Obama says pointed abortion query “above his pay grade”

August 17, 2008

DALLAS – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama side-stepped a pointed query about abortion on Saturday by “mega-pastor” Rick Warren during a televised forum.


Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question  with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

He went on to reiterate his view that it was important to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who followed Obama onto the stage of the nationally televised event, was more blunt and more emphatic.

He said a baby’s human rights began “at the moment of conception … I have a 25-year pro-life record.”

Both candidates were vying for the “faith vote,” in particular the one in four U.S. adults who count themselves as evangelical.

Obama took questions first from Warren and McCain followed. The two shared the stage together briefly.

Some centrist evangelicals have said they appreciate moves by the Democratic Party to “soften” the edges of its pro-choice stand by stressing the need to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions — and by also working harder in areas like adoption.

But for many conservative evangelicals — a key part of the evangelical base — life begins at conception and the argument ends there.

The issue remains one of the most divisive and partisan in America — as Obama and McCain highlighted on Warren’s stage.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason)

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook, Files, USA)


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It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.

Posted by Andrew Austin | Report as abusive

How the Catholics can overwhelmingly vote for Democrat pro-choice candidates is perplexing. I thought Catholics were pro-life.

Posted by Jack Allen | Report as abusive

Obama’s lame answer proves that he is a huge wimp!!!

Posted by Kelly in Oak Lawn | Report as abusive

Above me pay grade? Is it supposed to be funny that a Democrat can’t take a single stance on anything. This politician is pathetic.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

If he can’t answer because it is above his pay grade then why should we put him in the top job? It will remain above his pay grade when he returns to the Senate.

Also, he said he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court because he lacked experience and was not qualified. Sounds familiar.

Posted by Jack Sheet | Report as abusive

Obama has shown himself to be unworthy of the office of president with his making a joke out of the question put to him. Life is not to be joked about, especially when the Democrats platform is based on the campaign of allowing baby murder they like to refer to as “abortion”.
It is sad that liberals could not bring themselves to allow the killing of a convicted criminal but they have no problem with the grizzly murders of unborn & partially born children.
God help us all if a Marxist like Obama can get elected as president of this great country.

Posted by gp | Report as abusive

After listening to that forum – I’m not sure Obama knows what he believed. We weaved an wondered all around those questions. McCain was direct and succinct in his answers. You might not agree with him – but at least you know where he stands. Obama remains an enigma.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Above my pay grade? Is it supposed to be funny that a Democrat can’t take a single stance on anything. This politician is pathetic!!!

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

In other words, you can have all the sex you want and if you get pregnant have an abortion, and the government will pay for it. NOT ME! The debate tonight was very telling in that the maturity came out shining. Obama has been over played and over paid in my estimation. I heard from him everything I am against, morally and socially.

Posted by Rita | Report as abusive

[…] Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question  with specificity … is above my pay grade.” STORY LINK […]

Posted by OBAMA: DETERMINING A BABY’S HUMAN RIGHTS IS ‘ABOVE MY PAY GRADE’ « The Catskill Commentator | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? What a shmoe. What blatant disrespect. The guy has no class.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

John McCain is 100% prolife. Barack Obama is 100% proabortion. McCain loves babies. But how can Obama prove to me that he loves babies?

Posted by Philip Saenz | Report as abusive

What does “soften your edges” on abortion mean except northing will change. The libs don’t give a tinkers damn in hell about reducing the numbers of abortions. Even with that, there will still be millions of babies destroyed every year in spite of their “softened edges.”

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Like Hillary said “he had a speech”. That is not the type of answer one would expect out of the potential next leader of the FREE WORLD! Maybe next time!

Posted by REX | Report as abusive

How to win this war is above Obama’s pay grade too…

Posted by Avery | Report as abusive

How ironic: the security word for my post was “love.”

This isn’t an argument about pro-life or pro-choice. This is about whether or not sex is to be had with our without consequences.

Anyone who thinks the right answer is “without” will be returning to the classroom.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

McCain mopped the floor with Obama.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

This forum tonight was the best I have seen in any campaign. It was completely fair and gave each candidate the chance to speak in a more relaxed atmosphere compared to debates or forums I have seen in the past.
I am a Christian and tonight confirmed for me that my vote will go to John McCain. I had been a little uneasy before tonight’s forum but I feel confident now that McCain has the same values I have especially in regard to the abortion issue.

Posted by Darla | Report as abusive

Mccain won the Gold medal tonight at this forum, especially for his succinct responses to questions. Another win for America tonight.

I understand Obama didn’t win a medal for his performance, but instead was awarded a gift certificate for a Starbucks Sirena Espresso coffe maker.

Posted by Sigmond | Report as abusive

Abortion is murder, plain and simple. Obama vows to sign the freedom of choice act which is abortion on demand for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy and he wants us all to pay for these murders with our tax dollars. Obama also was the head of a comittee in the Illinois senate to where his decision killed a law that protected babies who survived abortion to be carried to a cold hard hospital table and left to die. How can this man claim to know the Author of life when he so strongly promotes death. Is this the kind of president we need or want?

Posted by Jay Bonwell | Report as abusive

I must say that I feel that Obama was side stepping as usual. McCain told the truth that it is at conception. God help this country if Obama is elected. I must say that I was concerned about McCain concerned me before but after hearing him tonight I will not hesitate voting for him.

Posted by nancy watkins | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? Are you kidding me? This man wants to be President of the United States? Get real people. I dont like McCain but Obama is just plain bad news for America

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Clearly Obama knows nothing about abortion and is “bitterly clinging” to his pro-death liberal agenda.

Posted by Ralph Reagan | Report as abusive

What a cop out by Obama: At what point does a baby get rights is above his paygrade? As President, you should be able to answer that question. He didn”t want to answer the question because he knows life begins at conception. Being voted the MOST liberal senator in all of the senate and courting Christians is not a match made in heaven. Most Christians see him for who he is. If you are strong on values, are pro-gun, pro-life, anti-higher taxes, anti-gay rights, Obama is not for you! Zero Bama = zero substance in my opinion.

Jay Peroni, CFP
Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire

Posted by Jay Peroni | Report as abusive

“…above my pay grade”. Good one, Obama. You just gave the Republicans a new tag line. There’s no higher “pay grade” than being president. Like Harry Truman said, “The Buck Stops Here.” A weasel answer that just plays into the idea that Obama is way too wishy-washy to be The Man. Can’t speak without a teleprompter. Can’t think on his feet. Lets the Clintons bend him over whenever they feel like it. Takes a vacation when he should be working. I started out kind of liking the guy but now, what a wuss. Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry, Obama. I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Posted by Leon A Davis | Report as abusive

As a current Senator, especially one seeking the presidency, these questions are “at your pay-grade.” The fact you attempt such a lame dodge only shows Obama to be a political animal who is unwilling to state his position to a crowd he knows finds it unacceptable.

Posted by KellyJ | Report as abusive

Obama supports abortion up until the day before birth. He also supports letting a survivor of a botched abortion die.

Posted by kendra | Report as abusive

McCain would relegate women back to the days of back alley abortionists with all of the horrors to women which that represents!

Furthermore, I doubt Republicans will want to expand welfare to care for all of the unwanted children who would be born should McCain and the Republicans have their way in banning abortion!

Posted by Marjorie | Report as abusive

i dont care how big his smile is,,he is still a leftist…and will not be our president.

Posted by wm | Report as abusive

[…] who won? Obama stumbled badly on the “when does a baby’s human rights begin” as he avoided answering. I thought […]

Posted by WHO WON THE JOB INTERVIEW WITH GOD? : | Report as abusive

The “artful dodger” dodges another question. Obama is clearly in favor of the wholesale slaughter of human fetuses. He needs to quit spinning and emoting and spit it out instead of trying to hide behind his “faith.”

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

I’m not sure that Barack, who has a 100% pro-abortion voting record, is truly being honest about his stance. He’s being political.

How can somebody – especially a person who identifies himself as a Christian – be adamantly against any restrictions even on partial-birth abortion?

This deeply saddens and grieves me.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

mccain believes that human life begins at conception but supports embryonic stem cell research? he supports medical research on human beings? when will someone ask him a follow up question???
his abortion position is just pandering.
the only thing mccain believes in is war. his militaristic world view was on full display tonight. he didnt answer the question on what christianity meant to him – he just gave a war story about someone else’s christianity – the vietnamese guard who drew the Cross in the dirt.

Posted by gail | Report as abusive

[…] On Abortion – Obama says he is “pro-choice” but anti-abortion. Obama says he is against late-term abortions, but his record shows otherwise. Gateway Pundit has an excellent entry on Obama’s gruesome abortion record. Also, Obama says that this question is above his pay grade! […]

Posted by ScoopThis.Org » Faith Forum: Obama & McCain. | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade???

He’s running for President!

Posted by Some Guy | Report as abusive

Ah! Whatever! Neither deserve it. One less than the other, and only because of the marx1st tendencies.

Posted by 1DeadManWalking | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? Aw, lawd! Obama is elevating the art of double-speak to a degree never dreamed of by George Orwell. Obama needs to practice sitting and smiling at McCain’s inauguration.

Posted by Alexander K Chung | Report as abusive

This was quite strange. All a Republican has to say in the OC to get applause is “Ronald Reagan.” And of course, McCain milked it for all it was worth. His answers were quick and full of wrath. The last thing we need is eight more years of a man like that. Pat Buchanan was right – McCain is three times WORSE than Bush ever dreamed of being. If you had told me a year ago that I would decid two months before the election to vote for Obama, I wouldn’t have believed you. Now, I see it as the only Christian option.

Posted by Malea | Report as abusive

centrist evangelicals??

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

Perhaps Obama can get his bosses like Sorros and Brumberg to answer the question then. Paygrade – being the president of the US is not about pay. It’s about morally leading our country in the right direction.

Does he realize that yet? Oh he thinks that $200,000.00 a year is really $20,000,000. Aside from history he doesn’t know what a decimal point in a number is either.

Posted by bbob | Report as abusive

Why won’t Obama be honest about his record here? As a State Senator, he supported legislation that would allow a live birth baby to still be killed if they had survived an abortion. Was that above his pay grade when he supported that, or when he voted for pro-abortion measures at every opportunity? Let him believe what he wants, but at least give the American people credit and be honest about his beliefs.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

This forum contrasted age and wisdom, and youth and inexperience. Obama is a silver tounged, McCain has depth.

What does a “community organizer,” do?

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

Moment of conception? Such does not exist. Conception takes time. But don’t expect reality-challenged True Believers to comprehend this. How DARE biology challenge their preconceptions?!?!?

Posted by RioRico | Report as abusive

why not just give a straight answer……you will have to be able to do this as President…..

Posted by caroline | Report as abusive

How can he lead our nation if he can’t take a stand on something so important? That’s even more than flip-flopping. He has no balls to take a stand. What a loser!

