2012 Election | Barack Obama | Mitt Romney | News | Religion | Rick Warren

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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 24, 2012 9:26:59 AM

  2. 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!

    Posted by: Gus | Aug 24, 2012 9:28:25 AM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 24, 2012 9:32:39 AM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: DF | Aug 24, 2012 9:41:43 AM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Aug 24, 2012 9:45:08 AM

  6. Religious institutions should not have play any role in the political process.

    Posted by: Ted | Aug 24, 2012 9:48:24 AM

  7. Actually, no one wants to be associated with a GRIFTER!

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 24, 2012 9:58:34 AM

  8. the phobes are losing power

    Posted by: t | Aug 24, 2012 10:13:56 AM

  9. 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"

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 24, 2012 10:23:46 AM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Aug 24, 2012 10:41:50 AM

  11. Rick Warren should be in jail. Seriously.

    Posted by: Ark | Aug 24, 2012 10:43:48 AM

  12. Rick Warren is the Guy Fieri of the Evangelical movement.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Aug 24, 2012 11:01:06 AM

  13. This man is bloated with christian love!!!

    Posted by: Johnny | Aug 24, 2012 11:06:49 AM

  14. 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!

    Posted by: cbhermey | Aug 24, 2012 11:19:16 AM

  15. 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?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 24, 2012 12:14:21 PM

  16. Well Mr. President, what say ye NOW?

    I hate to say "we told you so" but, well,...

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 24, 2012 12:16:53 PM

  17. It's a sin to tell a lie, Rick.

    Posted by: Walt | Aug 24, 2012 12:23:30 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: Ken | Aug 24, 2012 12:40:03 PM

  19. Isn't Rick Warren implicated in the Ugandan "Kill the Gays" Bill.

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 24, 2012 12:51:59 PM

  20. @Artie: No argument here. I was being a bit sarcastic, but obviously it came off wrong.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 24, 2012 1:26:35 PM

  21. What has he done for them lately?

    Posted by: anon | Aug 24, 2012 1:49:22 PM

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

    Posted by: TomTallis | Aug 24, 2012 5:16:19 PM

  23. 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.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Aug 25, 2012 4:08:08 AM

  24. as usual the "christian" preacher is a liar.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Aug 25, 2012 9:52:10 AM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: M McL | Aug 25, 2012 5:24:49 PM

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