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. Tina

    McCain connected. I made up my mind about voting.

    August 16, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Daniel from FL

    I think McCain took this opportunity to energize the Christian right. The only thing they were looking to hear was the abortion question. I am a Christian myself, and what's funny is, Obama actually gave a better answer to the question about faith in Christ. McCain mostly talked about being a POW, fighting terror, wars, etc. I think the pundits are scoring for McCain because he was more in tune with THIS audience. They were Evangelicals, for God's sake!

    Obama 2008!

    August 16, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  3. barbara miller

    The CNN reporters will realize that their kudos for McCain came in WAY too early – just as we see David Gergen backing off later in the hour.

    The Question was What do you believe to be your greatest moral failure.

    It was NOT What do you believe to be your greatest moral failure and
    then – Please tell us AMERICA's greatest moral failure!

    STUMP MC CAIN. Obama did not fall back on his stump speech, but gave thoughtful, insightful questions. I've heard all McCain's "great war adventures" and I'm sick of them.

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. Michael Boren

    Ditto to Lou R's comments....Warren seemed tired and unable to stick to his own questions in this go-round, letting McCain take over and answer with his prepared "stories".

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. Wendy

    I think the forum showed a difference in personal dicipline. Obama followed the format while McCain wanted to take it over.

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. ice mike

    What a crock, Candy. McCain never answered any questions; he just hit his talking points from his stump speech. You're supposed to be a journalist, so I'm sure you've heard it before, right?

    I'm starting to think they'll let ANYBODY be a reporter at CNN

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. dennis from chicago

    i watched i you see why BARRACK does NOT WANT to DEBATE MC CAIN........NO speech JUST PLAAIN HONESTY......REAL CHANGE deserves real honesty...

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  8. Anita J

    My, my! When the Democrat's candidate gives a poor performance then his supporters get nasty! Shame! Shame!

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. Fella from Chicago

    Obama whiners, forget about the right wing audience. Every post Forum interview by the journalists gave Mccain the Forum, hands-down. Even David Gergen. Without Obama's teleprompter all we got from him was a bunch of ah..ah...ah... followed by empty rheotic. Winner... McCain. Wait until the debates begin. McCain will show Obama what he truly idiot.

    August 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. Digil

    McCain named he would not have elected the very judges he voted for. Is anyone concerned that he may say the right thing but he does not mean it.

    Are we just emotional based? Have we not learned anything from the last election.

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. SAD

    I am really sad that religion is allowed to be one of the litmus tests fr the Presidency of our great nation. I think someones faith should be between themselves and god and should play no role in governing the many.

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. lou C

    I am conservative christian but I prefer Obama's response to Mc Cain. McCain deals evil like Bush. Do I want another US president like that? NOPE!!!!

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. Angel

    We all need to give the Media an Award, the spinning they did on us into believing the Pastor Rick Warren was a fair and balanced man. Put me in the same boat as Senator Obama, I actually believed it.

    There were fairer and balanced questions on the CNN Reglion Form that John McCain was too afraid to show up to.

    August 16, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. cal

    what are you kidding me? mccain was reading his stump speech all night, to a pro-republican audience.

    the only way mccain could have messed things up is if he fell off the stage.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. danno

    Obama was very carefull with his answers and McCain always gave the straight answer.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. Dee

    McCain has the depth and knowledge that is PROFOUNDLY lacking in Obama.....he just doesn't have the experience yet .... P.S. Both candidates knew the areas that would be discussed ... duh !

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. tomtom

    McCain doesn't fight fair. He got all the questions in advance. No one could be that well prepared to be president. McCain sucks. Pro-lifers suck. All you phoney religious people are phoney people. CNN=Christian News Network. I believe in OBAMA man!!! I'm so depressed about November. (All in good fun libs.)

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. P

    I watched both "interviews" and for some reason, I was left feeling McCain already knew the questions. His hasty answers gave the appearance of being "rehearsed". Although Rick W prefaced many of his questions to Senator Obama by saying "no stump speech please", McCain was allowed to go on and on with the same political rhetoric he gives day in and day out on the stump.
    The upside: McCain showed what an egocentric war obsessed man he is.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  19. Gaby

    Obama rises to the occasion of the debate between him and McCain.
    Tony Perkins???????????????????????????????????? leaves a lot to be desired in his opiniions.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. Greg FL.

    Robert I absolutely agree with you. I had a feeling he had the questions ahead of time. And the forum absolutely changed when he sat down. He didn't really answer the questions. He just threw out his campaign stump speeches.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. KENT in NC

    David Gergan and Roland Martin were both on the money about what Obama needs to do to pick it up if he is going to be more powerful in future debates.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Kate/MA

    I thought the program was okay.
    Senator Obama gave much better and more honest answers. .
    Senator McCain answers were well orchestrated and sounded like what "canned laughter" does.

    August 16, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. JK

    This was a forum on FAITH NOT POLITICS, but Senator McCain made it one on politics. Meg Whitman as a HERO???

    Senator McCain showed what 26 years in Washington will do to you. Senator Obama did not.

    August 16, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. Patty

    Finally, a format that was actually watchable without the kindergarten antics. Both candidates came across in an appealing manner. McCain came across as "seasoned" whereas Obama, while likeable and pleasant, woefully inexperienced for the highest office in the land, and quite possibly the world.

    August 16, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Graham

    It seems to me that McCain's entire message was "look at me I was a POW". While I appreciate his service to our country, this in and of itself does not make him qualified for president. It seemed almost every answer included war, or POW stories. He was clearly campaigning and not answering honestly. Why did he not expound on the question of moral failure? We all know the answer to that. I prefer a president who thinks, gathers information from wise, intelligent counsel before acting. This kind of "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality got us in the mess we are in right now in Iraq.

    August 16, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
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