Presidential Candidates McCain, Obama To Attend Forum at Saddleback Church
Presumptive presidential nominees Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) have agreed to attend a forum at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the candidates will appear together for the first time since presidential campaign efforts began. The Rev. Rick Warren, who called the candidates personally to invite them to the forum, said that the event will focus on how they make decisions and on some of Warren's main focus areas, such as HIV/AIDS, poverty and the environment (Rutenberg, New York Times, 7/21).
Warren said that at the request of McCain and Obama, the forum will be held in a nondebate format and open to all media, although only Warren will ask questions. The candidates will appear briefly together before each one takes questions from Warren for an hour, according to the AP/Contra Costa Times. "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 ... four areas beyond what political reporters typically ask," Warren said, adding, "This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights" (AP/Contra Costa Times, 7/21). According to Warren, he will develop his questions with feedback from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders associated with the group (New York Times, 7/21).