Friday, August 15, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren plans to ask McCain and Obama about their personal lives

Saying that "character matters," Evangelical preacher Rick Warren says he will ask Barack Obama and John McCain about their personal lives when he hosts them at Saddleback, the mega-church he pastors in California tomorrow.

The Brody File has the video clip.

I’m going to ask them questions about character, competence, about values, vision, virtue, about their convictions in leadership, about their experience. And I’m going to deal with their personal life – because character matters. Their personal life does matter as a leader. God says so.
Are those questions that John McCain wants to answer? The self-proclaimed defender of traditional marriage has received a huge pass from the media on the affair that preceded his divorce from his first wife. Delving into the issue presents some risks for McCain. It depends on how the questions are framed.

If Warren brings up McCain's infidelity and divorce in such a way as to give him an opportunity to repent convincingly in public, it could strengthen his hand with "values voters." However, if Warren really does intend to explore each candidate's character, then McCain could be taking a risk by even showing up at this event. After all, he is an adulterer who abandoned his disabled wife in favor of his young, pretty, obscenely wealthy mistress whose family's money and connections gave McCain his start in politics. Men of noble character don't behave that way. Scoundrels behave that way.

And Warren, the best-selling author of The Purpose-Driven Life, had some harsh words about infidelity in an interview with ABC's Jake Tapper.

[WARREN]: John Edwards and others like him have lost the trust of America because they lied, and fundamentally beneath every affair it’s dishonesty, its deceit, its deception. They’re lying to God. They’re lying to themselves. They’re lying to their wives and they’re lying to the public. How do you trust someone who’s constantly lying? You can’t. That’s why it is a myth to say their personal life doesn’t matter. It does matter -- all of leadership is built on credibility.

TAPPER: Would you have compunctions about voting for someone who had cheated on his wife?

WARREN: Absolutely I would. Absolutely I would. Because if you can’t keep your faith to your most sacred vow – “’til death do us part” -- how in the world can I trust you to lead my family? My government? My nation?...Absolutely I would. I think people first need to ask forgiveness and then earn trust back over time Can trust be re-earned? Absolutely but it takes time.
I wouldn't be surprised if McCain catches a really bad cold tonight and manages to skip out on tomorrow's forum.

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