Video: Full video from the Rick Warren Civil Forum

Here is a collection of clips from Rick Warren’s Civil Faith Forum at his Saddleback Church in which both Obama and McCain participated. They both spent an hour separately with Warren answering an identical line of questions.

Here is the entire video of Barack Obama in 6 parts from YouTube:

Here is the entire video of John McCain in 5 parts from YouTube:

A report on it from Yahoo News:

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain differed sharply on abortion Saturday, with McCain saying a baby’s human rights begin “at conception,” while Obama restated his support for legalized abortion.

Appearing on the same stage for the first time in months, although they overlapped only briefly, the two men shared their views on a range of moral, foreign and domestic issues as they near their respective nominating conventions.

Obama said he would limit abortions in the late stages of pregnancy if there are exceptions for the mother’s health. He said he knew that people who consider themselves pro-life will find his stance “inadequate.”

He said the government should do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to help struggling new mothers, such as providing needed resources to the poor, and better adoption services.

McCain expressed his anti-abortion stand simply and quickly, saying human rights begin the instant a human egg is fertilized. McCain, who adopted a daughter from Bangladesh, also called for making adoption easier.

The men’s comments came at a two-hour forum on faith hosted by the minister Rick Warren at his megachurch in Orange County, Calif. Obama joined Warren for the first hour, and McCain for the second. The two candidates briefly shook hands and hugged each other during the switch. McCain said he did not see or hear Obama’s session, which would have given him an advantage.

Obama said America’s greatest moral failure is its insufficient help to the disadvantaged. He noted that the Bible quotes Jesus as saying “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” He said the maxim should apply to victims of poverty, sexism and racism.

McCain said the nation’s greatest moral shortcoming is its failure to “devote ourselves to causes greater than our self-interests.”

After the September 2001 terrorist attacks, McCain said, there should have been a national push for joining the Peace Corps and other volunteer organizations. His comment seemed an indirect criticism of President Bush, who had urged tax cuts and more shopping at the time to stimulate the economy.

So, what did you think? Which candidate faired better with regard to the upcoming debates?

  • mia

    I was very impressed with the forum, and with McCain. He seemed more confident and assured – in other words more presidential.

    He won my vote last nite.

  • Grey

    I think Obama will take the edge in debates.

    McCain obviously fared well in this past forum, but it was a gimme for him- all his viewpoints fell in line with the evangelists.

    Obama, although his beliefs in regards to these issues were not as congruous with evangelicals, was able to still hold his own and give good, thoughtful responses.

    If you take into account McCain’s demeanor and the blunt way he answered the questions, it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to reach out to individuals who differ on these issues.

  • DMQ

    Civil forum…is this the new buzz-word for debate? All this hype and interviews, and globe trotting, partially covered (if covered at all) “town hall meetings” and no debates.

    That stands to reason since both parties’ nominees have yet to have attended their respective conventions.

    Grey wrote: “I think Obama will take the edge in debates.” That’s up to what questions are asked, and in what sort of forum. Live audience debates where their approval or disapproval of either candidate is annoying to watch. When do we get to see the candidates debate (and here I mean the standard definition of “debate”, not a “forum”) I hope it is just them and a moderator and panel.

  • Dreadsen


    What you are proposing is a similar discipline when I am asked to look at very close boxing matches.

    I turn the sound off.

    The commentators sway your opinion and the Audience sometimes is cheering for their hero even when he isn’t doing anything. This cheering sways the opinions of the judges and the people who are watching on television.
    But sometimes the audience’s opinion can help. Like if someone says something that is a low blow and I myself may be rooting for my hero and cheering that he hit low below the belt. But the audience who may have been previous rooting for the same person show their disgust by booing.

    But right now the forums with an active Audience is what gets the ratings. Media chases ratings.

  • Dhd

    What a joke of an event. Obama, slipping around ineloquently on his points. He really seemed like a guy who had to weigh every word ridiculously carefully. The result was a mess.
    McCain, twisting unrelated policy points and doses of awfully, manipulative anecdotes. There was something very Gulag Archipelago about his cross in the dirt story. And now finally, we have some controversy about McCain not being in the “cone of silence”.

    Roll on the DMQ debate model please!

  • Frank

    Im still surprised that when it comes to being prolife abortion is the only criteria.
    What is prolife about starting wars, capitol punishment, gun ownership and not caring for the weakest off all americans (poverty, healthcare)?

    why has John McCain won your vote last night? Which doubts has he overcome?

  • Dreadsen


    You said it first about the cone of silence. McCain was NOT in the cone of silence. Warren says it right on the CNN interview here.

    Warren says they were going on the “honor system” that McCain wasn’t watching the interview on TV before he came in.

    But that’s not what we were told. We were told he was in a “Cone of silence” when he knew he wasn’t in there! lol!
    Could just imagine if it was the other way around!

