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

Crowley: McCain was on his game

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Maxie

    This forum presents a sharp contrast between both candidates. One is thoughtful, listens and gathers information carefully before responding to the carefully worded questions. The other, seems to have great difficulty listening to the entire question, and seems more eager and interested in spitting out his pre-thought out, well rehearsed responses. He essentially was shooting from the hip the entire time he was on stage. At times, he even tried to control the questions asked.

    August 16, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. Gaby

    I think it is disgusting that the two Obama supporters were forced to turn their T-shirts inside out and left a while ago. What happened to their freedom of speech?

    August 16, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Bruce B.

    This was set up by the republican party. John McCain knew what all the questions were and heard Obama's reponses. McCain was answering the questions before the question was even asked.
    How much lower will the repubican party go?

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. Alease

    On his game? Please! No matter what the question was he had a response or turned the question into the answer he wanted to give. The quickest answers aren't the best answers.Yes, he was alert and stuck to hid talking points, but they didn't fit the questions!

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. EC

    I thought McCain SUCKED. He was more interested in "sucking up" with his stories and it just played into the notion of a "typical politician" giving you the sobs stories to get your sympathy. I WAS NOT AMUSED in the least bit.

    His whole story about the vietnam drawing a "cross" in the dirt was an overkill, a GREAT "story" all of a sudden. Yeah right, how convenient. AND how did McCain KNOW the guard meant anything by the cross? I mean, Jesus, give me break! I wanna KNOW what the GUARD meant by the cross, NOT JOHN McCain.

    He "suckered" them into this whole "pro-life" nonsense. John McCain was a very rehearsed "puppet on a string".

    HE played up his faith TOO much it was an OVERKILL. I mean, if you have to repeat your faith, the word GOD x amount of times ALL OF A SUDDEN, it becomes PRETTY OBVIOUS he was feeding into the audience.

    I'm NOT easily SUCKED into these "I'm only pushing my faith base" in FRONT of a faith based audience strategy.

    John McCain is NOT fooling me with all his lies and deceit..

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. The Lady

    The Audience was stacked with McCain supporters.

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. open your eyes america

    Did anybody else feel like mccain new the questions before they were asked?

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. Cupper

    Did McCain just Declare victory in Iraq?

    Is there a transcript yet?

    Why is he declaring Victory in Iraq before Bush?Or did Bush already declare victory with that little Cod Piece Carrier Landing Stunt.(it's so confusing when you've been lied to so many times)

    Like what McCain said in Colorado yesterday, that recent Russian aggression in Georgia is the "first...serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War."

    McCain seemingly ignored the Gulf War, 9/11, and the Iraq War, just to name a few.

    When is SOMEONE going to call out that crazy old coot on these obvious discrepancies?

    August 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. brewme

    Where are all of the Left Wing comments tonight? Could it be that your candidate flopped tonight and McCain soared?

    The moderator had to finish the answer for Obama on several occasions.

    With the Pelosi collapse on drilling, Obama's weak response to the Georgia situation, and Obama creating the Clinton National Convention in Denver, the slippery slope has been reached.

    The beginning of the end.....

    August 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    McCain and Obama shared more than a handshake – they shared the same coffee cup tonight

    August 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. Michele

    McCain did better than I thought he would in regards to being charismatic and focused. However, I felt that he was campaigning more than Obama. Also, when asked if evil existed and what should be done about it, he went back to his myopic soap box and answered that evil should be defeated and thy name is Al Qaeda. Obama was much more thoughtful regarding this question and recognized evil as a test from God and acknowledged it's presence in many ways. As a Christian, I really appreciated that.

    August 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. Gaby

    McCain = is not the straight talk express after all.

    August 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  13. Agnes Thomas

    I thought that Senato McCain did ok, but he told a lot of stories instead of answering the questions head-on. He was talking more to the audience instead of Pastor Warren. I thought this was a question and answer session between McCain and the Pastor, while the audience was alowed to sit in on it to hear the questions and answers. McCain never really answered any question in a sincere way. He seemed to me to still be campaigning to the audience.
    I think Senator Obama was honest and open. He answered the questions in a real sincere way. It was as though he was having a conversation with Pastor Warren, not trying to score political points like John McCain. McCain seemed to want sympathy more than give answers.

    August 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. Dan

    John McCain may not be as pretty as Barack Obama, nor does he excel in front of the teleprompter. But he's the real deal. Tonight people got a chance to see that, many for the first time. In the debates to come between the two, they will see it again. No wonder Barack Obama has avoided appearing on the same stage as McCain and answering direct questions in a non-scripted format.

    August 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Marta K

    Some of the questions being asked are too stupid (”Does evil exist?” or "What is America's role in ending religious persecution?" or "define wealthy?") for something as important as a Presidential debate. Have we really slipped so far as a country into imbecility that questions about evil become a real political topic? I knew our education system was slipping but geez, this is frightening!
    Furthermore, religion has no place in politics and people need to remember that the original founding fathers never implied or stated that our government should be based on one faith. In fact, this country was founded by people who left Europe trying to escape that kind of oppression.

    August 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  16. Debra

    Seeing that preformance, it wouldn't surprise me if Obama voted for Mccain in November. The story about the guard in the prison camp with the cross in the sand was moving. They both did well but Mccain was decisive and impressive.

    August 16, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  17. Cupper

    He got a Standing ovation because Pastor Warren ASKED the audience to stand. (Just as he did with Obama)

    What kind of hack "reporting" is that?

    I would expect better from "The most trusted name in News" .



    August 16, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Lou R

    The religious right audience participants were well pandered to by McCain who was given a loose lease by Rick Warren. McCain consistently responded with sump speech comments and ego centered anecdotes rather then showing the humility as Obama did. Warren lost control of his questions asking through letting McCain dominate the time with story telling.

    August 16, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. Al

    If "on his game" means not answering questions straight and only giving his audiences the answers they wanted to hear, John McCain may have done well. But if he were ever to do that in a direct debate with Barack Obama, McCain may well be sent packing out of the room with head between his legs.

    August 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. Gaby

    The media should be more fair in this analysis, because I as a viewer see that you set a double standard between these two candidates.
    CNN in their analysis are not playing the entire response during this session, you are only playing McCain's. What is up CNN? You are supposed to be a semi trustworthy news channel, what is happening here?

    Roland Martin step in please, so that it is fair.

    August 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  21. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    you said it right McCain was on his game...indeed he has experience in playing games to survive!

    August 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. tedious898

    I live in Orange County....African Americans are not popular here. Though McCain did very well, its obvious Barack's color was a detriment with this ultra conservative community.

    I'd never thought I'd say this but Orange County is McCain territory. Time to move I'd say.


    August 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. fred

    I think Obama's interview/coverage after this event is proof that CNN will do anything to support this candidate. He had his chance during the one hour interview and now you are exclusively allowing to redefine or change what he said during a live interview. Stop being so bias.

    August 16, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  24. Laura

    I have always been a great supporter of Hillary Clinton however, I have been willing to accept Obama. After tonight John McCain has given me the reason to vote for him in the upcoming election.

    August 16, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. Paul

    McCain was giving campain speeches, Obama was talking from his mind. McCain won more votes, but Obama told the truth. Go figure what white middle America would vote for!!

    Obama 08

    August 16, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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