Posted by darek | Report as abusive

ABOVE HIS PAY GRADE???? What job is he running for? I guess I misunderstood. I thought that the prez got to appoint judges who oversee EXACTLY this question.

Posted by doug | Report as abusive

[…] second one is the complete bailout on the Abortion question. “Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion […]

Posted by   Just back from Vacation and Obama Blows it at “Warren Conference” by Macsmind – Official Blog of the MacRanger Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio | Report as abusive

why not just give a straight anwser? You have to be able to do this as President…..

Posted by caroline | Report as abusive


Posted by kevin | Report as abusive

Hey Barack, the whole job is above your paygrade! Sheeesh, can’t answer anything straight. Just say it, “it’s a human at birth, I just don’t care if you kill it or not, just vote for me.”

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

What is his pay grade then? If he cannot answer a question like this, how will he be able to answer a question as president? If his pay grade is not high enough now to answer this question why does anyone think that it would be high enough to be president.

Posted by Karl | Report as abusive

I believe that Obama showed that he is able to speak well, but all of the “uhs” and looking across and down in a sort of “haughty” way.
McCain was the statesman that he is known to be. the fact that he has given his life for his country, is proof of that.
It also, was a wonderful way to have a civil “conservation”, without the liberal press, asking “loaded questions.”
There should be more like this. Naylyn Dill

Posted by Naylyn Dill | Report as abusive

One of the big mistakes pro-choice advocates make is to assume that all pro-life citizens are religious zealots. I am an atheist and strongly believe that life begins at conception. It is a MORAL position. My mother aborted my potential two younger siblings. She probably considered aborting me as well. I was not a random cluster of cells at several weeks – – I was a real person. Abortion is murder. It is a more heinous crime than capital punishment – – which ironically most pro-choice advocates are against- – because the innocent fetus did nothing to deserve being murdered. If you are stupid or thoughtless enough to impregnate someone or become impregnated, accept the consequences of your actions and become a caring parent or give the poor kid up for adoption. If you can’t stomach parenthood or the thought missing out on a carefree young adulthood, tough sh**! Next time think ahead or keep your pants zipped.

Posted by VO Reason | Report as abusive


Posted by linda | Report as abusive

all of the questions were above this novice Senator’s pay grade

Posted by Brett | Report as abusive

“above my pay grade”…..errr…..ok
Not a good utterance from BHO. That’s the type of phrase an “LLE” (low level employee) uses.
Will he later say he, “misspoke”?

Posted by quasemarke | Report as abusive

Seems as though Oblahma is taking a page out of the John Kerry playbook: nuance, nuance, nuance.

Didn’t work in ’04 and won’t in ’08.

The problem is that that’s all Obomba has. Nothing but an empty suit who’s every other word is, “ah, ah, ah, er, er, ah, ya know, ah, er, ya know, ah.”

How ’bout just giving us a direct answer to a question….ANY QUESTION.

Posted by neighb | Report as abusive

I found both senators likable and articulate. However, I think Obama’s demeanor seemed to be much more honest and thoughtful when addressing the complicated issues that we face in politics today. So often Mccains answers were black and white and dodged the deeper issues in play.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

I am amazed at how this abortion question is dodged basically with “We don’t know when life begins.” WELL THEN, IT BEGS THE QUESTION, IF WE ADMIT WE DON’T KNOW WHEN LIFE BEGINS, DOESN’T THAT MEAN WE MIGHTBE KILLING PEOPLE? Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry, and NOT allow abortion especially since its biggest proponents admit they might be wrong and they might be allowing for the killing of living human beings?

It boggles my mind that nobody asks this as a follow up when a pro-death person flippantly says ‘we don’t know when life begins.’ They say it a way that implies they think this makes their position correct – as if to say, “don’t tell me I’m supporting death since you don’t know they are alive” when in actuality they are WEAKENING their argument, not buttressing it with such a silly statement – they are admitting they might be alive which alone is enough reason to outlaw abortions.

Posted by Bob Smith | Report as abusive

Nobama. What a weasel.

Posted by michel raffoul | Report as abusive

Do you know, and did you report, that both candidates were given the questions in advance? Yes, Rick Warren gave the questions to both men before the forum, so they were prepared beforehand. How do I know? At one point, Obama spilled the beans about how he was given the questions earlier. Ask me, I will tell you, it’s true.


danbloom AT gmail

Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive

“Above his pay grade”. After McCain beats Barak HUSSEIN Obama in November, that question will fortunately remain “above his pay grade” for a long time to come.

Too bad Barak HUSSEIN Obama didn’t consider his vote, while serving in the Illinois legislature, in favor of infanticide, to also be “above his pay grade”. The chosen vote was definitely above his intelligence.

Posted by Conrad Osticator | Report as abusive

Senator Barack Obama must be kidding! He claims that his “pay grade” is too low for him to answer the most important social question of our time: When does human life begin? And it is not a theological question, as he suggests; science has rendered an unequivocal decision: Life is present at conception. A near unanimous–some declined to respond–gathering of international geneticists before Congress over twenty years ago said so, in no uncertain terms. Obama either is ignorant of the facts or being wilfully deceptive for political reasons (he can’t, you understand, unduly offend his pro-choice constituency!). He is unqualified to be president of the United States.

Posted by A. Anzelmo | Report as abusive

Unfortunate that McCain and Obama’s first meeting is with a group who votes based on fairy tale beliefs.

Posted by fresh | Report as abusive

You can have an opion about a fetus having human rights and still say that abortion is still legal in this country. Partial birth abortion is one of the most disgusting and regetable things for a woman to go through in this life. Just talk to any woman who has had an abortin and almost all will have great emotional ties to that decision made in their life. A very, very hard choice for anyone to take lightly.

Posted by bob noxious | Report as abusive

Liberals like Obama approve killing innocent babies, yet they disapprove executing murderers. How these people reconcile these two positions is a mystery. Maybe Obama could shed some light on this contradiction. I suspect that he would sidestep this as he sidestepped the question of when life begins.

A society which kills its unborn will eventually progress to infanticide. We are seeing this now with late term abortions wherein a viable baby is first killed in the womb, then extracted dead. From there it isn’t hard to start euthanizing the old, the insane, the disabled, Catholics, Jews, liberals, etc. Hitler’s eugenics and the concomitant holocaust were the direct result of this utter contempt for human life.

Liberals like Obama choose to remain ignorant of history. Those who choose to remain ignorant of history will be cursed to repeat it. As such, Obama is one philosophical step away from the callous and shallow disregard for humanity exhibited in the Twentieth Century by the Nazis. Obama isn’t a bad man. He is simply a weak man devoid of principle.

Posted by Patrick C. | Report as abusive

Obama again proves he’s the “vague” candidate. The nation is starting to ask questions like “Define change” and “What is your plan” but he’s so non-committal he can’t even answer a simple question about where he stands on the abortion issue.


Posted by Capt Culpepper | Report as abusive

Funny that this would be the headline. My headline would be empty suit vs gravitas. I admit that Obama has a future in politics that might someday take him to the white house, but he is far from that now. He mistakenly stated that abortions have not come down, when the are at the lowest rate since 1974 (according to the Guttmacher Inst., the information wing of Planned Parenthood)

He then went on to state that his most significant step across the isle to support legislation that went against self interest was the McCain Feingold Campaign Reform Act. Except that, he ended up voting against it.

I’m also happy to see that he is against evil, but his definition concentrated on Rwanda and the streets of Chicago. Never even mentioned Islamic Extremists. Hopefully, the folks who thought Obama was a fresh face learned tonight that he is a bit too fresh, and no different than those who have gone before him.

Credit to Obama and McCain for not ducking or weaving. That was impressive. Obama was not quite as clear about his stands, but he didn’t change the subject to avoid letting us all know he doesn’t have clear-cut thinking on many issues.

Posted by Randy KIrk | Report as abusive

Typical Obama. If you are from Illinios you already know he doesn’t answer the tough questions. See his voting record in the Illinios senate. He voted “present” on the touchy issues so he wouldn’t be held accountable one way or the other. In Illinios the senate is allowed to vote present, rather than yes or no. his excuse. “I didn’t like parts of the bill”. Well if you don’t like it vote NO, if you like it vote yes. What an empty shirt.

Posted by Jim – CHICAGO | Report as abusive

How slippery of “The One”. Truth is he voted multiple times to permit an infant that survives an abortion to be murdered outside the womb. How compassionate is that?

Posted by Texan | Report as abusive

I watched the forum and it seemed that Sen. McCain was on the stump. Sen. Obama westeled with the questions thoughtfully and gave very sensible answers. Sen. McCain however, looked like he got the cheat sheet or that the “cone of silence” that Pastor Rick said he was in was not exactly soundproof.

I need a President who will listen, think and execute the best strategy, not a man who “knows what he believes, no matter whether the facts suggest differently or not.” I owe it to my children and grandchildren to cast my vote for Sen. Obama.

Posted by joe adams | Report as abusive

Above my pay grade??? What a pathetic answer…Obama is smoke and mirrors, absolutely no substance.

Posted by afadfad | Report as abusive

[…] the headline on a Reuters story from the joint Obama-McCain Dallas debate last […]

Posted by Department of Remarkable Things To Say : The New Nixon: News and Commentary about the President, his Times, and his Legacy | Report as abusive

Here’s a big difference between the two candidates: Had Pastor Warren asked McCain and Obama, “If Jesus were on earth today, would he support a woman’s right to choose abortion?”… McCain would clearly and confidently have answered “NO.” Obama would not have answered the question. He would have come up with something else to talk about but he certainly would not have been so foolish as to answer “Yes.” Yet that must be what he believes.

Posted by Reasonable Person | Report as abusive

I think Mr. Obama had the correct answer. He actually said that if you’re talking to someone who believes that life begins at conception than there’s no debating that because their mind is made up.

The problem that the Evangelicals have with the rest of the world is that there cannot be a dissenting opinion. No one knows when life begins. The Bible is very vague about it..stating that John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb and the God breathed life into Adam. So which is it…conception or first breath? Birth or maybe something else entirely. No one knows and scientifically it can’t be determined.

Yet my big argument to this has to do with Hypocrisy. That if life begins at conception and people that have abortions are murderers…than is God a murderer if a woman has a miscarriage? Miscarriages happen all the time in nature for all creatures…they are certainly an act of God…so does that make him a murderer?

And then there’s the entire hypocrisy that if all life is sacred…at what point does it become unsacred? Certainly the vast majority of the Pro-Lifer’s are against welfare or any other assistance to help the young woman and child. No health care…crappy education…no jobs. The woman and the child are left to fend for themselves. I have a difficult time dealing with that hypocrisy or rectifying that in my faith.

So I have to agree with Senator Obama…I don’t have the answer. My faith is strong but there are somethings..I just don’t understand. And until there is a indisputable verifiable answer then it should be left up to the individuals involved to make the decision.