  • Tom

    I’m not a McCain supporter but I am a conservative(if your up to date with politics you’ll understand, but honestly i was impressed with both candidates in this. They handled the,selves in a reasonable manner and stuck with the questions for the most part. We need more “candidate interviews” like this. I would love to see more citizen involvement in the process like this one was, both sides of the aisle could bring a lot to this style format. I think its great they did this and can’t wait to see more. We need to get to our candidates more and this brings a lot to it.


  • Frank

    I found some christians that care for poverty and the environment:

  • I just got to read the transcript of both this morning, and watched a portion of the clips. I think it was well done on Warren’s part, and touched on issues a “normal” debate probably wouldn’t have. I think McCain defintely came out the winner, judging by audience response on the issues.

    As to the cone of silence thing, I didn’t know about that, either, until this morning. What a hoot. This from Rev. Warren:

    “Cone of silence is a silly term I used from Maxwell Smart,” Warren said. “We had him a green room in a totally different building. Somebody said there was a monitor in that room, yeah, but it was disconnected at the source. If he’d tried to turn it on, all he’d have gotten was fuzz, because it wasn’t even connected. So the Secret Service picked him up, brought him straight to that room, put him in that building. Somebody is systematically calling up all the media and trying to create, I dont know, I guess they didn’t like the format or whatever. ”

    Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, is demanding a meeting with NBC News president Steve Capus to complain about Mitchell’s comments on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” The reporter gave voice to what she described as grumblings from the Obama camp that McCain secretly listened in on the Rev. Rick Warren’s questions to Obama, knowing that Warren planned to pose the same questions to McCain.

    “The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama,” Mitchell said. “He seemed so well-prepared.”

    That prompted Davis to fire off an angry letter to Capus on Sunday.

    “The level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain,” Davis fumed. “Mitchell did what has become a pattern for her of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points.”

    I also noted, as McCain predicted, Obama picked up and railed on McCain’s comment of $5 million being rich (which was joke clearly from the transcript, and McCain predicted it would be picked up as a talking point).

    All in all, it was a good forum. If I weren’t already supporting him, it would have won me over to, Mia.

    Actually, I found several of the questions to be “above his pay grade” (Obama).


    This whole silence thing against McCain is complete bullsh** by mostly liberals and the liberal media to try to make it seem as if their man Obama didnt win because McCain cheated. These are just the antics of sore losers who make false acqusations because they are in shock that Obama actually lost in a forum against McCain.

  • IndiMinded

    The New York Times reported that members of McCain’s own staff place him in his motorcade during Obama’s interview. That’s a pretty direct contradiction to what Warren seems to have said, and obviously if what McCain’s staff reported is true than I guess I don’t blame Obama for wanting to point that out. The screw up would obviously be the organizer’s though, not McCain’s.

    So O_S, who on McCain’s staff do you think is a big liberal or member of the liberal media? Just curious. Or do you think these sources are outright falsified?

    It’s alleged reports from McCains own staff that drive this story, so basically it would have to be one or the other.

  • No, it’s not, IndiMinded, read the Rev’s statement above. He defended his use of the term and stated that the secret service brought McCain in a motorcade to a building. It was Andrea Mitchell who pinned it on Obama’s camp for starting the rumors.

  • IndiMinded

    Then why does the NY Times cite McCain staff (plural I think, though that’s left a little vague) as their source? 😛

    I don’t really understand how this is being pinned on the Obama camp, he doesn’t seem to have any role in the articles I’ve seen, except to comment on the situation.

  • IndiMinded

    The larger point, of course, is that this isn’t the case of some rumors as you suggest, Babs. It can’t be. Someone has to be outright lying here, and it’s a big ol’ lie. There are a few people who could be telling them, and you just go ahead and accuse whoever you believe is guilty, but lets drop talk as if someone just started some rumors. That’s clearly not what happened.

  • Again, Indi, this is what Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet The Press”. If it’s a lie, she told it, not me.

    “The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama,” Mitchell said. “He seemed so well-prepared.”

  • IndiMinded

    He has sort of an odd response to the whole issue, saying that there’s no way McCain could have heard the questions ahead of time, but also admitting McCain came late to the forum, and being extremely vague as to how late it was and at what point he arrived. So that account is basically the same as what the NY times reported.

    It’s all just a distraction in my eyes, but I hope that next time they’re smarter about how things are conducted. That’s an amateur mistake, the sort that wouldn’t be tolerated even if it were at a college level instead of two contenders for the presidency. Warren should have expected this fuss.

  • Actually, Warren said in the second part of that interview that he was getting slammed before, and expected to get slammed afterward. It didn’t seem to bother him. I guess you did hear the part about Obama being the one that was given a question early and not McCain, right? I don’t think his response was odd at all. It seems to anger him that people were calling in for no reason and impuning the integrity of the Secret Service, him and his staff, and McCain. And it doesn’t change the outcome – all media sources are scoring it for McCain. And it just pissed Obama off and his people whined. Short and simple. Again.

