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. Andy in Charlotte

    "Did you notice how Senator Obama looked down while doing most of his answering while Senator McCain looked up and at the audience or the camera giving a much more personal feel."

    This comment is ridiculous! I'd rather have someone that looks down to think and give a measured, thoughtful response. Than someone like McCain who blurts the first things out of his mouth! ("bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!")

    August 17, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Marie-Lynn

    MCCain still a war munger, his faith is based only on war that he didn't have a chance to participate, so he wish to have an other one has commander in chief..

    August 17, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Ariana

    Why are we pandering to religious extremists?! What happened to the separation of church and state? As the leader of a "mega-church" doesn't Mr. Warren display gross hypocrisy by profiting from his religious beliefs? Shouldn't that render his involvement and opinion invalid?
    Who cares what these crazy people think? Aside from the fact that most evangelicals are clearly Republican and blind followers (of both religion & shady politicians), this was obviously something that McCain rehearsed or at least had time to prepare for whereas Obama did not. To care about the opinions of those who are almost solely responsible for putting GW in office a damaging two times, is ludicrous. Are these people not living in the same crumbling country as the rest of us?!

    P.S. Why is it okay to leave out ALL of the other important religious groups if we are going to pander to religion?

    August 17, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Janet, New York

    It was clear to see how quickly McCain answered each question last night- without thought and consequence. that is how he will run our country. Frankly, I see him as a bomb ready to go off at any given moment and that is scary. Obama, on the other hand, thinks before he speaks and he was genuine as opposed to McCain's calculated answers.
    Obama 2008

    August 17, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. dodialfayed

    All McCain did was pander to the right. He came off like "i am a POW so vote for me". Lame!

    August 17, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Jimmy in CO

    Wow, what was that Pandering 101? Any grandfather can give me nonstop anecdotes. I'm leaning towards voting Obama now, but I will sit back and watch the debates.

    August 17, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. dialuz

    Obama was pleasant to listen to and seemed thoughtful. I really tried to tune into McCain, but it was so insincere that I had to stop listening after 5 minutes of his responses. It is so striking to me that we still hear that overall, Obama is the one some feel they still need to get to know. Even though McCain has been around longer, I have serious doubts about who he really is!

    August 17, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. go away mongers, Ventura, CA

    George Bush had short and snappy answers to tough questions- it landed us in Iraq, recession, a planet in peril, and 47 million without healthcare. I think it's time for a THINKING man to be Prsident!

    August 17, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. cityboy

    "That's a good question my friend, but let me change the subject. my friend. How about an anecdote my friend... WAR, WAR, WAR."

    When asked a direct question about his faith, McCain answered with his Sunday school response, "saved and forgiven" by anonymous. He then proceeded to elevate HIMSELF on his POW cross. Is there a name for this brand of pathology?

    August 17, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. C.C.Carr

    I had the distinct impression that Senator McCain knew the questions before they were asked. There were two clear examples of this. First , he wanted to discuss the Supreme Court Justices before the topic had been introduced, second he responded "defeat it" to the question about evil before the choices were revealed.

    McCain did a very good job. He was comfortable with HIS audience, very relaxed with his friends("my friends') and totally oblivious to the nature of the questions asked. I still have no idea of his values or his concept of religion. He pandered to his friends throughout this repetion of campaign soundbites. I think that his carefully orchestrated responses reflected a fear of a "senior moment" if he were to respond spontaneously or directly to the question . His anecdotes were interesting reflections of a personal history but gave little indication of his potential ability to lead.

    August 17, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Neutralizer

    McCain was BRILLIANT last night, Obambi was evasive and stutters like there's no end.

    August 17, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. MM

    So did anyone count how many times McCain mentioned his POW status? After 4 times, my mind shut off. This from someone who really doesn't want to talk about his POW experience? And his answers ... sometimes had very little to do with the question. I thought McCain did better than I expected - however, definitely not enough to make me like him.

    Another question - do you think the candidates were given dress requirements? Both were wearing similar outfits!

    August 17, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. martha

    oh yeah, Rick set this up to promote McCain....gave him every opportunity to act a fool.

    If he wins, America is doomed even further. Study his record. He is for the big ones. The struggling folks will die.

    August 17, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Jean

    I find McCain's comments on education concerning vochers, charter schools, home schooling and his general attitude very troubling. The under represented population can not be over looked, all are members of this society The consequences for surch neglect will be a disater. The promises of America to educate it's citizen are not limited to the wealthy and powerful.

    Participation of professionals in the field of education and teachers especially should be part of plans and efforts to improve education, not threatened.

    August 17, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Joe Kiloz

    McCain's Honor, Country First coupled with down to earth genuine

    answers distanced himself by quite a margin . It was a great

    performance and provided quite a contrast. It made me feel very

    comfortable with him.