Posted by SWMissouri | Report as abusive

As usual, Obama hides his true stance. He is more interested in getting elected than letting Americans know who he is or what he stands for beyond his vague feel-good statements that nobody can disagree with.

The old saying is still true: If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

What is Obama’s pay grade?

Posted by Bill Professor | Report as abusive

How in the world does Obama believe that he can’t deliver an answer to this question? Science has proven life begins at conception. That conception is the start of a unique DNA never to be seen in the universe again. Each one of us is special and as I believe created in God’s image. This is a fundamental right as stated in the Declaration of Independence “that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights., that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…? Jefferson and the Continental Congress unanimously voted for this document that declared are rights and liberties are derived from God, not by government! A human being in the womb is human….it’s kinda hard to have liberty and pursuit of happiness without first preserving the right to life.

Obama is a wimp! He should have directly answered the question!

Posted by Anne Britton | Report as abusive

Really, “above your pay grade”? What kind of a non-answer is that? Wouldn’t he be the same ‘pay grade’ as McCain? Are they not both US Senators?
What else is “above his pay grade”? Don’t want him at the hotline phone at 3am, need someone with a higher pay grade, obviously since McCain could answer the question directed at him without a snarky remark, he must be above Obama’s pay grade, and more qualified to be President of the United States.
This reminds me of ‘slick Willy’ – that depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.
Slick Barry.

Posted by kathy | Report as abusive

Obama – uncomfortable; parsing;
McCain – direct; prepared

If this is how the debates are going to go… McCain wins by a lot

Posted by Joseph | Report as abusive

Obama is for killing babies in the birth canal.
Obama is for killing babies who miraculously survive abortions.
No true Christian could ever vote for Obama, PERIOD.

Posted by Danielle | Report as abusive

Yah, life begins at conception. Obama has an A+ Rating from the biggest pro-abortion group in the nation; Planned Parenthood, on his voting record in the senate. That tells me all I need to know. McCain is nowhere close to my favorite conservative candidate. But at least he does have a very long pro-life voting record on abortion. To me, this issue is the single biggest voting issue. If you’re not pro-life, I will not vote for you. So this year, Obama loses my vote and McCain gains it. Simple.

Posted by Jimbodini | Report as abusive

Nice try there, Reuters, repeating the Democrat spin….

That “softening of the edges” on abortion, as you refer to it, is simply a ploy to get Obama elected….after that it will be business as usual for the Democrats in their efforts to kill babies in the name of “human rights” and in the interests of the abortion industry for whom they pander to….

One other thing…you forgot to mention that McCain swept the floor with Obama this evening at the forum….wasn’t even close.

Posted by sharprightturn | Report as abusive

The guy’s running for the highest office in the land….how can a question as simple as that be above his “pay grade”? At least from the theological perspecitve, there is no discussion needed. A life is a life is a life…From a legal aspect it is the same in my opinion, however I understand others’ perspective on the subject, but, nonetheless, Obama has to make decisions at that level. I think he was just lying because he needs the votes from the religious side. He knows that he’s fine with abortion, he’s just afraid to say it.

Posted by Mitch | Report as abusive

Obama looked suprisingly like a Freshman Senator tonight, whereas McCain very much looked the part of the much more seasoned statesman. Not a good night for Obama and a rather bad week for Democrats.

Posted by John Doe | Report as abusive

That Obama is a real cut up. He has a hard time giving a direct answer to any question. If he’d been at a planned parenthood rally what would his answer have been?

He should’ve been pressed on capitol punishment. Drawing the parallel between an innocent life and a convicted murder.

Posted by Dale | Report as abusive

Obama just expressed his ignorance and lack of respect for human life with this statement! He does not deserve to be on the ballot for dog catcher!

Posted by Rex | Report as abusive

[…] Obama says the question of when babies obtain human rights is “above his pay grade.” This has to be one of the very most ill-advised things any major candidate has said, thus far in the election cycle. Even aside from the fact that it probably unsettles people throughout the spectrum of opinions on abortion, it’s not very presidential. […]

Posted by EdBlog » Blog Archive » Obama: When life begins is “above his pay grade” | Report as abusive

The way that McCain answers hard questions is in stark contrast to Obama. McCain knows his views and can back it up with decades of Votes and well know positions. He is not afraid of his views. Obama on the other had side steps hard questions or refuses to let those views be known for fear of offending a voting bloc. This is not a presidential trait in Obama case. Quite frankly it is week. When one ascends to the presidency he must be able to answer hard questions and do what is right by the country regardless of what portion of the electorate it may offend. “When in Command, Command” Obama show’s us again he cannot. Clinton has bullied him around at his own convention and now a simple question of his beliefs causes him pause. Not what we need in the White House at this time in history.

Posted by Rick Clay | Report as abusive

That Mccain is sure full of stories. Wonder when he’s going to answer a question? And wonder if Pastor Rick will requiere he does. Somehow he allowed him to rant and rave about unrelated issues. He actually did a bit of politics tonight. Kinda love that non-christian, christian bunch of people.

Posted by Sylvia | Report as abusive

Can this guy ever answer a question straight up? Or does he only answer things are politically expedient/convenient? We already have his record in Illinois, which clearly shows that he has no problem with infanticide late into the 3rd trimester. If a woman has waited until the 3rd trimester, then adoption is the answer hands down. I think you start to get into an iffy area anywhere between in the 2nd trimester. And, the 1st trimester while it has been shown that there is a beating heart, etc., there could be room to lean toward an abortion, but an unwanted pregnancy is not a reason. That’s a cop out. There needs to be a serious bonafide reason. If people don’t want the baby, then they need to think hard about why they’re in that position in the first place. A lack of judgement is a bogus answer, and anyone who can use that needs to rethink some things. We’re talking about death.

There are plenty of acceptable ways society has to prevent pregnancy. Condoms, birth control pills/devices, and abstinence. Society has to show it cares about the baby in the womb. There seems to be a lack of callousness otherwise. Women birth babies – so the responsibility falls on their shoulders not to get pregnant, even if it means staying sober and being on guard. If it’s a responsibility that cannot be handled, then perhaps society needs to think about tube tying, etc.

Posted by Aaron | Report as abusive

B. Hussein Obama dodged many questions, including the Abortion one. When asked about evil, he couldn’t resist citing evil in America and the idea that we are being evil in how we respond to evil….B HUssein did not name Al-Queda or islamic jihadists as evil. Unlike McCain

Posted by arthur | Report as abusive

Holding to any political position has its cost; but the man who stands on the side of life is more deserving of a leadership role!

Posted by RevK | Report as abusive

Answering that question is not above the pay grade of the president of the United States. The next president will likely appoint several supreme court justices who will make that decision.

Obama’s inexperience shines through once again.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

No matter what the context, abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being whose right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is atrociously denied for the expediency of a mother’s ‘right to choose’. History will no doubt deem the abortion years as truly barbaric. It is to me woefully incomprehensible that in today’s so-called ‘enlightened age’ an animal’s rights are protected more so than the rights of a human being. Argh.

Posted by idjiut | Report as abusive

Here’s a perfect example of liberal bias. Notice there are no “liberal” evangelicals. Only “centrists” and “conservatives.”

This crap about “reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, etc.” is only about creating a new government program which will hire otherwise unemployable individuals to tell people to wear condoms.

Obama supports abortion up to and including the day of delivery. The sad part of this is that McCain is such a weak candidate that rather than go on the attack he defends. McCain makes Bob Dole look like Ronald Reagan. He has no fire. It’s pathetic.

Posted by Rick Shaftan | Report as abusive

Wow. I never thought McCain would come off so much better that Obama. I will be voting for McCain – done deal.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

I thought McCain cleaned Obama’s clock tonight. The crowd was very into McCain and that helps him as he’s the lasting image. For Barack, it’s the usual, um, oh, well, answers that muddle what’s really the content of what he’s trying to say.

David Gergen from CNN who I’ve always thought was very much democrat leaning (even though he served both republicans and democrats) said that if tonight is any indication, McCain is going to be a much more formidable challenger than anyone thought in the debates.

Posted by Go McCain | Report as abusive

how could the democrats nominate this guy??…this guy is not ready to lead..the democrats nominated this guy because hes black..he has no leadership skills…

Posted by paul cusumano | Report as abusive

I am glad to see some of the typical pointed questions of a forum such as this can be put into context so well. If you have a voting record for 25 years of anti abortion/Pro life legislation and the number of abortions have been going up for the past 25 years maybe we should be going about this a different way.

After this forum I think Obama is addressing the real issue here, unwanted pregnancy.

Posted by Juan Johnson | Report as abusive

It’s really unfortunate that in this time of war, economic stagnation, and an environmental and energy crisis, that our two candidates had to spend an evening pandering to bunch of superstitious medievalists.

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

Obama voted for letting a baby die through neglect if that baby is unwanted. As much as I dislike McCain this is a no brainer. Obama’s mouth piece on OReilly said Obabma suports abortion because Jesus would. I would like to know what translation of the Bible Obama was reading and what he was smoking or snorting at the time of that revelation.

Posted by keith | Report as abusive

Obama, you are running for President, nothing is above your pay grade.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Obama’s response to the question about when a baby gets human rights, has by far, GOT to be one of the stupidest, cop-out comments I have ever heard!!! And this man thinks he is qualified to be our Commander in Chief. Unbelievable.

Posted by cc | Report as abusive

I must admit, McCain blew me away tonight. There was no stuttering, stammering, such as with Obama, he had quick answers and the right answers!

Posted by Rita | Report as abusive

What to say, Obama is good with a script but he is shallow and not up to his A game without. The article points out his extremely poor and disingenous answer to the abortion question but when asked about a “gut wrenching” decision all he had was something that would affect him politically maybe. I also noted that he equivicated about what to about evil but spent more time trying to say that we (the United States) has evil in it. I have to give this to McCain. He knows where he stands and is not afraid to say it. McCain also has a record to prove that he believes what he says.

Posted by calvin | Report as abusive

As a Grandfather of Two very young Adopted Grand Daughters(1-International,1-Domestic)Whe re did my family miss the part Where the Democrat Party started promoting adopting Newborns????

Posted by The Shortender | Report as abusive

Just watched McCain and Obama.

McCain kicked butt!

McCain brought it home and did wonderful. Direct. Honest. Forthright.

Obama–geez, pussy footed around, and what a huge blunder with his lame excuse of “that’s above my pay grade” when answering a question about abortion. Hey dude: you’re running for the most powerful job in the world–no question is “above your pay grade.”

How did I grade them?

McCain: A+
Obama C-

Posted by glc | Report as abusive

[…] So these babies aren’t even the ‘least of his brothers’????? You can’t get much more ‘least’ than a baby, born or unborn. But in fact, when questioned directly about when a baby gets human rights, Barack stated: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, an… […]

Posted by House of Zathras » Blog Archive » Babies don’t count… | Report as abusive

Are you kidding?????? Above his paygrade????? Presidents are paid to have convictions. And answers to fundamental questions from within the culture of the people they seek to serve. What an idiot!!!!!!

