Many observers have been discussing the uncharacteristically quick responses McCain gave during his Q & A with Rick Warren during the Saddleback FOF last night. Not only were McCain's answers quick, but on a few occasions, he even went on and answered the next scripted question BEFORE Warren had a chance to ask it.
You be the judge.
The questions to Obama went like this...
Warren: OKAY LET’S GO TO EDUCATION. AMERICA RIGHT NOW 23 RANKS 19TH IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. WE’RE FIRST IN INCARCERATIONS.
Obama: NOT GOOD.
Warren: NOT GOOD. 80 PERCENT OF AMERICANS IN A RECENT POLL SAID THEY BELIEVE IN MERIT PAY FOR TEACHERS.
And then he asked the following three questions or leads.
1. I’M NOT ASKING DO YOU THINK ALL TEACHERS SHOULD GET A RAISE.
2. DO YOU THINK BETTER TEACHERS SHOULD BE PAID BETTER?
3. THEY SHOULD BE MAKING MORE THAN POOR TEACHERS?
Obama answered each of them. Then McCain went an hour or so later.
Warren: ALL RIGHT. LET’S TALK ABOUT EDUCATION. AMERICA 18 RANKS 19TH IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS, BUT WE’RE FIRST IN 19 INCARCERATION. EVERYBODY SAYS THEY WANT MORE ACCOUNTABILITY IN SCHOOLS?
Warren: ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF AMERICA SAYS THEY SUPPORT MERIT PAY FOR THE BEST TEACHERS. NOW, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STUMP SPEECH ON EDUCATION?
McCain: YES. YES. AND FIND BAD TEACHERS ANOTHER LINE OF WORK.
Warren: YOU KNOW –
McCain: CAN I –
Warren: YOU ARE ANSWERING SO QUICKLY.
McCain: CAN I –
Warren: YOU WANT TO PLAY A GAME OF POKER?
You can also watch a video for more proof that he knew what was going on BEFORE being asked.
And each of those "CAN I"'s were attempts to go into his stump. So how did McCain know what the questions were going to be if he was in a "cone of silence"? Because he wasn't and to no surprise at all, he cheated.
Pastor Warren was just on CNN. In an interview with Rick Sanchez the pastor admitted McCain was not even at the Church for the first half hour of the event. This admission comes as a surprise to those of us who watched the event and were told many times that McCain was at the Church and in isolation. CNN says they talked to McCain's camp and they said "no one in his camp was listening". The honor system, are you kidding me?
I think it is pretty clear at this point McCain did indeed know the questions in advance.
According to MSNBC, Obama was aware that this was going on and planned to use this against McCain.
MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that -- what they're 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.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. MITCHELL: He seemed so well prepared.
John McCain can't do well on his own -- that being "so well prepared" means that he heard Obama's answers and then immediately formulated revised responses to what he originally had planned! And Andrea Mitchell barely hesitated to toss that out there, with guest host David Gregory merely offering a rather semi-innocuous "Right" in response.
I wonder what the Obama campaign's reaction (and Andrea Mitchell's for that matter) would have been had the situation been reversed -- if the McCain campaign implied that Obama had "seemed so well prepared" and therefore Obama probably heard McCain's answers to Warren.
My biggest concern is not that McCain came across looking sharp. The debates will put that to rest when he tries to stump, rather than debate. My concern is that if these scumbags are reportedly so brazen enough to cheat in a CHURCH setting, then we better be keeping a close eye on Election day.
Nothing new coming from the GOP these days.
My question: Warren will be in Larry King tonight. Will this be brought up? Will Warren hand this to McCain AGAIN? I hope King rails into him.