    August 17, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. LatinosforMcCain

    uh, but, oh, well,ah, uh, yes but, ah uh, uhhhhh,

    Boy Take away Obama's teleprompter and he's not very impressive.

    Latinos WAKE UP obama is not for the Latinos people!!

    Vote for McCain 08

    Hispanic for McCain!!!

    August 17, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. LOL @ Conservatives

    Pander pander pander pander pander.

    Yup, he was on his game.

    August 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. I Don't Believe This

    As an aside: McCain was put in a "cone of silence" while Barack Obama was on stage, because he was getting the same questions.

    I don't believe so – it was apparent to anyone watching that (1) Either Sen. McCain listened in on Sen. Obama's session or (2) Sen. McCain had the questions beforehand.

    There are 3 distinct points where McCain and Warren let the audience in on the fact that McCain knew the questions ahead of time or listened in:

    1. When Sen. McCain jumped ahead to answer the question re: the Supreme Court justices before Warren asked it;

    2. When Sen. McCain jumped ahead to offer a response re: Georgia; Warren hadn't asked the question yet; and

    3. When Warren said "This is a question I did not get to ask Sen. Obama." Notice how differently Sen. McCain responds. Why is that? He had not heard the question prior to Warren asking and Warren let him know he didn't get to it with Sen. Obama.

    I smell setup and I pray to my Lord Jesus Christ that the truth be revealed.

    August 17, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Dan H

    Well, first of all Candy Crowley is the same person who back in 2004 blasted John Kerry, a prostate cancer survivor, for ordering green tea not realizing that it's recognized as a method of warding off cancer. To her, it was just elitist. So let's take her analysis with a grain of salt.

    Second of all, I like John McCain. I like my dentist too, but I don't want him to be President.

    Third, I'm sure that in the end, even though they may say otherwise, many people are just not going to be willing to pull the lever for a black man.

    Anyone is entitled to their religious beliefs but we shouldn't govern in this world with the attitude that it's just a stop-over to the next world, which is too often how Republicans manage the country. Either that or it's America Uber Alles (or should I say the American DOLLAR).

    Rick Warren seems like a thoughtful and incisive guy, which I'm sure ticks off conservatives to no end.

    Basically, you've had 8 years to run the country into the ground, now it's time to let the smart people have a chance.

    August 17, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Marge Hibbing Mn

    That's because real people can see thru obama and his superficialness. He smiles – he waves – he give speech...but what in the world is he for.....putting on a show so he can get dumdums to vote for him...

    August 17, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Mish

    I thought McWar was as usual in his * war mode*
    Sorry I happen to think he exploits his captivity in vietnam for political points!!!!
    After all he is not the only captured pow in history just the most glorified one!!!
    its quite obvious CNN is pro MCWar
    just another example of how *IF* you vote for him your going down the same path as the last 8 years
    At least Obama will try and steer the country toward the change it so badly needs

    August 17, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Chicago Architect

    Please remember the lasttime America elected a president they would feel great having a beer with...8 years of despair and decline, not to mention 7 years of war.

    McCain makes it sound so great, how he "suffered" in Vietnam, even if other supporting facts say otherwise (Google Songbird McCain).

    Ms. Crowley, please get over Hillary's loss and be OBJECTIVE in your reporting.

    The only hit Obama has in my opinion is his pro-choice stance, which is mainly party based. McCain recently said that he would be open to a VP who is pro-choice. So this essentially makes them the same in this issue. All the other issues are clearly in Obama's favor so please see McCain for what he really is, an extension of Bush's current administration.

    America, please don't buy into whatever McCain's selling, or else Its Bush all over agian.

    August 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. bill m

    Yeah, McCain was on his game, his rehashed, canned and rehearsed game.

    Obama too the time to think about each question (maybe because thats the first time he heard the question unlike McBush) and acknowledged that there are always gray areas.

    Our world is not black and white and Obama knows that and his answers reflected that.

    August 17, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Gabriel

    Last night it was a fiasco for all to watch Mr. Obama babbling and doubting in every single answer. Never a straight answer came from him. His lack of experience was evident. He does not deserve to be elected. I think that his past on drugs has casued him a big damage on his brain, because Mr. McCain, has much more clarity and vision and offeres straight answers.

    I wish, we could have more of these forums to see who is really ready to lead.

    August 17, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Jeffer65

    Please do not lump all "Evangelicals" in with this church in California. I belong to an Evangelical synod and this church does not speak for me or represent all Christians. Nor will any church, union, celebrity, etc, tell me who to vote for. I make my own choices.

    Maybe we all should vote for 3rd party candidates and send a message to the Democrats and Republicans to remind they both stink.

    August 17, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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