Posted by spsw | Report as abusive

McCain addressed the voters. Obama went academic rather than real life experiences. Obama also lied on the question of what he ever did to “work across party lines” he ironically stated he worked with John McCain on campaign finance reform. He did indeed seek McCain out when he was new to the senate to back his bill. But when it came time to vote on it, he stabbed McCain in the back and voted for the party line bill the Democrats put up and not McCains bill.

Posted by Elizabeth | Report as abusive

[…] about Obama’s performance in Rick Warren’s debate. I would like to draw attention to this part of that. Did you know a similar exchange occurred in the Bible? The context may be different but it […]

Posted by Barack Obama paralleled in New Testament Scripture! « Americana83’s Blog | Report as abusive

Whether you are prolife or prochoice addressing those issues in our society that create a “demand” for abortion will reduce them far more effectively than any politician’s opinion on the matter. What would be interesting is a breakdown of the drivers for abortion. For example, what percentage of abortions are driven by lifestyle versus finances versus health concerns.

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

Honestly folks, is this the most important issue facing us this year? Record deficits, oil shocks, the continuing swamp of Iraq, another quarter of rising inflation and shrinking average incomes, job losses, and a complete and utter lack of respect for the United States around the world. And we’re still talking about abortion?

Why don’t we talk about taking care of the born? Why don’t we talk about avoiding the useless war John McCain is so cavalierly committing our troops to fighting?

Abortion is a detestable thing, EVERYONE agrees. However, until we live in a world where women are no longer raped, it must remain. For now, we should focus on decreasing the number of abortions, rather than using the issue as a wedge to divide people and distract us from the real business of rehabilitating our economy, transforming our energy policy, extracting our military from an endless conflict, and taking care of the people who have ALREADY been born, and are suffering as we speak.

Posted by archief | Report as abusive

Obama does not have a “pay grade”. He has no regard for human life. If the abortion does not kill the baby, just stick a fork in its head and kill it. Check out his voting record. I could not morally support this person.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

The evangelicals demand the right to express and maintain their beliefs. Why can’t they allow other people that same right? How far away are they really from other world religions who preach that political behavior must match their theocratic tenants? Our nation was founded on separation of church and state; let’s keep it that way! M.J.Smith

Posted by Joan Smith | Report as abusive

President Elect McCain was definitely the winner tonight! Many have said that they thought he had the questions ahead of time because of his quick, seemingly well prepared answers! Wrong – that was the mind of an experienced, knowledgeable and up-to-date leader ready to take over the position of President of the United States. So much for the young, inexperienced – Prompter Reading – Flim Flam Obamaman – he is not ready nor will he ever be with his list of anti-American friends and associates.

Definition of “flim flam” by Merriam-Webster on-line: deception, fraud, double dealing.

Posted by Eileen | Report as abusive

[…] too much until I have a chance to read the transcripts, I thought this news report interesting in the contrasts between the two men: DALLAS – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama side-stepped a pointed query about […]

Posted by Blogs For Victory » McCain and Obama at Saddleback | Report as abusive

The truth is, logic and serious thought are above the pay grade of Mr. Obama.

Did he think that kind of too-clever-by-half smarmy answer would get him past such an important issue? And logically, if you don’t know where life begins, wouldn’t you want to err on the side of caution? And if you are really concerned about the disadvantaged, can there be a more disadvantaged class than babies in danger of being deprived of their life without due process?

Posted by Tim in Bama | Report as abusive

It’s above my pay grade. You have to be kidding.I guess his masters over at pro choice and NOW will be happy but everyone else will see it as politics as usual. What other issues are above his pay grade. I guess any issue where he does not want to alienate his core base.

Posted by Dracula | Report as abusive

LOL – That’s all you got out of it? Maybe you should have watched the show. McCain’s answer pandered to the audience. If it had been a different audience, he would have given a different answer.

Posted by John Q Public | Report as abusive

John McCain won the night handsdown! He showed he is a man of conviction. His answers were straight forward while Obama danced around the questions and left you unsure of just where he stood.

Posted by Granny in Georgia | Report as abusive

“above my pay grade”. Yep, Barry is not qualified to be a President yet. He’s barely a very average Senator. So of course we should all stop thinking and vote for this man. Right. Don’t think so.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Obama voted to let live babies die if they were born alive following an abortion that failed. I can’t see that, as the Democratic Party “softening” the edges of its pro-choice stand by stressing the need to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions — and by also working harder in areas like adoption.
Obama has said the nothing should interfere with a woman getting an abortion at any stage of a baby’s development, and that includes the birth process.
Those who devalue life at the beginning, will devalue life at any age.

Posted by Lee Rust Sachs | Report as abusive

Duh, of course “life” starts at conception, before that you were a sperm and an egg in two seperate human bodies. You begin existing as “you” the minute the two “come” together. I remember clearly being pro-life when I was a fetus. Can you seriously imagine a fetus being “pro choice”? What a joke liberals are! Just say you don’t want to have a baby so you can keep partying all night long and not have repercussions. In fact, why don’t you get yourself sterilized? That way you will not have to kill your unwanted baby son or baby daughter, who incidentally, only want you to love them and let them exist, if but for a brief moment in time. Selfish.

Posted by Roberto Ramirez | Report as abusive

[…] Source: blogs.reuters.com […]

Posted by ConservativeINC » Obama says pointed abortion query “above his pay grade” | Report as abusive

This is a defining moment for both of these men. One took the question head on, even if he doesn’t believe his own answer. The other ran from the question because he couldn’t say the obvious and with the next breath support abortion. Kudos to Rick for asking the right question personhood2008.com

Posted by Keith Mason | Report as abusive

McCain kicked Obama’s rear end…..easily

Posted by kitty hogan | Report as abusive

There appear to be a lot of issues where the thoughtful resolution is above Sen. Obama’s current pay grade. Trade policy, tax policy, international relations and virtually every religion-oriented question seem beyond his level of understanding. Shame.

Posted by California Dreamer | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade ? ? ? So is the diswasher position at the local high school.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

How do people who claim to be Christians even consider a candidate that is pro-choice?

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

I am troubled by Barack’s support for the partial-birth procedure.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Ready To Lead: ummm, above his paygrade.

Posted by EdKnows | Report as abusive

A large number of pro-choice politicians answer that they don’t know when life begins. If that’s the case, though, wouldn’t it make sense to err on the side of caution, and hold that it begins at conception? If you’re wrong, then you’ve unnecessarily made a million women a year carry a pregnancy to term. If you’re right, though, you’ve saved a million lives. While it’s not an easy thing to ask a woman to carry a baby for nine months, it certainly doesn’t compare to killing. After the increased evidence of pre-birth life, it’s not very logical for politicans and the Democratic Party as a whole to keep following an extreme pro-choice agenda. It’s time they wake up and follow the will of the 80% of Americans that want tighter restrictions on abortion.

Posted by K.F. Miller | Report as abusive

What am I supposed to believe from this Obama response about when human life begins?

Am I supposed to believe that he has NEVER IN HIS LIFE consulted an embryologist or embryology textbooks which ALL state that human life begins at conception? And they belive this because they can see human life beginning at conception under a microscope. Search for IVF on YouTube to see videos of human life beginning at conception.

Or, should I rather believe that he knows that its a hard core observable fact that human life begins at conception, but he is just lying to make his pro-abortion view seem like it is a reasonable position since he “believes” that human life begins at some time after conception?

I’m surprised that the audience there didn’t boo him after hearing that response! How vile that Barack Hussein Obama would lie to that crowd and the entire TV and radio audience like that!

Posted by Quinn | Report as abusive

Obama is a typical Chicago politician. If he were truly a man of faith, instead of some opportunistic man who sits idly by while his “reverend” shouts out hate-speech, then he would answer the question that is in his heart. Or maybe he did and we are seeing a glimpse of this “savior”–a typical politician.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

If Obama cannot tell us when he begins life begins–he is not ready-nor will he ever be ready to be a leader–he is only a showman

Posted by Kathy | Report as abusive

Unbelievable. To respond to one of the most controversial subjects in in politic today as it is “above my pay-grade” should automatically disqualify him from seeking this office! A President has to make “life or death” decisions and not to know when life begins seriously questions by belief that Senator O’Bama is a Christian…in the sense that it is not an answer on a biological questionaire. Coupled with his position that he actively opposed legislative attempts to provide comfort to babies who survived abortions.

Moreover, he basically called America a selfish nation. We are the most-giving nation in the history of this planet. Whenever there is a disaster, America is there to give, give and give. We, the citizens, give more money to charitable causes per capita than any other citizens of any nation on this earth. … despite the fact that we pay almost 40 percent of our income in taxes to federal, state and local governments!

Liberals, who believe in the nanny-state government model, just don’t get it! The poverty of the world is caused by ruthless dictators who want to control how we think, how we live, how we think, how we worwhip, what type of work we should do, and what we should eat…. These dictators .. Chavez, Castro, Putin, the Imams of the world, and the ilk are socialist and worse who are only concerned about staying in control and punishing their enemies. These are who O’Bama admires and the type of change he wants to bring to our country.

O’Bama is a recycled and repackaged, left-wing socialist who wants to socialize America, destroy our economy, muzzle disenters, take from those who work and give to those who don’t socialist.

America is strong and the becon of freedom for the oppressed. It offers more opportunity than any nation in the history of the planet. We are free because Freedom is the core of all humam progress. While the price of Freedom may be great, there is not greater costs than the loss of one’s freedom.

McCain is the best choice for defending our freedom and keeping America strong!

Posted by GMWilliams | Report as abusive

[…] Obama says pointed abortion query “above his pay grade” […]

Posted by Swamp Hermit’s *QUICK* Bits « The Swamp Hermit’s Report | Report as abusive

If Mr. B Hussein Obama is not of the pay grade to make a judgement on Life or death in babies, then how can he consistently vote FOR abortion both first second third term abortion and Late term abortion. Amazing that his followers will buy into his side stepped remark about abortion but then again is that not how he is running his campaign. Evade Evade Evade the questions and give round about answers.

Posted by Tom Harrison | Report as abusive

As part of Obama’s effort to be all things to all people, he provided few direct anwswers.

Posted by Jorge | Report as abusive

On the way back from Thailand yesterday, I was discussing these two bozo’s with a coworker (not much else to do between bouts of indifferent service by the airlines). We reached the conclusion that the nicest thing that can be said about JM is that he sucks slightly less than BHO. I never thought it would come down to these two. God Bless America, as it isn’t looking too good right now. The good news is that we survived LBJ and the Clintons, hopefully we can ride out either of these 15 watt bulbs.

