By Michael F. Haverluck
Barack Obama won’t be asked to answer any questions above his pay grade this election year, as Rick Warren has revoked his invitation (as well as presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s invite) to Saddleback Church for the scheduled “civil forum.”
The event was supposed to be a face-off resembling the event between Barack Obama and John McCain in August 2008 hosted by the megachurch pastor.
Dashed to the ground with little to no notice, plans for a two-hour forum opening up 50-minute speaking segments for both presidential hopefuls are no more. Both candidates had already agreed to participate in the event, which was in the planning stage since March.
Coming just days before the much-anticipated clash at the 22,000-member Saddleback Church based in Lake Forest, Calif., Warren made it known that he’s not impressed with the negative campaigning this year.
“We created the civil forums to promote civility and personal respect between people with major differences,” Warren told the Orange County Register when interviewed Wednesday about his plans to cancel the presidential forum. “The forums are meant to be a place where people of goodwill can seriously disagree on significant issues without being disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name-calling. But that is not the climate of today’s campaign.”
The Saddleback Church pastor says he’s already seen enough a couple months out from the election and doesn’t think either candidate can turn it around
“I’ve never seen more irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out dishonest attack ads, and I don’t expect that tone to change before the election,” Warren said. “It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name-calling return the next day.”
From frivolous Democratic Party attacks venturing that Romney was responsible for the cancer death of a laid-off steelworker’s wife and guilty of evading a decade’s worth of taxes . . . to the Republican Party reports Obama has removed $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare, Warren believes that both campaigns have already shown their true colors.
The issues that concern Warren are obvious.
Earlier this month, the Obama super PAC, Priorities USA, unleashed a scathing attack ad where former steelworker, Joe Soptic, implied that his wife died of cancer as a direct and immediate result of Romney shutting down his plant and cutting his health insurance ─ as outlined by Pat Buchanan in his WND column, “The cost of winning ugly.”
Records showed that the former Massachusetts governor left the company (Bain Capital) that shut down the steel plant years prior, that the woman had health insurance through her own work and that her cancer wasn’t diagnosed until several years after her husband’s layoff ─ proving no connection on all counts.
The Obama administration claimed no knowledge of the timeframe of Soptic’s wife’s illness or death, yet a Fox News report this month divulged a conference call during which Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter listened to Soptic and thanked him for his account of his wife’s sickness.
No apology or denouncement of the false allegations was offered by the Obama camp ─ only silence. And even though super PACs are not supposed to work in collaboration with presidential campaigns, the conference call suggests otherwise.
Another seemingly indirect attack by the Democratic Party on Mitt Romney’s character took place through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who accused the Republican candidate of not paying taxes for 10 years. The Romney camp not only unequivocally denied such a charge, but it called Reid out to support his unsupported contentions, which Donald Lambro detailed in his WND column, “Reid’s sleazy charges.”
“Well, it’s time for Harry Reid to put up or shut up,” Romney said. “Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because that’s totally and completely wrong.”
The former Massachusetts governor says he has reason to believe that Reid was only doing Obama’s dirty work in the attempted character smear.
The Romney campaign’s attacks largely have focused on the economy under an Obama regime.
“There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare,” Romney said in an interview with 60 Minutes several days ago.
He also noted the job situation.
“This isn’t a statistic we are talking about,” the prospective GOP candidate said when referring to the 8.3 percent U.S. unemployment rate earlier this month in Colorado. “Twenty-three million Americans out of work. Twenty-three million! It’s a tragedy. It’s a moral failing.”
Romney surrogate and former George H. W. Bush chief of staff John Sununu also had a few words about Obama’s pot-smoking days, years abroad, and socialist, big-government leaning.
“He has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S., he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago,” Sununu told NBC last month. “I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”