Rick Warren Cancels Presidential Forum Because No One Wanted To Go

RickWarrenInfluential Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren claims he canceled a proposed presidential forum that would feature both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney because it would be "hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name-calling return the next day."

"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," Warren told the Orange County Register. "But that is not the climate of today's campaign. 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."

According to both Democratic and Republican sources, however, no one wanted to go to Warren's forum because they don't think he's important enough and that's why he really called the whole thing off.

From CNN:

Sources close to President Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's political campaigns challenged that explanation, saying the event was canceled because of a lack of interest from the respective campaigns.

"As I understand it, Pastor Warren received tepid responses from both camps well before the supposed 'cancellation,'" said a senior Democratic strategist in contact with the Obama campaign.

"It appears that the event was canceled because neither the Romney nor Obama campaigns thought it was in their interest to do," the strategist continued, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate political matter.

A source close to the Romney campaign said that the former Massachusetts governor hadn't planned on attending Warren's event: “We were never going, ever. We offered to do a video.”

You'll recall that Warren was a larger-than-life figure during the 2008 election, and he delivered the Invocation Prayer at President Obama's inauguration. But that was then and this is now and it now seems as if Warren's influence has completely waned.


  1. Paul R says

    There’s also the tiny fact that private figures typically don’t sponsor presidential forums or debates, and if they try to do so, they come across as self-aggrandizing jerks.

    Warren would have tried to manipulate the entire event. Both candidates were wise to turn him down, given that he’s an equal opportunity opportunist for whoever is willing to give him attention and money.

  2. Gus says

    Gee, the Black guy and the Mormon guy did not want to go to a Teavangelical church in the middle of Honky County. I’m shocked!

  3. Jack M says

    Not only is Pastor Rick not wanted, but he’d be too cowardly to spend time on the hot seat trying to defend his own special brand of ignorance. The Purpose Driven Life? What a joke.

  4. DF says

    Didn’t Donald Trump try and fail to do the same thing. Rick Warren and Donald Trump would not do it for civil discourse. They would do it to keep their faces relevant in the public eye. I say, go away before someone drops a house on you.

  5. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    His 15 minutes of fame were over in 2009.

    @ Paul R: A private citizen offering to “sponsor” a presidential debate sounds downright bizarre. I can’t remember ever hearing of that.

  6. Steve says

    Of course the correct answer to not attend would be:
    “We have a separation of church and state and it would be illegal and highly inappropriate to hold a political debate with a prominent religious figure”

  7. Ben in Oakland says

    Rock, if our haven’t been seeing those kinds of attacks, mean spirits, and slander, perhaps you’ve never been a gay person on the receiving end of Christian love.

  8. cbhermey says

    Of course pastor Rick, whose megachurch is built in a gravel pit, is important! Just ask him and the sheep who follow him! Why the nerve!

  9. jamal49 says

    Dear Rick:

    You’re fifteen minutes expired a long time ago. Your bus pulled out of the station without you.

    Now, please! Sit down and shut up, OK?

  10. Ken says

    No surprise neither candidate wants to go. Romney doesn’t want to talk about social issues because every time he does his poll numbers go down. Obama has finally figured out Warren is a right wing a-hole.

  11. TomTallis says

    Rick “The Purpose Driven Lie” Warren should go back to the ugly warehouse he calls a church and just STFU.

  12. SoLeftImRight says

    I blame Obama for elevating Prick Warren beyond his 15 minutes, but at least it looks like he’s finally being given his due.

    Nice that Warren noticed the “irresponsible personal attacks [birthers], mean-spirited slander [Kenyan socialism!], and flat-out dishonest attack ads [everything out of Romney’s/ Ryan’s mouths].” Obama is finally playing hardball, and both campaigns, as one would expect, are playing fast and loose with the facts, but flat-out dishonesty is a Romney and Ryan specialty.

  13. M McL says

    Again, a religious writer avoids the topic of Mormons being inclusive of Islam and instructed not to ‘take sides’ in the Israeli/non-Israeli conflict. But Mitt’s advocating for a Jewish state? Backing a bombing of Iran on behalf of a Jewish state? Hold Mitt accountable for something for Pete’s sake. But its all, ‘basic faith’ and the (domestic) human struggle and avoiding the Cat bulldozers invading homesteads when expanding CBS’ Jewish Ulster. Too bad because the topic needs ink considering FOX NEWS has stamped Mitt, good-as-Evangelical. It makes Salt Lake look like errand boys for Tel Aviv. Warren could have grabbed the bull by the horns.