Posted by W Sane | Report as abusive

my man obamma is sinking himsefl. pro abortoin and drugs aint making hims look to good.

Posted by tyrone | Report as abusive

[…] Obama on abortion: I don’t make enough money to answer that question. […]

Posted by You cheatin’ (Olympic) hearts « Average Bob | Report as abusive

Just what does this bullspit statement, “above my pay grade” mean??? If he made more millions in sweetheart deals, could he answer that? No, no and hell, no.

BO is nothing more than your typical liberal hack, sidestepping questions with hard answers.

BO stinks. His level of experience and lack of maturity indicate poor, if any, leadership qualities.

On the other hand, McCain, is also in the special interest pockets. He abstained from the Medicare votes in June and July. His waffling and avoidance of addressing another hard issue are also indictments against him. I honor his service and suffering at the hands of communists in Hanoi, BUT that does not make him presidential material, either.

The USA is in trouble no matter who wins. We are getting partisan politicians, not real leaders for the most important job in the world. God help us all.

Posted by al | Report as abusive

It is ironic that my antispam work is life. When will we stop the holocaust against the unborn? When will we be brave enough to say that these are not blobs but humans that only need time to develop to full maturity. When will we stop killing our own on the alter of “choice?”

Posted by CC | Report as abusive

Above your pay grade? You’re trying to become the President of the United States of America. You can’t just pass on the tough questions. That kind of weakness will not be rewarded with votes.

Get a backbone Obama.

Posted by Luis Folan | Report as abusive

*work should be word, of course.

Posted by CC | Report as abusive

Both candidates displayed themselves well. Obama was very thoughtful and McCain outperformed expectations

Posted by Michael Fairbairn Cordova | Report as abusive

Oh My! What a craven response to a critical question. Obama has no problems with partial birth abortions (infanticide) A pratice so vile that, it’s not taught in American medical schools. To make light of such a life and death issue, shows how Obama is unfit to collect a presidential pay-rate…

Posted by AMR | Report as abusive

How can Obama claim to be a Christian or anyone claiming to be a Christian vote for Obama? Whether you believe that life begins at conception or later, Obama has done everything in his power to push for Partial-birth abortion and even supporting measures to allow a newborn who survived Partial-birth abortion to die. You can call yourself a Christian but you are not a Christian if you support this barbaric, evil procedure or support anyone who does.

Posted by Randy | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? He is running for the President of the United States of America! How much higher of a pay grade do you want? If the potential Commander in Chief can’t even express his views because he is unsure or willing, then we need someone who can accept the responsibility of that pay grade.

Posted by Keith Parker | Report as abusive

Once again, Obama fails to give a direct answer to a direct question. He is good at reading script and repeating his rehearsed “lines” given to him ahead of time. However, he is an “empty suit” when it comes to giving true thought to an answer. Also, he lacks the honesty to repeat his true ideas if it is in conflict with his audience.

Posted by H. D. Sharp | Report as abusive

I thought Obama did an excellent job at the forum! Obama is very thoughtful and intelligent! He respects other’s views and does not press his own opinions or views on other’s! Obama showed his christianity unlike McCain who tried to be a jokster, story teller and duck and dodge some issues! McCain was cleary pandering! Obama was much more sincere! I don’t want someone in office that never takes anything serious except for war! If McCain get’s in office we will be doomed!

Posted by ebony | Report as abusive

A person who never answers questions directly either cannot make up his mind or is trying to hide who he is and what he really thinks. Obama has voted against legislation that protects the infant of a botched abortion if it born alive. I don’t think you can get any more pro-abortion than that. He also supported partial birth abortion, now if I know that from his voting record why is he afraid to say that that is his position, and if it is “above his pay grade” perhaps he should be demoted.

Posted by Constance | Report as abusive

Above his pay-grade? This man is vying for the highest pay-grade possible, yet, he can’t give an answer? (I disagree with McCain’s answer, but at least he had the courage to have one.) Does he not have an opinion on one of the most divisive subjsects in morality and poltics? Or, is he not willing to give his opinion in public for political reasons, and what kind of man would either question make him? This, combined with Obama’s response to the Baltic crisis, his continual blunders and lack of opinions on other subjects, clearly demonstrates that he is not fit for any office, let alone the one in charge of all others.

Posted by Hoverwolf1 | Report as abusive

If the issue is above his paygrade perhaps Barack is applying for the wrong job. What a wuss and cop-out answer.

Posted by mapache | Report as abusive

It all depends on what the meaning of is,is.

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

The slippery messiah yet again avoids answering directly, choosing instead to speak in parables that only his fellow Marxists will understand.

Posted by BlueMax372 | Report as abusive


Posted by TED CORY | Report as abusive

Trying to be “cutsey” in ducking one of the most important questions in today’s ongoing societal controversies is not satisfactory; perhaps this shows that the Presidency is “above Obama’s pay grade”.

Posted by Missourimule | Report as abusive

For Obama, who has never served in the Armed Forces, to use an expression that is widely used by those who have is ridiculous.

Obama’s paygrade is nothing.

To the actual question he was asked, the answer he should have given if he was HONEST in reflecting his evil views should have been after birth.

He could have went on to elaborate that, this is of course exclusive of a baby that was born alive after a botched abortion, which as we all know Obama believes is a non-person that can be left to die.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

You say: “But for many conservative evangelicals — a key part of the evangelical base — life begins at conception and the argument ends there.” I am not a “conservative evangelical,” and so, as Michael Vick might say: “I have no dog in this fight.” Nevertheless, it would behoove you to do a little research–say, read a biology textbook–before rhetorically shrugging your shoulders over when a human being’s life begins. The truth, as another pseudo-scientific media outlet used to say, is out there–and, as it turns out, science supports those conservative evangelicals.

Posted by Christopher Kelleher | Report as abusive

answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade…

Weasel. Liar. You know exactly what you would do. Change we can see through.

Posted by Mikey | Report as abusive

Watched both Obama and McCain and the follow up reporters. I do think there are many areas above Obama’s pay grade. After the 3 hours my wife and I agreed that we would put our 8 year old Yard Sign (WE VOTE PRO- LIFE) in the yard today. We will include a McCain sticker on the sign. Thanks Rick Warren.

Posted by John A. Bettinger | Report as abusive

Obama states “answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

I didn’t realize that there is a PAYING JOB that determines whether or not Babies Die.
This is a moral issue and a women’s choice issue not to be taken lightly with a flippin comment from him!
Perhaps Warren should have asked him “How would ypu feel is your wife had aborted your daugthers ?” Would the answer then have been “is above his Pay Grade ?????”

Posted by Boca Bubba | Report as abusive

Once again, Obama isn’t held accountable for sidestepping an issue…especially an issue where he has the most radical leftist voting record of anyone in the senate! His answer makes for a nice soundbite, but so do most of his canned responses. This is exactly why he won’t debate McCain until he absolutely positively has to. Weak.
– Just say “no” to B.O.

Posted by Democrat Fact Checker | Report as abusive

Hopefully all future decisions for the Nation will remain above his pay grade.

Doesn’t Oßama also support forcing a hospital to allow a newborn baby to wither and die if an abortion had been attempted on it previously? That isn’t late-term abortion, that’s post-partum abortion. By that reasoning all invalids should just be left to fend for themselves.

Posted by Jim Mc | Report as abusive

McCain was the clear winner of the debate at Saddleback Church. He was precise, honest and assertive in giving his answers to questions of great importance to the American people.

Obama’s answer, to the abortion question, that specificity on the subject was…above his pay grade, told us all we need to know about him. He is not ready to be President of the United States.

Posted by Jack Dallas | Report as abusive

above his pay grade, huh? And what job is it he wants again? Maybe this is a case where we can tell where he stands by his actions. While in the Illinois State Senate, he took to the floor to vote opposition to a bill which would mandate treatment for infants surviving their own abortion. He stated that he believed the child should be killed because that was the mother’s intent. So we know he doesn’t believe life begins even after birth. It is unbelievable to me that anyone would vote for this man

Posted by smorbie | Report as abusive

At what “pay grade” can one have an opinion?

Posted by Dan Billiat | Report as abusive

Odd the Little “O” would say that this was “above my pay grade” when he voted 3 time to allow babies to die by not providing medical help after surviving an abortion attempt. I guess his pay grade vassilates according to his voting block. Funny little man that Little “O”. Did I say funny,,yeah if you spell funny “S-C-A-R-E-Y

Posted by The Dutchman | Report as abusive

Mr. Obama,
Birth control “before” pregnancy is the adult way women take care of their body. Abortion is not birth control, it is murder.
I had to prevent pregnancy if I wanted to have sex without conception and so do all other women.
You don’t know what you are talking about.
I repeat, Abortion is not birth control. In this day, no women gets pregnant unless she chooses.

Posted by Janet | Report as abusive

The Democratic Party’s position is that abortion should be legal because a fetus is just a clump of cells with no human rights.

If the procedure is no different from, say, the removal of an unwanted mole–which is essentially what the argument for legalization is–then why expend resources to reduce its frequency?

Posted by TaylorCountyCitizen | Report as abusive

The “centrist evangelicals” appreciate that the Democrats have “softened” the edges of its’ Pro Killing the Baby in the womb? Wee, that’s great. Now, when an unborn child is being SLAUGHTERED in its’ MOTHERS’ WOMB, he, or she, can be relieved that their KILLERS, have softened their ‘edges’. There should be NO TOLERENCE for the DESTRUCTION of GODS’ GREATEST GIFT, in thr Christian Religion. PERIOD. What WOULD Jesus do?

Posted by Timothy L. Pennell | Report as abusive

What’s new in the liberal camp? Same wholesale support for the “murder” of thousands of babies every day. God will not let the guilty go unpunished. He forgives but this nation will continue to pay the price. Where is the party of Harry Truman?

Posted by ManofGod58 | Report as abusive

Above his paygrade ???
But this is the man who’s going to restore America’s image around the world, save the planet and end world-hunger and world-poverty (with the help of US taxpayers).
Surely no question is above his paygrade. Could it be that by ducking the question he doesn’t want to commit to a positiion on a serious topic and offend some voters? There’s always the chance that he has no core beliefs to begin with, other than pursuing his dream of a socialist state here in America.

Posted by Karl | Report as abusive

As I recall, during the primary campaign McAmnesty was asked by a reporter what he would do if his daughter was raped and became pregnant. He said they would seriously discuss having an abortion! Now he tells the evangelicals something completely different. MCPHARISEE hypocrite!

Posted by Straight Talk Hawk | Report as abusive

I guess the buck won’t stop in the oval office with President Obama.

Posted by Joe Parks | Report as abusive

The Delusional Right! Kill 600,000 Iraqis, 3.5 million Vietnamese, incarcerate 2 million Americans for what? But Abortion…oh my god…what a heinous crime. America: 25% alcoholics, 25% people on anti-depressants, 25% delusional christians and 100% brainwashed, in-debt and out of their minds. One nation under surveillance with urine tests and wire taps for all.
God Bless America…and all the used car salesmen evangelists…what a joke.

