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Did McCain Cheat at Saddleback? It's Quite Possible

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.


Ron says:

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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Comments (22)

Willie O. Cooper:

Did John McCain Cheat?
Let's not ask his campaign staff.
Ask Carol McCain.
Or better yet, ask McCain to elaborate on his "greatest moral failure".


where's your proof? otherwise this is just a lame attempt at a slime job and an attempt to distract people from how poorly Obama actually did.

oh, and did you know that the guy running the thing spoke to both candidates earlier in the week and gove them both, or their campaigns, the gist of the first 2 questions they were going to get?

besides, given the nature of the forum, it's not like either of the two campaigns couldn't have gamed what the questions were going to be anyways. there weren't any surprises.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

(post updated)

The fact that we were told McCain was safely sequestered away when in fact he wasn't - shows there are lies and cover-ups underway.

That's already been proven - that McCain wasn't where we were told he was - now we just have to figure out why we were lied to...

don henderson:

If McCain wasn't aware of the questions to come up, how did he know there was going to be a question related to abortion that would be asked about the supreme court? Why did he say, Can we get back to the supreme court? If he didn't know there was going to be that question?


I would never guess that there might be questions relating to judicial appointments or abortion at a forum sponsored by a religious group should I be a candidate for political office. Nope, Never.

(Holy smokes, you folks been smoking too much of that stuff. You cannot possibly be THAT stupid.) Put down the bong and step away from it slowly.


Is there no limit to which liberals will go to protect their messiah, Obama? If either of them had an edge it was Obama. McCain got there late and wasn't prepared for one of the questions that Obama was. Check Rush Limbaugh's site for the details on that. All Andrea Mitchell had to do on Meet the Press recently was put the shadow of doubt in all the desperate liberal minds out there that somehow there MUST be an explanation as to why McCain just flat out was more impressive so they pull the cheating card out of thin air. Face it, Obama is not presidential material. I wish Liberals would educate themselves on their own history by reading "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg. Sad that they are such sheep, not interested in the truth.

Robby L:

There are none so blind as those who will not see. McCain answers a question not asked him yet and still his sheep follow him and make excuses for his disgraceful behavior!
It is obvious to all who wish to know the truth that McCain cheated, that he lied about it makes him a both a liar and a cheat. To top it off he has a supposed "Reverend" lying for him as well, proving the debate was a farce and Rick Warren is a charlitan who shills for neocon political hacks like McCain.
To boot McCain whines and calls himself a war hero as if that excuses him.
Is there anything the Republicans won't say or do to hang on to power?
Is there anything lower than a republican?


Hmmm let me see, lower than a Republican... methinks it would be best summed up by this statement: Liberals regurgitating weasel worded public statements which are sewn permanently into paranoid, uneducated minds through the equally liberal media and subsequently fertilized by the fascist ideology of their political pundits... those who promote the destruction of individuality for the sake of their socialistic God... BIG GOVERNMENT.


I thought the Saddleback debate was a wonderful way to gauge the two candidates and compare them to one another. I also think that Rick Warren did a great job, with balanced and probing questions ... questions which any legitimate candidate for President of the United States should have already wrestled with on his own, way before arriving at this debate. Therefore, why did Obama respond to the questions as if it was the first time he has ever considered these points. John McCain's immediate and decisive answers show that he had already given a great deal of thought to real concerns, as posed in these questions ... where as Obama had to take the time to stutter and deliberate over the same questions asked of McCain. This was very revealing, and so were the Obama camp's accusations of cheating, after Obama lost the debate ... just another indication that Obama is a sore loser who is not qualified to lead this country ... and, McCain is.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm still not satisfied with Pastor Rick's explanation that he lied (mispoke) stating McCain was in the cone of silence when in fact the was not even in the building.

Warren would have known McCain wasn't in the building at the time.


Lee this is exactly the type of hype that Liberalmania is all about. There was no ACTUAL CONE OF SILENCE. What, you think they put some kind of soundproof Conehead tube over the person (like the skits on Saturday Nite Live)? It was just an agreement/comittment they made that they would not listen in on the interview and no facts support the accusations that McCain was somehow listening in. Yes, they had a room, but McCain was with the SS and arrived late. Why is Barak's lack of substance in that interview so hard to accept? Next they'll say that McCain somehow mastered the art of mental telepathy. Liberals - sheesh!!!

