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Warren, Obama and McCain: The format

August 15, 2008 |  4:50 pm

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), left, and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), right, join Pastor Rick Warren at the 2006 Global Summit on AIDS and the Church at Saddleback Church.

The McCain/Obama chat Saturday at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest is turning out to be a major national affair. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC plan to cover it live. The church’s pastor, Rick Warren, was making the rounds Friday explaining how the event would be formated. According to City News Service:

Warren will separately question McCain and Obama for about an hour. A coin toss determined that Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, will answer questions first. Warren will then ask McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, the same questions. McCain will not be able to hear Obama’s responses, Warren told the Fox News Channel. “The primaries proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues,” said Warren, author of the best-selling devotional book “The Purpose Driven Life.” “I will be raising questions ... beyond what political reporters typically ask. This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.” The questioning will be divided into four segments, Warren said. The initial segment will be on stewardship, with questions on the roles of government, the president and Constitution and “what they believe about the direction of our government,” Warren said.

Photo: Sen. Barack Obama with Pastor Rick Warren, center, and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, right, at a 2006 event at Saddleback Church. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times