Posted by Bob Leer | Report as abusive

What did Jesus call us to do? He called us to be like him to look at his world as he would, to serve others as a higher calling than the Torah or law. When presented His earth on the day of judgement, how might Jesus respond to our stewardship? How might he respond to an abortion clinic? Obama and Gov. Kaine of Virginia’s twisted view of Christianity Jesus would say, “great job faithful and trusted son, I love how you have served women’s rights with that abortion clinic”. Think. Do not let your logic be disuaded by your hatred of money or capitalism. There is bad in all these things but there is good as well if used properly. I cannot find any positive attribute to abortion which as I understand it, kills tens of thousands of babies each year.

May G-d come to you and make you whole.

Posted by Tony M | Report as abusive

BHO never gives a substantive answer, he ALWAYS “beats around the bush”, which is a sign of DECEPTION. Use your own gift of logic from there.

Posted by clem boeke | Report as abusive

Obama with out his teleprompters or 30 minute polished speeches showed to be a junior senator who need another 10 years of seasoning. His cool approach couldn’t help him as he side step questions so to anger his far left voting block. McCain was on point and you know were he stands. We need more of these debates and great job getting away from the usual boring questions you hear every election year asked by the same lame so called journalist rooting for the liberal.

Posted by Willy | Report as abusive

Unfortunately, more and more it appears that even being President is ABOVE Obama’s paygrade. See ya in November Barrack HUSSEIN Obama….. 😎

Posted by JC | Report as abusive

McCain looked energized. Obama seemed tired and bored.

Posted by Dawn | Report as abusive

Obama tap-dances while McCain is straight to the point. I’d say that just about wraps it up.

Posted by Dave Bowman | Report as abusive

That’s the purpose of the question: to divide people. Obama’s answer is right on, the answer all politicians should use -for their own dignity and our ours. When life begins is a religious question. Where it begins is in a woman’s womb -not some politicians. Its a question that is answered in the privacy of people, their families and communities.

The politicians pushing this issue have their hands in our pockets while trying to keep your eyes up our skirts.

Posted by Leeannethethird | Report as abusive


Posted by no | Report as abusive

Obama’s answer is right on. This issue is meant to divide -it is precisely its purpose.

The politicians pushing this issue have their hands in your pocket while trying to keep your eyes up our skirts.

Posted by Leeannethethird | Report as abusive

Barack could not say that life begins at conception-if he did how could he jusify the destrucion of a human life. Even if Barack believes life begins at conception-he will not publicley say so. Is all one has to do is look at his voting record on the issue of abortion to know what he is all about.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Considering the dude has barely held a job for any substantial period of time (other than signing up welfare recipients to vote Democratic) there is very little that he is qualified to answer.

Posted by Sara | Report as abusive

So Obama cannot bring himself to say a baby even partially out of the birth canal has no human rights. Scary! Forgive me for being a one position voter but this tells me all I need to know about Obama.

Posted by ramper | Report as abusive

Golly ,McCain sounds so wholesome one has the tendency to forget he voted to confirm Ginsberg,an official of the pro-abortin ACLU for the supremes.this cute little gal also wrote a college thesis in law school on hoping to lower the age of consent down to age 12..but I guess moral minded mccain just doesnt think folks have a memory..just wave the flag and grimace a lot..at least Obama is honest,he hates anyone who does not ‘belong’ to the insider club…I guess the thousands slaughtered and misplaced in Georgia did not seem worthy enough for either one to comment on………..a hobsons choice indeed…

Posted by Nino | Report as abusive

Get the press out of the picture and let a common sense pastor take over and WOW you really get to see who these candidates running for president are. This turned out to be a great forum. I am pro-choice but after hearing 40 million abortions have taken place since Roe V Wade does make me think twice. As Pastor Warren stated this would be considered a Holocaust. Also, double checked and Obama stated under the Bush admin abortions are up. He is wrong and should check his responses before stated non fact. Abortions are down under this administration. Please if speaking deliver true facts, candidates.

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

Let’s keep in mind that saying it’s “important to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies” can STILL leave the door open to Abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
This is just a clever use of a phrase to appease the intended audience – without saying what you mean.
I mean, after all, doesn’t an abortion end (reduce) an unwanted pregnancy?
He was honest, and said what they thought they wanted to hear. Don’t be fooled by clever answers people.
And the job of the President of the United States isn’t the right “paygrade” to answer a tough question? Give me a break!

Posted by ToddPCWV | Report as abusive

A pathetic respone by BO but the best he could do given his radical voting record, i.e. abortion anytime for any reason or no reason. Worse, if the child manages to survive the attempted murder, err abortion, then BO supports letting the baby die of neglect.

It was not so long ago that someone with these radical views would be shunned and treated as a moral leper. Today there are a substantial number of brain dead “Christians” who will actually vote for this fanatic. The end is near.

Posted by jose goldfinger | Report as abusive

We can and will fix that problem, Mr. Obama.

Posted by Gary King | Report as abusive

Obama does not want to state his known position on abortion. He may be trying to win over evangelicals but he surely will not change his pro abortion stance at the risk of infuriating his liberal base. Why he even voted in support of killing babies that were born despite an attempted abortion! He talks about helping the disadvantaged. Who is more helpless than a child left to die?

Posted by Jim in PA | Report as abusive

McCain won my vote and my backing with straight talk on many important /Conservative/Christian topics

Posted by jim keffer | Report as abusive

“… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.” — True

Despite that admission, Obama has consistently promoted the wanton destruction of innocent babies; including the Illinois case where he sued to kill child after it survived a failed abortion attempt.

His views on abortion are very similar to those implemented by totalitarian Germany in the 1930’s. (and China today)

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Excuse me for asking this, but I believe the American public MIGHT
have been duped by Pastor Rick, who looks silly in that goatee of his,
and he could lose some weight too……but what I am talking about is
this: you didn’t mention it and nobody else, but I have a very strong
suspicion that the questions that Pastor Rick asked the two candidates
were GIVEN to both Obama and McCain in advance of the
“show”……..why do I suspect this? because at one point Obama said
“I cheated here and did some research before hand…..I actually
looked at this idea ahead of time….”

he said this in response at first to one of Rick’s question around the
45 minute time….

it is all over the net now, onforums, those questiones WERE given to
both men beforehand…the entire thing was fake show……google and
search blogs

esp the democraticunderground blog


Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive

McCain seemed to be rushing, especially in the first quarter of it, to
get out his answers he had rehearsed. Then he said that weird thing
about “when are you getting to the justices question?”

That was what really convinced me. He slipped up. He was given the
questions in advance.

Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive

Thought this the best format ever to gain a perspective on each man. Knew Obama
would be eloquent and feared for McCain in that regard. Fears put to rest! Go McCain!

Posted by jeane | Report as abusive

If the answer is “above his pay grade” then Obama has just declared himself unable to perform the duties of the Presidency.

Posted by Rocco Forte | Report as abusive

I watched both Obama & McCain, and decided after the
program finished that McCain would get my vote. He was
honest, very upfront in answering the questions immediately, while Obama seemed to have to ‘think’ about
his answer. Obama seemed to stutter & stall in making his thoughts known, while McCain knew the answers already.
He didn’t have to think or make up an answer. I feel a lot better now that I’ve made my decision. I trust McCain completly with our country. Now, I can relax.
McCain & Cindy will be great as President & 1st Lady in the white house.

Posted by Sue Crisp | Report as abusive

Did anyone notice on the CNN coverage when Pastor Warren leaned over
to Obama following a commercial break to tell him he hit a “home run”
on his response to a question regarding tax brackets.

Somebody please tell me they noticed this besides us!

Posted by: Joe Lanane | via danny bloom

Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive

ooooObama like so many of his”answers” copout

Posted by Norman | Report as abusive

Abortion is NOT a Contitutional government issue. If you dont like abortions then DONT HAVE ONE!!!

SOooo damn tired of hearing this when SOooo many other important issues NEVER get discussed!!!

STRIVE to be SMARTER than a demopublican and realize that AMERICA was NEVER meant to be a controlled ‘2 party’ system!

Posted by Bitter EX democrackkk | Report as abusive

You need a “pay grade” to support the rights of human life? Whether you accept the words of the Bible or not, and however you twist the words of the Bible, God’s true words remain: “thou shall not commit murder;” Further, in Psalm 139 David writes “You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book.”

Obama says “we need to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.” How does he mean that? By aborting more innocent lives? If Obama is such a great Christian, why doesn’t he start preaching abstinence until marriage. God’s word was meant as a protection and to help us live happier lives. Sex outside of marriage, abortion, letting a little baby die outside the womb because of a botched abortion brings misery and suffering to all. Obama’s idea of “change” will bring misery and suffering to us all.

Posted by Kate | Report as abusive

[…] scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.” — Barack Obama, on abortion during a televised forum with “mega-pastor” Rick […]

Posted by Black & Right | Report as abusive

I suppose Obama thinks people will be fooled with his “above pay grade” comment. The question was direct, the answer shows intellectual arrogance.

Posted by A.C. | Report as abusive

beautiful mccain…welcome to the whitehouse

Posted by lasonya | Report as abusive

Obama is such a phony and a loser.

Posted by Barry | Report as abusive

Thats a nice way of sidestepping the question Osama. Cant you just take a stand on anything?

Posted by Josh | Report as abusive


Posted by YDLAFAMS | Report as abusive

While I like senator Obama and admire his accomplishments the paygrade comment uderscores his lack of experience in leadership and underscores that he isn’t quite ready. His pay grade is the top pay grade for leading the free world. Senator, that answer isn’t good enough.

Posted by Deb Frannigan | Report as abusive

Well, maybe the presidency is also above his “pay grade”. What a cop-out!

Posted by Henry | Report as abusive

once again mr obama comes out with a cutsy response…if answering this question is above his pay grade, so being the main man at the wh is above him…no spine on these guy…how’s he going to handle these tough guys in the political stage? ‘sorry maan, that ain’t in my job description?’…a poseur who looked very bad last night without the staged audience and a teleprompter in front…

Posted by Majito Querido | Report as abusive

The abortion issue IS THE ISSUE for evangelical Christians. Obama has it wrong and he is right, it is “above his pay-grade”. What an idiot!!