  • I’m a few days late with replying but I thought it was an excellent forum with some real well thoughout questions. Despite me wanting Obama to win in November, I thought McCain did a superb job although he needs to quit the ‘my friends’ in every other sentence, that got very annoying.

  • Stalin

    “My Friends” This is a non-issue. Try to focus on what the candidates said instead of looking for conspiracy theories…

  • Amen, Stalin. Some people would complain if you shot them with a brand new bullet. 😉

  • IndiMinded

    What an odd expression babs… There are no conspiracy theories here, and I think we’re just talking past eachother at this point. I wasn’t ‘slamming’ Warren on any of the things he expected criticism for. The fact is I thought the forum was excellent! I really enjoyed the compassion forum in the primaries, and I have a feeling that when I look back on it, I’ll view this compassion forum as a more revealing appearance than any of the coming debates will be.

    I just think that any unbiased person can see that they were conducted in an unprofessional manner, in a way that allowed McCain a very easy means of cheating – something which is an awful thing to do to him. It’s the difference between asking him to keep his eyes closed and giving him a blindfold. And because they conducted the forum in this manner, whether or not he cheated, we are left to wonder if he did or did not. The manner in which the forum was held calls his honor into question, regardless of his actual actions, and that just does everyone a disservice.

    That’s not a conspiracy theory, that a “man, that’s disgustingly unprofessional” theory. But like I said, aside from that distraction, I thought the actual forum was wonderful.

  • IndiMinded, the expression is only odd if you’re a yankee. 😉 It’s an old one in the south, means there’s some people you can’t please no matter what.

    To question whether or not McCain would cheat over a silly set of questions he could answer blindfolded on any given day is insulting. Why would anyone need to cheat on questions like that? There were no bombshell heavy analogies required. To call “his honor” into question over such a thing is disgusting. How do you explain the questions he answered so well and quickly that Obama was not even asked? How did he cheat on that, huh? Obama took so long to NOT answer questions – with specificity *LOL* – that there was not enough time to ask him all the questions that Warren was able to ask McCain, remember?

    I thought the forum was wonderful as well. The questions were such as either candidate should have been able to immediately answer from their hearts. McCain did that, Obama, on the other hand, kept letting his brain get in the way.

  • IndiMinded

    You’re right Babs, McCain is a saint, not a politician aspiring to be president of a global superpower. My mistake, I don’t know what I was got into me…

  • IndiMinded

    Sorry for that sarcasm Babs, there’s simply not a bureaucrat in washington a trust half as much as you trust McCain. I just don’t trust politicians much, and I think it’s naive for anyone do so. I sincerely doubt that anyone has made a presidential bid in the last few decades without dancing with a few devils, that’s just the nature of the business.

  • IndiMinded, you make it sound as if I think McCain is a saint, and that’s just hogwash. My only point to you is on impuning McCain’s integrity on “cheating” on this forum. It was SO pointless. He said NOTHING new in that forum that I haven’t heard half a dozen times or more in town hall meetings or conference calls. They were really no brainers, and I or a thousand other of his volunteers or staff could have answered the questions with his same words before he did. He’s says what he believes on these subjects all the time. It’s only new and news to people that haven’t bothered to listen to him before.

    McCain has danced with his share of devils surely, you don’t get to be his age – or mine – or yours – without doing so. 😉

    No harm, no foul. BFF

  • Dreadsen

    What i want to know is if it was so easy for him to answer the questions then why couldn’t he just go in the cone of silence in the first place?

    I’m sure all of you in college have been nervous before a test only to find out after you took the test that you knew all the answers already.

    But it would have been nice to know that in advance.

  • Dreadsen, the “cone of silence” was a joke. Didn’t you read that? It was just a green room, and McCain was escorted there on his arrival.

  • John Q Public

    Isn’t it interesting how we get so far off talking about the potential president of the United States? Isn’t it interesting how we all seem to have been “trained” by the media to get wrapped up in the minutiae?

    Does it really matter if one heard the questions before THIS interview? How many other questions have they asked and answered? Didn’t we already know (pretty much) how they were going to answer these questions anyway?

    Has choosing a president really been reduced to this???

  • phyllis

    what was mccain’s answer to. what do he want in a vice president.what is the vice president’s job

  • Mike

    What is important to this country can only be decided by our God. What can any politian do for me that I cannot do thourgh my God. No one dictates my life other than him.

  • Marcus

    God dictates your life? Interesting. I thought he gave us free will.

  • I agree with DMQ. This was not a debate. This is not the place to hear about the candidates religious convictions, grandma or even a captor who draws a cross in the dirt.
    As a voter I’m trying to choose a representative of my countries best interest. I need a specific side-by-side in depth comparison of where these gentlemen stand on the issues, how they go about making decisions. Also, I want to see them really have to think and sweat to see how they stand up when the heat is really on.
    This forum did none of those things. It was a far cry from being a debate.

    Just my 2cents worth…