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Obama-Romney at Saddleback Church? Warren's Reportedly Trying

Lake Forest police confirm that they have been preparing for the forum but say no date has been set.

President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may meet at Lake Forest's  in August for a civil forum.

Fox News first reported the news after Pastor Rick Warren hosted a Monday call with reporters.

"While we do have expressed interest from the campaigns to host an event, it is not yet confirmed," a Saddleback Church spokesperson said Tuesday. "We did have a call with some of the top TV producers about the possibility for planning purposes, and this story came out of it, though it is premature to report as a done deal."

Warren is eyeing late August for the joint meeting—potentially the week of Aug. 20, according to the Fox report.

Local law enforcement was notified "a few months back" of Saddleback's interest in hosting a forum at the Lake Forest church, sheriff's Sgt. Angel Andrade said.

"Our department is in the initial stages of planning for the event and its security," he said.

However, a date for the event—and whether the event will definitely take place–has not been confirmed, Andrade emphasized.

If it is confirmed, thousands would likely attend the event in Lake Forest.

In 2008, Warren hosted Obama (then a senator) and Sen. John McCain at the church. In November 2010, the evangelical pastor hosted former President George W. Bush.

  • Read Patch's coverage of Bush's visit to Lake Forest: 
Shripathi Kamath July 18, 2012 at 06:59 PM
It should be an embarrassment for either candidate to pander to this gaudy mixing of religion and politics. But somehow it won't be. There are going to be debates at the national level, and if paying customers of Warren Inc. are supposedly still "undecided" on Obama or Romney, that is a laughable notion. Obama is deluded if he thinks that more of the attendees may actually ever vote for him after this "talk", and Romney for assuming that his religion is of no import in this. Well, Romney would at least appear to be right, given that he is running against Obama in the general election, and not against, say, a Huckabee or a Newt or a Santorum in the primaries. The theme would be gay marriage, abortion, and ObamaCare violating religious freedom. What's Obama going to do? Provide weasel-wording with/without telepromptation, get a few boos, only for the booers to be "reprimanded" by Warren, because "respect all points of views"? Mitt'll of course be 'gins abortion unlike Willard was, and "the gays" marrying, and will repeal ObamaCare on Day 1. [huge applause from the completely neutral crowd] If this takes place, the only person who benefits is Warren Inc. But a more important question: will Lake Forest take a cue from Newport Beach and bill the candidates for security detail? Equally? Could that money instead be used for what Jesus would have done? Like hosting a stirring debate between a couple of Roman senators in the local temple?
Panglonymous July 18, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Shripathi 'Logical' Kamath! You're getting untracked, now, Gramps. Just add milk!
Charles July 18, 2012 at 09:55 PM
It would be free advertising and publicity for con man, slick Rick's (tax free) business. He'll be laughing (at all the suckers who contribute to his "church") all the way to the bank.
John Webb July 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Thank goodness for people like Rick Warren. Not only does he care for those of us who live locally, rather we attend his church or not, he also tends to thousands overseas who need help. My wife met him years ago when he would go door to door to greet new families in RSM. She said then he was a young man who cared for people and he would make a difference. Last election he invited Obama. This year he is inviting Romney. What more can you ask of a man, he is offering both candidates and giving his church a chance to make up their own minds. Slick......come on Charles you know, or should know, better. Give credit where credit is due.
Shripathi Kamath July 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM
"What more can you ask of a man, he is offering both candidates and giving his church a chance to make up their own minds." Oh plenty of things, like, why would he spend so much, or cost the city so much to provide security for both campaigns. Could that money not be better spent in doing what Jesus would do with it? Like giving even *more* to the homeless? Seriously, do you know of anyone in that church who has not made up his mind between Romney (R) and Obama (D) at this stage, and needs this "debate" to do so, John? "Not only does he care for those of us who live locally, rather we attend his church or not, he also tends to thousands overseas who need help" Yes, like endorsing Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, who is part of a movement to penalize homosexuals with death. We can leave aside the abstinence-based HIV infection prevention advocacy as well: http://bit.ly/MltJ0M