Posted by adnil | Report as abusive

Senator Obama’s answer to the question may have been catchy, eloquent… perhaps even honest. What always frustrates me is that such answers do not invite the logical follow-up question. The abortion debate is probably the most emotional and divisive one in American politics. There are several issues, of course, that invite debate. The question here, and Obama’s answer, are the dividing line in this debate. At what point is a human being a human being?
Most pro-lifers adamantly declare conception to be the answer. Regardless of whether one agrees with their resultant opinions, they are at least consistent. Some (most?) pro-choicers declare one is not human until they are born and viable outside the womb. Again, agree or not, the resultant opinions from this view are logically consistent.
Then there’s the “no one knows when life begins” crowd, most of whom seem to be pro-choice. I’ll take the Senator’s word that he believes this knowledge to be beyond us. But I would immediately ask him this question: How then can you advocate abortion? In his case, how can he possibly defend late-term and partial-birth abortion if by his own admission it could be the killing of a viable human worthy of the right to life?
I originally saw myself as pro-choice. I was so precisely because I did, and still do, answer questions such as Warren’s the same way Obama did. I don’t know the answer. I fully recognize that the beginning human life (and rights) can be defined somewhere other than at the two extremes usually put forth in the debate. I realized, however, that because I could not define that point scientifically or morally I also could not advocate killing a fetus.
The debate gets mired in euphemisms on both sides, and we lose sight sometimes of what we are debating. Abortion is most definitely the killing of something. If one can honestly believe that a fetus, any fetus, is NOT a human being then a pro-choice stance is defensible. If one cannot do that, as Obama has stated he cannot, then logically one cannot advocate abortion as their position becomes ‘it might not be murder.’

Posted by Andrew Conlin | Report as abusive

Both of these men are fence sitters. You can not be a Believer and be pro-choice, approve of same-sex marriage, or be ashamed to openly talk about your faith. One of the biggest problems is that all people have lost a healthy fear for God and everything revolves around the “I” syndrome and what “I” can get out of it for “myself”

Posted by mom | Report as abusive

If taking a stand on abortion is above Obama’s pay grade, so , I’m afraid is the persidency of this country.

Posted by Gene Lofaro | Report as abusive

I also noted that when Senator Obama was asked if he ever voted to limit abortion–since he said that pro life and pro choice people have to find common ground in limiting abortion–he didn’t answer the question. As an conservative Christian, Rick Warren and Senator McCain were better than expected and Senator Obama seemed unprepared…

Posted by Martha Zoller | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade! All political questions are above his pay grade. That’s why they call them “junior senators”. He wants the highest office in the world. I hope he can answer the tough questions. I want to see his resume!!! Being a lawyer does not qualify in being a leader. Dems should mute the speches and look to see what he did for Chicago. People should look at his associates. You are what you do, not what you say, and you are who you hang out with.

Posted by Mark LePera | Report as abusive

Obama did his usual dancing around the questions, trying to evade a direct answer.
John McCain was forth-coming with all of his answers.
We certainly know where McCain stands on all of the issues, but we are still in the dark about Obama. He wants the American people to know him, then he needs to answers the questions asked of him. He either did the politicians dance or he avoided any answer. He did this on the abortion issue when his answer was “This above my pay grade”. What on earth did that mean???
I think the American people should watch out for the Change Obama will be bringing.

Posted by RuthD. | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade???” Isn’t that like voting “present” in the Illinois legislature? How many times will a President Obama vote “present” rather than take a tough stance on behalf of the American people?

Posted by Paula | Report as abusive

Ye be warned…what a Clintonesque answer given by a man who claims to be a Christian….ye shall know them by their fruit – NOBama – his fruit is rotten!

Posted by Julie A | Report as abusive

It’s only when we have politicians who believe that each and every person is important, that we will leave the mentality of slavery. Slavery was allowed because some were thought to be less than others. Pro life gives us all hope.

Posted by Cash Green | Report as abusive

Above my pay grade = If I gave you my true answer I might loose your vote. This has been the on going problem with Obama. No precise answers and this comment speaks volumes. I do not think the man knows himself as a person just his ambition to be President. I thought the forum in which this debate was done was one of the best I have ever seen.

Posted by Jace | Report as abusive


Posted by William Paul | Report as abusive

If Obama is for abortion on demand in all cases (which is his official stand), why try to soft peddle it?

He’s voted that way, he thinks that way – ok let’s have fewer unwanted pregnancies, everyone is in favor of that.

But, ‘defender of the down trodden and poor’? Give me a break, the unborn are the single most defensless group in the world.

Posted by Doc | Report as abusive

Obama just can’t answer a question, especially one that he knows would sink him. Obama is a socialist, pure and simple who supports abortion rights, ESPECIALLY late term abortions. I love it how the media trys to paint him as a centrist; but he is as far left as you can be.STOP THE OBAMA EXPRESS

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

B. Hussein Obama is the least qualified candidate for President in recent history, and his response to this simple question is illustrative. When you want to be POTUS, no question or subject is “above your pay grade”. If you wish to defer to experts on matters of quantum physics, macro-economics, or ancient asian literature — fine. But it’s a pretty simple question he should have a thoughtful answer for: When does an unborn baby attain human rights? Conception? Second trimester? Third trimester? Birth? Six months? First birthday? Come on, Barack!

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

There was no substance to O’Bama.

Posted by norman | Report as abusive

If Obama is incapable of letting the voters know his belief regarding the start of human life because it “is above my pay grade”, them the voters should be reluctant to raise his pay grade to president.

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

If that question is above Obama’s “pay grade”, then perhaps he isn’t ready to move up a “pay grade”!

Posted by Doug | Report as abusive

Obama has a stronger pro-abortion record than even NARAL has! This man cannot be trusted.

Posted by Cajun Maverick | Report as abusive

It was a flippant answer to a serious question. The office of President of the United States is probably beyond his pay grade as well.

Posted by Murphy | Report as abusive

For God’s sake – this man is running for President of the United States – the most powerful position in the world.

The truth is – by answering this question, it would be political suicide.

He has voted numerous times for the right to kill babies that have survived abortion. He has voted to support partial birth abortion.

This man has no respect for life, at least when it comes to a baby, the one type of citizen and human that is completely dependent on adults for survival.

This man is a disgrace!

Posted by Richard Cole | Report as abusive

[…] POLITICAL: why I’ll never be President http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/08  /16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-a bove-his-pay-grade […]

Posted by POLITICAL: why I’ll never be President « Reinke Faces Life | Report as abusive

Anyone who believes that they are a Christian and votes for Obama is simply deluded. Obama is the most pro abortion candidate the Democrats could run. In the past he has supported even partial birth abortions which are in fact infanticide. The thinking of some so called Christians is so foggy it makes me sometimes doubt the wisdom of letting them vote at all.

Posted by Adheeb MaHut | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? This guy continues to demonstrate that he has no theology and philosphy he is not willing to openly reveal to the American people. He is a trojan horse whether he knows it or not. He is the wrong person to be the President of the United States. Before you vote for him…please listen carefully to what he says and review his record. My grandson Tyler is depending on it.

Posted by Jeff Sherman | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade simply means only God knows the answer. The Bible is curiouly silent on abortion per se. Or maybe you haven’t read it? Anybody who claims to know the answer as God’s word simply doesn’t have the Bible for support on that one. That said, abortion is clearly not an ideal birth control.

Posted by dirkdougler | Report as abusive

John McCain is obsessed with war. If where were no war I think he would create one- just to be in battle. Go figure as long as it isn’t his or the Bushes blood that is being shed for this war of greed they don’t have souls.

I dont trust him to run this country. People are laughing at his threats to Russia. Hell, we can’t threaten anybody right now with military or sanctions. We don’t have a soldier available because McCain and the Bushes have them committed in Iraq..

Other countries are laughing at us. We have lost our credibility. China is calling the shots because of the massive loans…

Posted by Cindy | Report as abusive

What a clever way to not answer a question -again.
Sounds good, sais nothing.

Posted by Robairto! | Report as abusive

Good job, John! Finally some Straight Talk Express right when we genuine social and fiscal conservatives need to see it! Obama’s duck and weave is typical of the pro-abortion crowd when they are trying to dupe the so-called “moderates”. The Democrat’s platform statement on abortion is NOT getting a wit more moderate. It merely acknowledges the “choice” to let a precious baby live if the mom sees fit. Not a meaningful change at all. Abortion remains the ultimate child abuse, and candidates that support child abuse are disqualified regardless of their position on other issues.

Posted by Ed Holdgate | Report as abusive

I have not been a supporter of John McCain’s for many years because of his “maverick” actions. However last night, I was immensely impressed with his performance and his quick and comfortable answers to the questions. He was very good. I’ve never had a choice but to vote for him, but after last night I feel a little better about having to do so.

Posted by Rod Spears | Report as abusive

What a coward; Obama should be proud of who he is and stand by his record of absolutely no limits on abortions at any stage, including after it is botched and the baby has a premature live birth If you cannot stand up for your own record then you are a no good politician… just like nearly all the other ones in the US Senate.

Posted by Bob in SA | Report as abusive

Obama is little more than the results of Marketing. As for his supporters, well, PT Barnum said it best, there’s a sucker born every minute…

Posted by Vink | Report as abusive

It’s “above my pay grade” to state his position? Obama simply avoided stating his position. That’s Obama. But his record on the right to life is perfectly clear: the state determines who has the right to life. With this as a premise, what good are any other human rights?

This guy is dangerous, period.

Posted by Roger Raslavsky | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade?! What a clown, he’s trying to become the President; there is no pay grade above that! It doesn’t matter if he’s pro or anti-abortion, he should have an answer to that question by now.

Posted by MB | Report as abusive

Obama…a new kind of politics, yet he still can’t give a straight answer to a basic question.

Posted by Donn | Report as abusive

Obama voted consistantly to allow killing babies AFTER they were born. This guy is a scumbag supreme. The American Communist party (Democrats) at it’s best. Stalin, Mao, and Fidel also had a “Change you can believe in” motto…change or be executed. Don’t think it can’t happen here…

Posted by Person | Report as abusive

McCain is not anti-abortion. He just wants to have sufficent future co-signers for his increased national debt.

Posted by Norm Bertasavage | Report as abusive

“Some centrist evangelicals have said they appreciate moves by the Democratic Party to ‘soften’ the edges of its pro-choice stand…”

Your make-him-look-not-so-extreme pro-Obama bias is showing: What are the names of these “centrist evangelicals”? When did they say they “appreciate” a softer stance on murdering of my children? Were were they when they said it? What are the exact quotes? Or were none willing to go on record? And why?

Or did you just make that so-called position up out of thin air to camouflage Obama’s perverted willingness to kill even breathing children?

I am already aware of the answers.

Posted by God | Report as abusive

Obama’s response was more wavering by a “poser” who is trying to appeal to everybody while covering his true position. He disgusts me.

Posted by Skepticus | Report as abusive

If answering the question on when life begins is above his pay grade, then maybe being President is above his pay grade.

Posted by JoeBrooklyn1969 | Report as abusive

Obama said “Above his pay grade??
Does that mean if we pay him more money he will decide how moral he is?

I’ll stay with the “Life at conception” argument and I don’t need more money to believe it.

