There will be about 6,500 tickets to the event, where there will be six different venues throughout the 120-acre Saddleback campus for seating arrangements and the event will be open to all media.
On August 16, 2008, John McCain and Barack Obama will make their first joint appearance at the Saddleback Church for the Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion, hosted by the founding pastor of the church.
Dr. Rick Warren, who is the founding pastor of the 22,000 member mega-church will be moderating the event.
Due to a coin toss, Barack Obama will start off by speaking directly with Warren for one hour. The format was requested by both candidates and Warren will be presenting the questions alone, no panel or audience members will be allowed to question the candidates and each candidate will converse with Warren without interruption.
In the press release sent to journalists from PRNewswire (Membership required to read it), Warren states, "We're honored that the candidates chose The Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion for their first joint appearance, an unprecedented opportunity for America to hear both men back-to-back on the same platform. This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart -- without interruption -- in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan 'gotcha' questions that typically produce heat instead of light.
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. While I know both men as friends and they recognize I will be frank, but fair, they also know I will be raising questions in these four areas 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."
In conjunction with this Civil Forum event, there will also be an interfaith meeting at the Saddleback Church with about 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders convening to discuss topics and projects for the good of all Americans.
"While debates typically focus primarily on the candidates' positions and only secondarily on how they'd lead and make decisions, this Saddleback Civil Forum will reverse that ratio," Warren continued. "Since the oath of the President is a commitment to protect the Constitution, it's critical to know how each candidate interprets the nature of its principles. Leadership involves far more than promoting programs and making speeches, and since no one can predict what crises will happen over the next four years, it is vital to know the decision capacity and process of each man."
The event will be two hours long running from 5-7 p.m. (PDT) on August 16, 2008.
In a note to editors, the press release says that further information about the event as well as a on-site coverage credentialing form, will be provided at www.RickWarrenNews.com.
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