Think John McCain did pretty well in last evening's Saddleback Civil Forum on Presidency hosted by the Rev. Rick Warren? You're not the only one. The Obama campaign thinks he did well too -- so good, in fact, that they think he might have cheated. And on this morning's "Meet the Press," Andrea Mitchell wasted no time floating the Obama campaign's "private" concern:
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.
Full video of today's "Meet the Press" can be seen here. Relevant segment begins at approx. 33:50.
Wow. Somehow, John McCain can't do well on his own -- that being "so well prepared" means that he heard Obama's answers and then immediately formulated revised responses to what he originally had planned! And Andrea Mitchell barely hestitated to toss that out there, with guest host David Gregory merely offering a rather semi-innocuous "Right" in response.
I wonder what the Obama campaign's reaction (and Andrea Mitchell's for that matter) would have been had the situation been reversed -- if the McCain campaign implied that Obama had "seemed so well prepared" and therefore Obama probably heard McCain's answers to Warren.
Methinks a certain "R" word would have been uttered a few times ...
(h/t to NB reader Lee B.)
*****Update: Did Mitchell get this idea from a Daily Kos poster?