Yesterday, Dr. Rick Warren, founding pastor of 22,000-member Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA, announced that Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will be making a joint appearance at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion on Saturday, August 16. A two-hour (5-7 PM) forum with the two presidential candidates will be held in a non-debate format and will be open to the media. Per the request of both candidates, all questions will be posed by Pastor Warren, and each candidate will receive approximately one hour of direct, uninterrupted interaction with Warren before the audience. The announcement reads (in part):"We're honored that the candidates chose The Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion for their first joint appearance, an unprecedented opportunity for America to hear both men back-to-back on the same platform," Warren said. "This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart -- without interruption -- in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan 'gotcha' questions that typically produce heat instead of light.
"The primaries proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues. While I know both men as friends and they recognize I will be frank, but fair, they also know I will be raising questions in these four areas beyond what political reporters typically ask. This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights."
"While debates typically focus primarily on the candidates' positions and only secondarily on how they'd lead and make decisions, this Saddleback Civil Forum will reverse that ratio," Warren continued. "Since the oath of the President is a commitment to protect the Constitution, it's critical to know how each candidate interprets the nature of its principles. Leadership involves far more than promoting programs and making speeches, and since no one can predict what crises will happen over the next four years, it is vital to know the decision capacity and process of each man."
Monday, July 21, 2008
Obama, McCain: Joint Appearance at Saddleback Church