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Don't be an idiot, TTG (oops, too late) - What Pastor rick referred to as a cone of silence was the green room where the TV monitor had supposedly been disconnected two day earlier.

Like nobody knows how to connect a tv to the cable feed, right?

McCain was half hour late - Of course his advance people were back stage listening to the Obama portion, and of course they could have coached McCain on what had transpired.

The fact that McCain was with the Secret Service means what? Has any secret service folk testified under oath as to what happened?



Ok ok Lee, I guess I'm not going to stop your big bad boogyman McCain cone of silence nightmares. Take a Prozac and say a nice prayer to Obama to help you try to move past this ok? Perhaps you could try some bipartisan therapy by reading ObamaNation.

Lee Ward:

In the post I said "it's possible" - and you haven't proven it isn't possible - just a lot of name calling and mud slinging.

It's possible - I haven't heard anything to make me believe otherwise.


Lee, it's possible you are drug addicted child abuser. Now prove it isn't true? And let me tell you this, just saying you're not will not suffice. Nothing you can say will make me believe otherwise.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Show me where McCain says he wasn't coached.

All I've heard him say is that he didn't listen in the car.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

and the bottom line on all of this -- what started the whole kerfluffle -- is that Pastor Rick lied.

He lied.


And we don't know who told McCain what.

But we know we were lied to about McCain being sequestered away - total bullshit.


As someone who manages TV feeds for my work, we disconnect the TV feeds the same way we do phones and LAN connections, which is by a control room. I doubt the McCain camp would be able to reconnect the TV feed, phone, or network if the room was supposed to be a "cone of silence"

The thing is, if McCain wanted to cheat he could have done so in the "Code of Silence" green room or not. A Blackberry or iPhone plus a small TV like people wear at football games would do the trick.

Not sure why it was necessary though, they pretty much new all of the topics, if not all the actual questions in advance.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

good point. And I suspect someone from Warren's group was with McCain in the green room.

But there was a good half hour where Obama was on stage that McCain w s out of the building, and a simple cell phone call is all it would have taken to alert McCain's folks as to what was being asked.

McCain staffer A calls McCain staffer B and says "remind John to mention that blah blah blah" and the deed is done.

None of this would have been at issue if Warren hadn't lied, I suspect. Having McCain in a "cone of silence" was the right answer, and we were told that would happen - an we only found a day alter that it hadn't happened. Smelly... very smelly... Pastor Rck Warren allowed McCain the opportunity to cheat, then lied to the American public and told us he was sequestered away.

Where there is smoke, there's fire, and when McCain was given the opportunity to cheat and we were lied to about it, there's reason to be suspicious.

So Bunker, how are TV feeds disconnected in your control room?

Ray H.:

Even if McCain cheated, which hasn't been proved, it still doesn't excuse a horrible showing by Obama. How can you not have an opinion on abortion? And to top if off, he gave a lame excuse saying it's above his pay grade. If he becomes president, he'll have a lot of power over this very decision and to say it's above him just boggles my mind even though, mostly likely (i don't know for sure because he gave a flaky answer) I share his pro choice stance. But it doesn't appear he has the mental fortitude to make tough decisions.

I honestly don't like either candidate as they are both majorly flawed, but to ignore issues that your own candidate has by smearing the other candidate is short sighted.


We pull the plug or shut off the box. All Cat6 patch cables (Cable/phone/LAN). This lets us put whatever we want into any room.

If I was keeping someone sequestered I would either pull the plug or limit what channels he could watch.

I would also wager most debaters or people about to go onstage and perform would rather focus on what they are going to do, not watch Obama's performance.

McCain already had the list of topics. What does he need to watch Obama for?

The problem with this whole "cheating" mess is that it is making Obama look bad, not McCain. People now think Obama lost and he is a sore loser.


It was McCain's answer to the question on education and what to do with crummy teachers towards the end that convinced me he knew the 3 part question in detail. Watch the vid. He didn't even hear the three parts to the question before he answered something like YES, YES and fire the bad teachers! Wha?!! I actually heard McCain's interview first on C-SPAN before I knew about this controversy and I didn't understand the answer at all since I hadn't ever heard the question. Only after I watched Obama's did I get McCain's wierd answer. I'd just assumed they both ahd questions in advance and McCain was being a bit impatient. His answer only makes sense if he knew *this* question ahead of time.

I thought they both did pretty good and thought Warren asked some great questions. But now I'm not so sure about McCain. Something stinks.


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