to Warren's questions. I could talk to Obama all day.

    To me McCain had some wonderful stories about his POW days that we have all heard. But those stories are not enough for me to vote for him. I felt Warren asked the question and then McCain campaigned and was not engaged at all with Warren or the audience. McCain was just giving his regular political talk.

    Maybe the audience was more responsive to McCain's responses but that's to be expected.

    August 16, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. River70

    Well he better admit another one tonight,.... all those stories which avoided any concrete answers.

    August 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Norma

    McCain gave a stump speech all night long. All he could talk about was war, war and more war. this is his frame of reference, and I can't believe how Candy Crawley bought into this hipe.

    Candy is for anyone other than Obama. It's very obvious in her reporting.

    McCain did what Republicans do best... cloud the issue. He used his war stories every chance he could get and i don't see how those stories related to purpose of this forum.

    August 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. Pam Becker

    Who is McCain's "My Friends"? It ain't me. He sounded like he was talking to "his rich, radical evangelical friends." I am a Christian. I am a Democrate. I am an American. I am not rich. I am not McCain's "Good Friends". Rich people don't want to have me as their friend. McCain was not believable. His answers were to "canned". Sounded like Bush.

    "America is the riches nation in the world. Why can't I afford to live here" *(1)

    *(1) Quoted from the movie Swing Vote

    August 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. PE

    I have nothing to say about this circus....

    August 16, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  24. Docallen001

    I agree with those who indicate we do not know anything more about McCain's religious beliefs at the end of an hour than when he began talking. He took the opportunity to give a political speech for that hour and showed that he knows what religious conservatives want to hear.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. The Message Should be Clear

    man the media sure did spin me into believing Rick Warren was somewhat fair and he put a lot of though/balance into the question, furthermore I though he would stick to the "no stumping" part... BOY was I wrong...McCain rarely gave direct answers, the rest of the time he turned to the audience and started with "my friends,....." and stumped away Thats OK though, Obama did okay with the monolith rich, white, right wing republican audience...I enjoyed the shots of the guys in the flag shirts...I'm just not sure how much flag waving will get us out of our problems.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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