THE BLOG

Leaks in McCain's Cone of Silence?

09/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I must admit that listening to McCain answer Pastor Rick Warren's questions so quickly and glibly Saturday night at the Saddleback Faith Forum made me wonder if he somehow knew them in advance. He was so confident, so concise. But I put the thought aside as unduly paranoid -- that is until Sunday afternoon. I was routinely checking my favorite election website fivethirtyeight.com and the webmaster, Nate Silver, referred to a piece in Daily Kos about the whereabouts of John McCain for the first thirty minutes of Senator Obama's interview with Rick Warren. Was he in a cone of silence? Apparently not.

Daily Kos blogger Furiousxxgeorge wrote at 3:27 pm Pacific time the following blog:

Pastor Warren, the host of last night's forum was just on CNN. In an interview with Rick Sanchez the pastor admitted McCain was not even at the Church for the first half hour of the event. This admission comes as a surprise to those of us who watched the event and were told many times that McCain was at the Church and in isolation.CNN says they talked to McCain's camp and they said no one in his camp was listening. The honor system, are you kidding me?I think it is pretty clear at this point McCain did indeed know the questions in advance.

Is this a big deal or not? It seems like someone ought to ask both McCain and Warren what really happened. The "truthiness" of this Forum is at stake. Warren will be on CNN Monday night, August 18 at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific. Tune in and comment!

Update 1: Pastor Warren states that McCain told him he did not "hear" the questions. He was in a motorcade from his hotel to the church, arriving about 30 minutes into the Obama interview hour. McCain did not say whether anyone else on his staff "heard" the questions, however. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/17/warren-mccain-did-not-violate-cone-of-silence/

Update 2: Warren has now given 2 or 3 different versions of which questions he told the candidates about prior to the event. First he said he told them about the orphan question and the abortion question. Then he said he told them about the "wise advisers" question and the "moral failure" question. That's four questions so far. Are there more?