Obama was first while McCain was off-stage where he could not hear the questions.
McCain came across as presidential and was prepared with quick and strong answers to all of the questions. Obama was more "nuanced" as some pundits
have said looking to explain away is weak performance with answers to questions like "thats is above my pay-grade" or saying in answer to the
question about which Supreme Court judge he would NOT have nominated Obama almost said he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas because he wasn't
experienced enough. Another McCain ad in the making?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: My first impression was just stylistically how different these men are. We do know that they have differences on
abortion and taxes and a number of things. But what we saw here was McCain very direct, answering questions before they were asked -- yes, no, yes.
We saw Obama, you know, more nuanced, as he is apt to be also on the campaign trail.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, my impression was actually similar to Candy's in terms of the style and the differences in
the style. Particularly just in terms of how they approached the way that the questions were coming at them, and who they actually addressed in answering the
Barack Obama really took this as a conversation with Rick Warren. He addressed the audience sometimes but not really much.
He really looked at Rick Warren and answered his questions in a very slow, very nuanced way, as Candy said.
John McCain barely -- I mean, he looked at Rick Warren, but his answers were addressing the public, addressing the audience, addressing the voters at home,
much like he likes to do over and over again, week after week, in his town hall meetings.
So just the way that they approached this particular event and approached who they're talking to really said a lot about the kinds of candidates they
So since McCain came off as extremely prepared it of course must be that he cheated....
Just pathetic...Obama is "nuanced" in his answers and McCain cheated. The media at its best.SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Defeat it. Couple of points. One, if I'm president of the United States, my friends, if I have to follow him to the gates of
hell, I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. I will do that and I know how to do it. I will get that done.
MR. GREGORY: Andrea Mitchell, that's a pretty clear contrast.
MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he
was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel
that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that -- what they're putting out privately is that
McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
MS. MITCHELL: He seemed so well prepared.