A source inside John McCain's religious outreach team tells The Brody File that John McCain refuses to use his faith as a political tool and hasn't decided whether he'll open up more about his relationship with God.This source is able to speak more freely by not revealing a name but this person has John McCain's ear on faith based issues. Read the quotes below:
On whether John McCain will talk more openly about his faith in this campaign:
"John McCain has an innate sense that using your faith for election is wrong and that his faith is extremely private. John has a faith, a very strong faith, which anyone who has ever sat down with him and had a discussion with him over a period of time will know. He is not someone who feels comfortable expressing it on the campaign trail and I think a lot of it has to do with the feeling that he's using it for public gain. I'm not saying he won't discuss his faith in public forums. Is he going to do it? I don't know. Does he need to do it? If he does, I think it's sad because I tell my Christian friends all the time I am sorry Jesus Christ is not on the ballot. He's never going to be on the ballot. We're never going to have a perfect candidate but John McCain is an amazing, amazing individual."
"I don't know that the grassroots activists are asking to hear about John's faith, maybe they are, but I'm not convinced that they're asking. Ronald Reagan didn't discuss his faith extensively. When Reagan was president we cared about his issues. I think it may be our leadership who want to know about a candidate's faith. More importantly, I think most people just want a good man of integrity, who is right on the issues and if he has a faith that is even better. I'm not completely convinced that John being forced to talk about his faith is the thing that he needs to do. Maybe he will someday if that's something he feels called to, because John McCain doesn't do things he doesn't feel called to."
As for The Compassion Forum, the McCain camp is convinced that these type of issues are perfect for McCain and he wants to engage in them. I think the feeling inside the campaign is that this was billed as more of a Democratic event and it took place in Pennsylvania just a week or so before the April 22nd primary. My sense is if and when there is another one of these events in the fall, the McCain campaign may be more receptive. Here's more from my source on McCain's religious outreach team:
On Clinton and Obama's appeal to faith voters:
"It's going to be very difficult for Clinton and Obama to try to divorce issues like abortion and gay marriage with people of faith from what's going on in Darfur, feeding the hungry and other humanitarian efforts because when you're talking to a Biblical Christian and a full Gospel Christian from the strong emerging Church, they're going to take the whole swath. I doubt the Evangelical Church is going to Senators Clinton and Obama saying ‘okay I'm good with this, but I'm not going to talk about abortion and I'm not going to talk about gay marriage and we disagree on same sex marriage. Christian voters are looking for the full package and John McCain is the only one who can represent them on a broad range of issues."