Gary Bauer, who was on the front row last Saturday at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California when Obama and McCain were interviewed, concluded, “Senator John McCain outclassed and soundly defeated Senator Barack Obama.”
Bauer continues, “You can tell that the extent of the McCain victory was great, because the Obama campaign is acting like a ‘sore loser’ and claiming that Senator McCain ‘cheated,’ and because Big Media is pretending as though the event never happened.
“I can guarantee you that if Obama had won on the strength of his rhetorical skills, we’d be seeing clips of the forum over and over and over again. The media and its liberal allies just can’t imagine that the golden-tongued orator would be so thoroughly routed by Senator John McCain.”
For months, Obama has refused to appear with Senator McCain in town hall meetings or forums where both men are on the stage together.
Bauer observes, “The closest they have come was this weekend’s forum at Saddleback, and there we saw why Obama is so reluctant. Barack Obama, glib and smooth, was lacking on substance and is still no match for the experienced, decisive Senator McCain, who spent more years in a POW camp than Obama has spent in the U.S. Senate.
“I was able to witness the ‘duel. in person with a front row seat. The McCain campaign asked me to go to California with them, along with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Chip Pickering (R-MS), to work with the media covering the event.
“I wish each of you could have been there too! The event not only exposed Obama’s extreme leftwing views, but, more importantly, it demonstrated the depth of Senator McCain’s character and his commitment to our values.
Each man was “interviewed” alone on the stage for one hour by Pastor Rick Warren. They were asked the same questions, and, unlike the network debates, they were given as much time as they wanted to answer each question. In spite of concerns that Pastor Warren might avoid the tough issues or ask “soft ball” questions, the whole range of public policy issues was examined. Here are a few of the highlights:
Rick Warren asked at what point in his or her development does a baby gain “human rights.”
Bauer noted, “Obama drew a gasp from the audience when he stated that the question was so complicated that it was ‘above my pay grade’.”
Senator McCain, with no hesitation, said that human rights “begin at conception,” and he added, “I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies. That’s my commitment, that’s my commitment to you.”
To the question of marriage, Obama gave a textbook definition, “the union between a man and a woman.” He stated that “as a Christian, it’s a sacred union,” but when pressed if he would “support a constitutional amendment with [his] definition,” Obama replied, “No, I would not.”
Obama said, “I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage,” despite his published letters to the contrary.
After the forum, FRC President, Tony Perkins, gave some of his perspective as part of CNN’s pre- and post-panel discussion from Washington.
Perkins writes, “As I saw it, there were two winners—Sen. John McCain and Pastor Rick Warren. The “Straight Talk Express” was hitting on all cylinders as the Arizona Senator did not sputter or hesitate when he was asked defining questions about policy positions important to social conservatives.”
Asked what was the most “gut wrenching” decision of his life, Obama said it was his decision to oppose the war in Iraq.
Bauer adds, “Really? Given that the radical Left controls his party, how was that decision “gut wrenching”? Hillary Clinton demonstrated more courage by voting against the radical leftwing base of her party, and they punished her for it by denying her the Democrat nomination.
“Senator McCain, in contrast, told the story of how his North Vietnamese captors offered him early release from a POW camp because his father was a Navy admiral. McCain, who was in desperate physical shape at that time, refused to be released until other men, shot down and captured before him, were set free.”
That decision resulted in three more years of torture and imprisonment. McCain added, “But it was not only the toughest decision I ever made, but I’m most happy about that decision than any decision I’ve ever made in my life. It took a lot of prayer. It took a lot of prayer.”
When each candidate was asked which current members of the Supreme Court he would never have appointed, Senator Obama cited Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia – two men who have helped block the constant leftwing attack on faith in the public square and who recently ruled that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to self-defense, a decision Obama said he supported.
Bauer wisely adds, “But it is hard to get the right decisions with the wrong justices!’
Senator McCain named the four leftwing justices, including David Souter, and explained why they were unacceptable: “The nomination should be based on the criteria of a proven record of strictly adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America and not legislating from the bench.”
Bauer concludes, “My friends, this weekend was a tremendous victory for Senator McCain. Leftwing blogs moaned all weekend long that their man was handily defeated.
“If every household in America could watch this forum, Barack Obama’s presidential hopes would be finished.”
Perkins writes, “This forum was the closest look at the two candidates thus far, and the contrast was clear. “
He concludes, “As for Pastor Warren, who has been called the Billy Graham of this generation, he asked the right questions. Some have implied that Pastor Warren with his non-confrontational style is evidence that Evangelicals are moving to the Left.
“I would suggest he is evidence that Evangelicals are more involved and more committed than they were 25 or 30 years ago.
“If he is the new Billy Graham, and he certainly has similar favor with elected leaders of all political persuasions, there is a big contrast. Pastor Warren showed Saturday night that you can have a personal relationship with those in positions of power and still ask the hard questions.
Bauer concludes, “Here’s the bottom line: Up until now, many pro-family, pro-life conservatives were supporting Senator McCain only because they opposed Barack Obama. After Saddleback, any conservative can justify supporting Senator McCain because of who he is.
You can watch Bauer’s immediate “take away” from the event in his brief interview with CBN reporter David Brody.
If you missed the forum, you cane watch it online here.
The choice before us this November is stark. It is time to close ranks and rally to the McCain banner and defeat the radical Left!