Tim Chase July 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Shri, I think that you are minimizing what an actual accomplishment that could be done. Having both Candidates for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world meet at one church. When something powerful happens be humble that you are there to witness it. I've had that experience, and I was. Shift from rights to responsibility.
Panglonymous July 19, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Maybe Pastor Rick could reach across counties and make this a joint event of true brotherhood to be held at Antioch Church of Long Beach http://www.antiochlb.com/#/about-us/our-core-values or just a few blocks away at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park? It would be a wonderful demonstration of Christian unity!
Shripathi Kamath July 19, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Sure, if they also invite Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, Wiley Drake and his First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Bishop Eddie Long from Atlanta, Rick Perry's Jeremiah Wright aka Robert Jeffress (http://bit.ly/MKojID), OBAMA's Jeremiah WIght (the real one!). OK, maybe not the last two.
Panglonymous July 19, 2012 at 04:29 AM
That would be far too many, um... Baptists, for one event. Be realistic.
MFriedrich July 19, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Unlike most of his evangelical Christian and Republican supporters, Romney has not been a huge fan of fielding questions that dive into his personal religious faith (Mormonism). In the past Romney has remarked that his personal religious faith would take a backseat when it comes to decisions on political and social issues. Not exactly what evangelical Christians wish to hear from their presidential candidate.
MFriedrich July 19, 2012 at 08:17 AM
"Giving his church a chance to make up their own minds". I don't think the presidential votes of Saddleback Church's "white and delightsome" members are ever in doubt. Still, I'd love to see the looks on the congregation's faces after Rick Warren asks Romney directly: "So do you really believe Joseph Smith found another Bible buried in upstate New York and that it was translated by Smith via seer stones placed in the bottom of a hat?"
Tim Chase July 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Pang- that's not a bad idea, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park - maybe you should petition the Paster to alter the proposed meeting. Since the California is the birthplace of the Americana period, it seems fitting.
Shripathi Kamath July 19, 2012 at 04:26 PM
To put that in perspective though, South Carolina picked Newt Gingrich in the primaries. Yes, Newt, who defines marriage as being between a man and a woman until she gets sick. Picked by evangelical Christians over Mitt, Rick, the other Rick, and Paul. All Mitt has to do is claim that God does not want abortion, gay marriage or ObamaCare to interfere in their religious beliefs, and Willard's background will be of no concern. Heck, Rick will even toss him a soft one to make it happen.
Frieda Wales July 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
It doesn't matter at all. California's electoral votes will go to President Obama. Now, as to undecided voters in Orange County. I wonder what the younger (40s and younger) republicans around here are thinking to themselves these days. They may have gay friends or relatives and, like many of their generation, are not troubled by it. They may feel they and their daughters deserve the right to be in charge of their own health care and contraceptive choices. They may feel that moving away from fossil fuels is a the right thing to do. And yet, what does the national republican party offer up? The antithesis of these things. I'd wager that the majority of Orange County's "enclave" of republicans is a bit troubled by the direction the national republican party is headed. Maybe the national republican party doesn't really care what Orange County republicans think because, on a national level, their vote for president won't count. So, to sum up - it's a political stunt by Warren. Well played Warren.
Frieda Wales July 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Actually, not a political stunt by Warren - more like a marketing stunt.
Panglonymous July 21, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Tim, I would like nothing more than to see all the B.S. fall away and congregations blend like blinded brothers. But B.S. is good business, as is encouraging people to retreat to irreconcilable positions.
Panglonymous July 21, 2012 at 02:38 AM
So, yes. There *is* value in the weight and pungent smell of a shovelful of manure scooped, lifted and tossed. There simply is.
Shripathi Kamath August 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM
No Patch update on this? Well, here you go: http://bit.ly/MRlieE
Sarah de Crescenzo (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Shri, I published this update Wednesday, Aug. 22: http://patch.com/A-xk7l
Shripathi Kamath August 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Arragh. I guess I need to drop and give 75.
Sarah de Crescenzo (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM
100! The punishment for not reading all my stories is 100!

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