No Mitt Romney and no Barack Obama at this year’s Saddleback Civil Forum. Rick Warren has canceled the event.
Why? Because he says both campaigns are being way too uncivil! The event would have been a chance for both candidates to discuss how their faith shapes their lives and views on public policy.
Rick Warren says the following:
"The forum was praised for its unique format and fairness… Also, the TV networks were eager to cover it again since it garnered one of the largest viewing audiences of that election. I talked with both campaigns about the possibility of doing it again, and they were both favorable to participating."
"We created the Civil Forums to promote civility and personal respect between people with major differences…The forums are meant to be a place where people of good-will can seriously disagree on significant issues without being disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name-calling."
"But that is not the climate of today's campaign. I've never seen more irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out dishonest attack ads, and I don't expect that tone to change before the election. It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening only to have the name-calling return the next day.”
The Brody File is efforting campaign reaction.
Is the Obama campaign ready to go after Mitt Romney's Mormon faith by starting a stealth "education" effort with the evangelical community?
That's what author Ed Klein says. Watch here with Lou Dobbs. The Brody File is looking into this.
Have a look below at my conversation today on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell about the Todd Akin controversy and what it could mean for Mitt Romney's campaign.
Poor Mitt Romney. All he ever wanted to do was talk about the economy 24/7 from now until Election Day. Instead, he has to deal with the issue of abortion, a toxic topic he so desperately wanted to avoid throughout this campaign.
Well, the good news is that he made it all the way to August without it being a distraction; the bad news is that voters go to the polls in November!
The problems for Romney are numerous. First of all, the optic on this is horrible for him. You have Romney looking like the tough guy against a dedicated pro-lifer. For someone like Romney who switched his position on the abortion issue, that's not the best place to be if you're trying to court the evangelicals of the party.
Furthermore, there's going to come a point where Christian conservative leaders and the broader evangelical community will be sick of the piling on mentality. Most of them agree that Akin made a mistake but they don’t want to continue to see Romney beat up Akin continuously on the nightly news. That doesn’t serve Romney well, especially in an election that will turn on mobilizing the base.
The Brody File understands that Romney wants to appeal to women in this election and also understands that he doesn’t want to turn off Independent voters. The trick for Romney is to somehow separate himself from Akin’s comments while at the same time coming across as a dedicated pro-life president. He has to be careful here.
The conversation is already heading in the direction of how pro-lifers are extreme if they don’t believe in exceptions for rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. That has never been the issue here yet it is turning into that.
Akin is being ripped because of the words he chose (“legitimate rape”) and the supposed scientific research he is citing. That is the controversy. Yet liberals and the Democratic party are trying to make a broader point, arguing that anyone who doesn’t allow for certain exceptions is crazy.
Guess what? The people who believe that abortion should not be allowed under ANY circumstances don’t think they’re crazy. They call themselves principled. In their view, abortion is non-negotiable and while that may not be the majority opinion within Republican circles, should people like that be taken to task for wanting to save the life of the unborn? Should they be demonized?
Is it really a radical position when you want to try and save the life of every unborn baby? What about the people who believe in partial-birth abortion? That’s not far more radical? Just askin….