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. Dave

    McCain politically won the night – and may end up in the Oval Office with this type of performance. Drill, Drill, Drill! Fight, Fight, Fight! Destroy Evil – our new president is personally on the prowl! Rich: $5 million a year and up! Promise everything (except tracking the bears DNA, a very important and particular evil), and lower taxes for everyone! Hold on, folks...a lot of people jump to their feet and applaud this crap. In the spirit of the night – Please, Help us, O Lord!

    August 16, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  2. Gloria C. Bess

    McCain had prepared speeches and used these comments in reply to any question presented. He did not bother to answer the simplest of questions. that is "What income do you consider rich?" Many of his responses had little or nothing to do with the questions asked. From Senator McCain's answers , I know nothing new about his Faith, and very little about his respect for the Faith of others.

    In the future, I suggest that each participant be required to answer the same, identical questions.

    August 16, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  3. H. D. Weaver

    Obama would look down while thinking but looked Pastor Rick in the eye when answering. I have gone back and reviewed the tapes. McCain looked at the audience and did not talk 'to' Pastor Rick.
    Obama thought about his answers and then responded. McCain used his speeches as his answers so he did not have to 'ponder' much.

    August 16, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  4. MIla from Pa.

    McCain solidified his base and lost the independents.

    He proved that he is Bush's third term.

    August 16, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  5. M in MN

    Um...yeah...his greatest moral failure is the dissolution of his marriage?? I notice that he neglected to mention that the reason his marriage failed was because he CHEATED on his wife!!! I guess that wouldn't have played so well in front of the evangelical crowd. The only reason he's still married to his second wife is that she forgave him when he CHEATED ON HER, TOO!

    BTW, this message is from an evangelical Christian who is not voting for McCain (not all of us are sheep who are going to vote for someone just because the religious "right" tells us to.)

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Sandra

    McCain is a "KILL first and ask questions later" type of person. If you don't agree with him, he is likely to bomb you.

    Obama is a thoughful and respectful person who is willing to listen to and work with someone who has a different opinion or belief. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't push him, but his first thought would not be bomb them as McCain's would be.

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Obama Supporter VA

    McWar was on point tonight!
    Where were the true Christian Values in his responses, except on abortion?

    Wake up evangelicals.... you should be Christians before you are evangelical or republican!

    August 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. Gaby

    Why did McCain rattle of the next question during this period, he know what the questions were prior to this show. McCain is not the ideal candidate and the remaining voters who pay attention know it. The media just is trying to create another story to drum up business.

    August 16, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. LJ

    Now you can see why Obama hides from a town hall meeting......lets count how many times he said uhhhhh....I now believe he is the true radical leftist that he is...

    August 16, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  10. H. D. Weaver

    Janice James in Denver..."Obama appeared humble, however is clever and a smooth talker who diverts from the facts." Interesting that you find someone who thinks and considers before he speaks as "smooth talker". To me the one with the quick, repeated over and over again answers is the one who 'diverts from the facts'. I want a President who considers and thinks, someone who listens to others and then makes decisions based on facts. You find intelligence sad and too bad for you and our county.

    August 16, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  11. brat

    The night belonged to McCain, all the rest of you haters can chew on that. McCain was decisive and direct, this was not Barack's finest moment. If I had any doubt about McCain's ability to compete with Obama one on one, no more. If the audience's response was any indication of his connection tonight with evangelical's he will rmaintain his lead over Obama and probably broaden it. That's what all you libs don't want to discuss, this night was a bid for evangelical votes. Mission Accomplished.

    August 16, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Crush Rush

    What a staged setup for John McCain.Abortion should be on a national ballot.Let the people decide it once and for all or every 4 years, but it should not decide elections,where everything else is trumped by one issue.

