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. Butch Dillon

    Why the accolades for McCain? He was wooden; he offered practiced answers; he lied; he's a piece of white, privileged trash. He dismissed his "moral failing" as though it was a lesson learned when, in fact, McCain of the 70s is the same McCain today. Rick Warren's performance was truly stilted. He is a renowned figure in his own community, but most of us regard him as just another fat preacher on the religious right. Warren should try to push himself away from the table sooner than is obvious he manages now. Obama deserves all the credit for appearing in a stacked forum.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Peter Herbert

    I agree with a number of people here – I don't know what interviews the commentator saw; I have this feeling it must be different from what I have seen. I saw one with a very warm, smart and touching Obama, while I also saw one with a stiff, monotonous and tight lipped McCain. Obama clearly offered the more suitable picture of the next president of our country. I made up my mind tonight. Just one more thing: what does it help when you get your view of abortion confirmed, when the rest of the economy lies in shambles? Just a thought.
    So back to the commentators: where's the objectivity? Oh well, I am on CNN here right? Never mind then.

    August 16, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  3. Pam

    These were evangelical christians, of course he did well. Let's put them both in front of a liberal voting group and see McCain be "on his game".

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  4. Amy

    Wow look at all you liberals whining about this format tonight. Of course when McCain just nails it and does his best so far all you whining democrats come and out say he had the questions in advance. You just can't give credit where credit is due. John McCain showed tonight why he is the only choice for the President of the United States. He proved over and over again what a true leader he will be and what he stands for. Obama again who are you what do you believe he dodged so many questions because even he doesn't know who he is, there was nothing for him to read from so it proved to be to challenging for him to answer a question honestly because it wasn't already written out for him. God Bless you John McCain. Thanks for your honesty.

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. Buffalo Guy

    As an Obama supporter, I must say I was very disappointed with his performance tonite. Mccain brought his A game and will certainly win over some independents. Mccain sounded to me like he knew the questions before time. Anyway I am still will be voting for Obama period. Hopefully he learns from this.

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  6. Jim

    I feel really bad about this country – the main points praising McCain emphasized his ability to be succinct and to the point. Anyone who's ever had to solve tough problems and has been a leader knows that there almost is never a right or wrong answer – the right answer lies somewhere in shades of grade.

    When did we stop believing the President of the United States should intellectually gifted and have "Bubba" characteristics instead and connect with the common folk – my goodness – our President should be the best of us – not necessarily one of us...

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. Toni K

    He is a War monger. Wow...3 million on bear dna...drop in the bucket compared to what we have wasted in Iraq.
    Drill??? How about the oil companies start using the 10 thousand leases they have already and aren't using??? They have closed tons of refineries and do not intend to up production. They are making too much money with the status quo...get a clue Grampy McSame.

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. jdm

    Did anyone catch that Mcain talk about judges before the pastor ask the question! John answer before he was ask? I copy it and ran it back!
    This was a set up! But we won't talk about this. This was his base voters! Good job John, you inpress your base. WoW!?

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. lucky

    McCain is a joke to the world and I don't see how people could justify the fact the he did so well, he avoided all the question that was asked and kept talking about his military experiences ,he only campaign for that moment McCain if he is such a Christan he would have answer the question better than he did.Obama was straight to the point with most of his question he had a better view point to these question.

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. John

    Did John McCain get the questions in advance? Were the questions give to the McCain campaign in advance? many people are saying the questions were leaked to the McCain camapaign before the forum began.

    McCain answered the questions before they were asked. He knew the questions in advance. Obama was cheated.

    August 16, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  11. George Aibangbee

    I think Obama was direct and true in his answers but it seemed as if Mcain was using every question to try to score a political point and the moderator rick waren gave him enough leverage to do it instead of asking him to answers the question directly .

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Troy, Iowa

    Question about does Evil exist and if so what should the US do? McCain's answer, "defeat it"!!! Obama's answer, "confront it with humility"

    In our quest to defeat eveil Sadam, over 1million Iraqis have died, and over 4000 US military personnel. Perhaps we can be a little more humble in doing so.

    It then takes me to another event unfolding in Georgia, with thousands dead and over 100,000 displaced. Or perhaps Darfur with over 300,000 lives lost.

    Is McCain ready to defeat Putin's Russia or other leaders that are evil? Or is a leader only evil if OIL is involved?

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Pam

    Brian Beddow August 16th, 2008 10:16 pm ET

    Senator Obama did not answer many of the questions. He refused to answer when he believes life begins. Senator McCain answered questions forcefully and with confidence more attributable to a President of the Free World.

    There is no such thing as a "President of the Free World", idiot.

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. young, gifted and black

    if by on his game you mean reciting the answers that he previously memorized then yes... why isn't anyone talking about how he was answering questions before they were even asked, how suspect is that...

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Kurt from PA

    Could anyone count the number of times John McCain mentioned his POW experience and Ronald Reagan?! That would make for a great drinking game...

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. Helen

    Obama was willing to have a thoughtful discussion. McCain gave stump speech rhetoric and the same tired stories we've heard over and over. Warren let him get away with it. Obama was honest and McCain pandered to the well to do white Republicans that area of the county is made up of. McCain should have gotten counseling to move on from his war experience instead of using it as a sales tool for political gain the rest of his life. I can't respect that.

    August 16, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. Carolyn

    Obama answered the questions concisely, thoughtfully and honestly. McCain pandered to the audience – war, war, war. It was a conservative, evangelical audience who McCain spoke to – suppose to be up his alley.

    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Peachy Keen

    That is all McCain can talk about. War, war, war....and what happened 40 years ago. He didn't mention that he made 32 propoganda films for the vietcong did he? Stories from some of the POWS who were with him at the time don't make him out to be near as heroic as he likes to make himself out to be.

    There is much more going on with our country today other than war.
    And his moral issue. A short little mention of his first marriage. The story of that mess is as bad as Edwards. This guys morals are as bad as Edwards.

    And I agree with those who felt that McCain knew of the questions in advance. After all, the religious right is totally Republican supporters.

    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  19. Ray from NC

    Crowley you must be tired. Take a nap.

    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Mindscape

    Bravo! McCain did a tremendous job answering the questions in a clear, direct, and decisive format. Obama side-stepped most questions and did not have real answers for the issues.
    I hope America uses this as a platform to see McCain as the true leader America needs and Obama as the indecisive, inexeperienced senator.

    McCain '08

    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. mac


    August 16, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  22. Tico

    McCain=more wars + more misery

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

    The tickets were sold to church members only.

    Of course the crowd liked him. Evangelical church members favor the Republican candidate.

    But you cover his "winning over the audience" like it's a surprise.


    August 16, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    I enjoyed watching both candidates answer the faith questions we all had of them, both I'm sad McCain took this opportunity to campaign instead of openning up about his faith. I didn't get that from him. I got pandering. You can tell who's faith is important to who. Obama won in that respect. McCain just confirmed why I can not elect him as president.

    August 16, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. MB

    McCain = over rehersed, on message even if it didn't really address the question, and reflecting the same unreasoning certainity that led the current adminstration into killing many thousands and spending many trillions on an unjustified war. Why would anyone think this was a great performance?

    August 16, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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