Note that in the furor over McCain's absence from the supposed "cone of silence" at the Saddleback forum last Saturday night, the McCain campaign is repeatedly stating that McCain did not hear any of the proceedings.
Why he wasn't in the silence room when the audience was told that he was in the silence room is a different question, but McCain and company are on their rear legs bellowing repeatedly that McCain did not hear the broadcast during Obama's segment.
But they aren't saying that he wasn't coached by someone who did hear the questions being asked Obama, are they...?
Not that I've seen so far anyway... Politicians parse their words carefully, and what's being repeated is this...
Warren told CNN Sunday evening, "we flat out asked him" if he heard any of the questions. The McCain campaign "confirmed that McCain did not hear or see any of the broadcast" in the motorcade or after he arrived.
He still could have been fed the questions from someone who was watching and listening...
Update: From the LA Times political bloggers - More gum flapping over the question:
God-O-Meter Editor Dan Gilgoff asked Warren (who is much in demand after his turn as candidate inquisitor) about assertions by Obama backers that McCain got the heads-up, meaning he wouldn't have to think as fast on his feet as his rival.
"They're dead wrong. That's just sour grapes..." Warren responds.
Gilgoff presses the matter, saying: "A source at the debate tells me that McCain had access to some communications devices in the few minutes before he went on stage with you and that there was a monitor in his green room, in violation of the debate rules."
Responds Warren: "That's absolutely a lie, absolutely a lie. That room was totally free, with no monitors -- a flat out lie."
Warren's answer, of course, doesn't cover the possibility that McCain got wind, while in his motorcade, of what Obama was being asked. But his campaign sought today to scotch such speculation.
The Times' Maeve Reston reports that Brooke Buchanan, a McCain aide who was in the entourage, says the candidate was not privy to the interview during that period and did not receive any e-mails about it.
Rick Davis, McCain's increasingly feisty campaign manager, had already moved to put NBC on the defensive after journalist Andrea Mitchell, during Sunday's "Meet the Press" show, mentioned that some "Obama people" were insinuating that McCain had somehow gotten advance notice of specific questions Warren would be posing.
As Mike Allen of Politico.com reported Sunday night, Davis fired off a letter to Rick Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, objecting to Mitchell broaching the issue and portraying it as an indication that the network was "abandoning nonpartisan coverage of the presidential race." Davis asked for a meeting with Capus "to discuss our deep concerns about the news standards and level of objectivity at NBC."
And from the same blog post comment thread, Jon offers:
It's pretty clear McCain knew what was coming. At one point, he says, " Are we going to get back to the importance of Supreme Court justices?" (That's directly from the transcript at Rick Warren's website). Funny thing is, he was NOT asked about Supreme Court justices or any other kind of justices, nor did he mention them earlier. That was a question asked of Obama.
It's not the deed ... it's the cover up.... Why is the McCain camp all riled up ? He cheated. Why wasn't his answer " You know Rick... I have to be honest.. I got here late and didn't make it to the CONE OF SILENCE when I needed to be, but I didn't hear anything.
and on the subject of McCain's over-the-top faux outrage (another sign they are lying) Cal offers:
Methinks the McCain loud protests just a little to loud. Warren stood right up there and claimed that McCain was in "a cone of silence" knowing darn well that he was not even in the building. That is plenty of reason to doubt that McCain didn't play by the rules. He probably did not cheat but it is not unreasonable to ask those questions, especially when you see Warren being defensive instead of apologetic.
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