The Brody File has confirmed that Barack Obama WILL attend the religious Compassion Forum next Sunday April 13th at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton has already confirmed that she'll be there. John McCain was invited but has declined the invitation. His campaign tells The Brody File: "We have a scheduling conflict."
A source within the McCain camp tells The Brody File that they have a compassion tour of their own scheduled for later this spring where they will continues to do "outreach to people of faith across the country." We will follow up with details on this tour and bring them to you.
As for the Forum, this is a chance for Obama and Clinton to talk about how faith, scripture and public policy all come together. The influential group, "Faith in Public Life" is behind the idea and it's a great one. Once again, we will see Obama and Clinton on stage talking about their faith and how it informs their views. We won't see that with McCain since he declined. That's too bad because the environment will not be threatening at all. Many of these issues are right up his ally and you would think this would be a good way for McCain to reach out to faith voters, many who may be moderate and/or Independents.
Read more on the Compassion Forum here and a description is below:
Now more than ever, Americans motivated by faith are bridging ideological divides to address domestic and international poverty, global AIDS, climate change, genocide in Darfur, and human rights and torture. The Compassion Forum will provide the opportunity for candidates to discuss how their faith and moral convictions bear on their positions on these important issues.
The Compassion Forum will be a unique and unprecedented event. Each candidate will participate in a separate substantive conversation. This will not be a debate. Questions will be posed by moderator Jon Meacham, editor of "Newsweek," and nationally prominent members of The Compassion Forum Board.
The Compassion Forum is supported by diverse religious leaders and Democrats and Republicans alike.
"The Compassion Forum will give the candidates a chance to talk straight to voters about what they'll do as president to fulfill God's command that we be our brothers' keepers," said Governor Mike Huckabee, a supporter of the event. "I'm proud that the faith community is taking the lead in asking the candidates to confront the most pressing moral challenges of our times."
"Issues of faith, compassion, and the common good are important throughout Pennsylvania," said U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. "We have a moral obligation to provide a stable foundation for our next generation, but it also makes perfect economic sense. This year's candidates will be well served discussing these issues in Pennsylvania and The Compassion Forum."