    August 16, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. Pat

    I'm not looking for one word answers. Sure McCain was on his game, but he practiced evading questions better than Obama. I wanted to hear well thought out answers about his "true" feelings and not those stump quotes fed to him by the Right. As a christian, I worry about putting anyone in office that is quick to condemn others and act as if "America" is all that matters a the costs of others rights. We share this world with other people and obviosly these belicos and crack responses may offend the very people we are trying to work with now. We need a president with a cool and steady hand, not one who shoots from the hip first and then asks questions later. That's what got us into the mess we're in now. I was disappointed that the Old McCain was not there but some imposter pretending to be something he is not.

    August 16, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  14. Fred, Las Vegas, NV

    Obama's faith has been under a lot of media scrutiny throughout this campaign but I do not see why the media isn't really digging into McCain's christian background. It is about time the media started looking that way so at least we evangelicals can know who we vote for .Being pro-life and being anti- gay marriage shouldn't be an ultimate test for the evangelical vote, afterall these are just political positions depending on which party you are in.

    August 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  15. Shirley Thomason

    What a farce! I respect Pastor Rick Warren and the candidates but McCain's short, no-thought answers were almost like he had been given the questions in advance and even if he hadn't he was really rehearsed well in what his audience wanted to hear. So short answers are all that was necessary. It is nice that he is from a military family and has lived long enough to have fought in a war and become the hero he brags about over and over. It is a very touching story but there have been millions of heros from our country. It just seems to me to be unfair.

    Obama has not lived long enough to experience such a horrible war. But he gave the best answers, the most thoughtful and intelligent answers.

    August 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  16. LJ

    my interpretaion of Obama answering the abortion issue using a simple analogy for you libs...."Is 2 + 2 = 4" can look at this analytically or scientifically...if some people's beliefs are that...ummm....that 2 is a number that they deeply.....blah blah blah....

    August 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  17. James

    Partisan politics at its best. Why so atrabilious and splenetic, Obama supporters? Didn't think McCain could actually bring it? And my goodness, I thought Obama supporters were supposed to be the intellectual, contemplative ones. Take a look at all your solecisms and misspellings!

    PS Those who think McCain was overemphasizing his Vietnam experiences have not been paying attention; in fact, analysts often wonder why he hasn't mentioned his personal story as often as Obama has during this campaign.

    August 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  18. tx independent

    I got a better understanding of Omama's position on stem cells, gay marriages, who is considered rich, how to address orphan issues, teachers pay etc... McCain was more fluff and war stories.


    August 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  19. bern

    McCain came across as his usual boring, pandering self. No thought...just bomb, bomb bomb. Fight...attack....and....we can't forget the war stories. PLEASE.............

    I want a thinker for president, not some old nut acting out his Teddy Roosevelt fantasy.

    August 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  20. Ok

    Anyone else notice the CNN political ticker has like ten straight posts about how McSame did tonight. Last time I heard there were two candidates up on the stage. Come on CNN if we wanted partisanship we would have watched Faux News! Very disappointing coverage!

    August 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. R. Squibbs

    Like many others here, I thought McCain was awful. I keep hearing about how he displays a loose, winning personal style in smaller, conversational settings. But every time I've seen him in a non-stump-speech arena - like tonight - he still seems like he's reading off of mental cue cards, rather than responsing in-the-moment in a truly personal way.

    Given the rightwing bias of evangelicals, Obama had nothing to lose tonight, since most of the audience was predisposed against him. However, I think he might've brought some of the saner, more truly Christian evangelicals over to his side with his forthright displays of how genuine Christian principles (rather than Christian love-hate) guide his sense of mission as a public figure.

    August 17, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  22. 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 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  23. ann

    the old man new the question

    August 17, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  24. tim

    Candy Crowley needs to stick to REPORTING and stay away from commentary. Your analysis is terrible.

    August 17, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. kravitz

    McCain studied really really hard for this test.

    That counts as 'on one's game' having gamed the teacher.

    And was so afraid he would get a reference to Warren's comment that he could not bring himself to vote for an adulterer, McCain stabbed himself with it so no one else had to.

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