Posted by HR Lee | Report as abusive

Note to Mr. Obama:

Don’t you need an opinion on when life begins…to have an opinion on when man can morally and ethically end life? I can read your opinion between the lines, but still we need to be more forthright in our positions.

Posted by Fritz W. Dahmus | Report as abusive

It’s not just above Obamas’ pay grade. It is above his spiritual awarness. To him pregnancy is a sexually transmitted disease. If the available chemicals that are used to muck up the female biology don’t work, then it is just goop that is being aborted. Even when the goop comes out kicking and screaming it is still just goop. Young couples on the T.V. ads promoting some chemical that is intended to lessen the effects of some muck that has infested their biology still claim that their lives will not be changed. Heck, they will be glad to even share it with you. It ain’t all that bad. Sex is the golden bull in Ameica. My Father used to say, ‘Son, when you mess with the bull you get the horn.’ How true.

Posted by David M. | Report as abusive

“But for many conservative evangelicals — a key part of the evangelical base — life begins at conception…”

Should be edited to read:

“But for many conservative evangelicals – and 100% of all humans — life begins at conception…”

And as far as Obama’s pay grade is concerned, if he is incapable of safeguarding the life of an unborn child how is he possibly qualified to lead this country?

Advice to all: Instrumental worship is pure human vanity and is wholly inappropriate in the assembly. Put down your guitar, turn off your amplifier… And get on your knees.

Posted by Ramrod The Republican | Report as abusive

Answering a question about abortion is above his pay grade….and this guy would have the nuclear button. Not with my vote!

Posted by Oscar D. Jackson | Report as abusive

Let’s hope he doesn’t think making a decision about when to defend America or one of our allies is above his pay grade.

Posted by Jane | Report as abusive

First, Obama backed out of the townhall debates–except one on July 4th when no one would be watching. Kind of like Edwards’s interview on Nightline on the opening night of the Olympics.
After last night, Obama may try go into a complete four-corners stall and back out of the debates. Sorry, libs, but your guy is going into his convention limping. Without even facing McCain head-to-head, he got manhandled. I think even Warren started turning on him and began enabling McCain by the end because he saw his book sales plunging if he were perceived as backing a candidate as loathsome as Obama.

In the Sunday reviews, you’ll know that McCain crushed Obama because the MSM will remark over and over how well BOTH candidates did. But we all know what happened. That giant sucking sound was Obama’s candidacy going down the toilet.

Spin on, libs. I think the considerable number of fencesitters saw in spades their choice–and their choice has to be McCain.

Posted by spatch | Report as abusive

He doesn’t know, so he kills it. I’ll pass on BHO’s “judgement” and “character”, he is dangerous.

Posted by human | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade, what a fool. It’s quite likely that Barry, if he becomes president, will be faced with similar questions. What excuse will he use then?

Posted by cluelessinky | Report as abusive

So “answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade” is it? And another Slick Willy emerges from the Democratic Party and the Daly Machine. He is using Miss Hillary’s line about making abortions “rare” while making them “safe and legal”

Clue Senator: The baby is still dead regardless of -safe-legal-rare==dead baby.
“mega-pastor” Rick Warren did not exactly cover him self in Glory with that one.

Posted by RobertG | Report as abusive

Obama is running for the highest office in the world and he can’t answer a simple question. Obama may be eligible to run for president but he is not qualified to be president.

Posted by Steve N | Report as abusive

You can not call yourself a true Christian and then vote for someone who supports abortion.

True Christians will vote for John McCain.

Posted by True Christian | Report as abusive

Great job- John McCain.
You had it all going in your faver.
Obaama look like a zomie & his answers were worse. he didn’t have his telepropter to polish his performance.
I hope the liberals can see what a fool OB made made of himself last night.

Posted by Patty Weikart | Report as abusive

So is the presidency.

Posted by Josh Carter | Report as abusive

If this question is above Obama’s paygrade, then he’s just admitted to being unqualified for the Presidency. He wants to be leader of the strongest country in the Free-World, so no question of national importance should be “above his paygrade”. Take a stand Obama. Be a leader.

What else is above his paygrade? Iraq? Russia? Iran? The economy? Take a look folks. Organizing communinty events in Chicago and 143 days as US Senator is not enough experience to lead our country in the most difficult time our country has experienced.

Try again in 2012, Obama, when you have reached a higher “paygrade” of experience.

Posted by Paygrade Flap | Report as abusive

It is quite obvious that the abortion question is not all that is “above his pay grade”. Throughout the campaign, Obama has shown he is helpless without the teleprompter. The great orator is only that! He voted in Illinois that even an aborted baby that lives has no right to life. Most people would not consider throwing a puppy in the river, but Obama would throw a newborn baby that survived an abortion in the river! You cannot call yourself a Christian and vote for this men!

Posted by Jack Sharp | Report as abusive

This man is not ready for prime time!!!!! He absolutely CANNOT (130 votes recorded at = “present”) commit to anything slightly controversial. Well, just let me say this: IT IS NOT ABOVE MY PAY GRADE to answer this question and I am on a very minimal monthly income.

I suppose the question was one of Obama’s famous “DISTRACTIONS”!!! Yupe…..a sincere and truthful answer just might “distract”, dissuade, deter, discourage, etc. some voters from pulling the lever for this poor, minimum-wage worker..Senator Obama!!!!

Posted by Axel | Report as abusive

Why is it so hard to stand up for what is right? It is wrong to abort babies, it is wrong to kill an innocent person. We only destroy our society by allowing abortion to continue. How many houses could have been bought or cars bought if we had allowed those babies to live, or what if we have killed the person who would have cured cancer. We must elect those who are willing to preserve life and not be manbe pambe about their position.

Posted by Charles Runyon | Report as abusive

Obama is a spineless coward – can’t answer a simple straight forward question for fear of losing potential votes. For his it is all about winning the election and he’ll say anything he needs to – to anyone- to obtain his objectives.

Do you really think he can stand toe to toe with the Thugs of the world?

Posted by Bob New Bern NC | Report as abusive

Sooo, It’s above obama’s pay grade about when life begins. Must be this doubt just reciently sprang up since he voted twice against bills REQUIRING doctors, nurses and er staff to provide life-saving help to a baby born alive after an unsuccessful late term induced abortion. What a great guy!

Posted by Richard Brown | Report as abusive

Typical weasel answer. Choosing Obama was a BIG MISTAKE!

Posted by r. adams | Report as abusive

So Obama can answer an abortion question because it’s above his pay grade. In other words, he’s not qualified to be President. That’s above his pay grade also.

Posted by hhd | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? Why does Obama need a “pay grade” raise to answer a question about human rights for a human baby? How about the fact that he is running for President of the United States? What other answers are above his pay grade, and what about more complicated decisions that come with the presedency? Are we going to hear that those answers, too, are above his pay grade? Shrill.

Posted by Sandy | Report as abusive

[…] night, the televangelist Rick Warren asked Barack Obama and John McCain at what point a baby gets human rights. Whatever your position on […]

Posted by Roger’s Rules » Above his pay grade? Obama opts out | Report as abusive

So is everything is that matters!

Posted by WRD | Report as abusive

cleaning sewers is above his paygrade

Posted by “typical white person” | Report as abusive

Mr. Obama is pro-abortion, and now demonstrates himself to be a coward and not admit it. Why? Because he knows most of the country now knows what abortion really is — murder of innocent children.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

The most important issue in this campaign and in the United States right now, whether people realizes it or not, is the question of the protecting the rights of the marginalized, defenseless, voiceless sector of our society, which is the unborn.

We are appalled by the 3000+ U.S. Military casualty since the beginning of the Iraq war years back but continually to look away at the 4,000+ deaths of babies everyday in this country through genocide, through abortion.

4000+ babies are murdered everyday in this country. How can that not be the most important issue in the U.S. right now? Isn’t public safety the utmost important issue we should be focusing in.

And we have Obama, who thinks that killing babies is a right that should be protected. Talk about calling evil as good…and good as evil.

Posted by Nilo Cantonjos | Report as abusive

At least McCain remains true to his anti-abortion convictions. Obama is again playing the politician- he has supported termination of life even if a fetus is born alive (hence, a baby). Why can’t he simply be truthful instead of trying to conceal his long standing beliefs in this area (and others as well)?

Posted by Steve Cook | Report as abusive

White-haired-wrinkly-guy seemed emotionally unstable at times, especially when the talk turned to issues of war. His answers were terse and angry- not thoughtful. And there was no sense of thoughtful kindness or caring about him. He was jumpy and had a harshness about him that he tried to cover up with jokes and laughing. My father was a prisoner of war. The emotional scars last a lifetime and sometimes erupt in violence. McCain is scary. It’s very frightening to think of this man answering the proverbial 3:00 am phone call.

Posted by Kris | Report as abusive

Obama looked like a sleeze with his smirk and cool demeaner. His body language showed that most things he was saying was made up as he went and to me that says he was trying to say things to make who he was talking to happy.

Posted by Keith Dill | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade?”?????

I found that to be a ridiculously horrible answer that demonstrated to me that Mr.Obama is a candidate who is afraid of making a stand on a very legitimate issue because of which voting block he might offend.

It now begs the question “what other decisions might this one day president side step because they are “above his pay grade.””

I am very disappointed in how Mr. Obama answered this question and it has me now seriously questioning whether or not I can support him. A president must not only be willing to take tough stands and make tough decisions, he must understand that sometimes his decisions, and abortion is certainly one of them, have to be steered by his own moral compass and not by the ramifications those decisions have on his popularity.

By avoiding the question in this way Mr.Obama showed he either has not developed his own set of convictions on this issue or even worse, he is not willing to stand behind them.

Posted by Jeff Urban | Report as abusive

Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. I suspect with a high degree of surety that God’s position on abortion is firm and leaves no room for moral debate. Therefore, this decision would be solely that of “Caesar’s”, or in this case Obama’s, who has elected to pass the buck rather than make a moral judgment. No, there’s nothing clever or coy about this remark . . . it’s simply a cowardly copout.

Posted by rplat | Report as abusive

ok, so the i think it is something like 40 million baby murders since Roe v Wade. If you are ok with baby killing, I mean “womens health issues”, then you must also demand immediate social security reform, after all when those hippies retire, the people that got murdered in the womb won’t be able to pay 15% of their income to FICA taxes. oh yeah abortions are linked to breast cancer, but most pro-baby killing types would argue church and wedding rings cause it. So a woman gets post-partum depression from giving birth, what does she get from an abortion. wait the sickos will argue nothing, they were cured of their sickness. now the offensive language…GOD BLESS YOU

Posted by jerry | Report as abusive

Weasel is as weasel does. He also slammed Clarence Thomas as being “not strong enough a jurist or legal thinker”. How would you know Mr 143 days of Senate experience?

Posted by Mick | Report as abusive

Obama, simply another elite wannabe president that is a member of the U.S. Congress.

Perhaps it is time to purge Congress.

Posted by Purger | Report as abusive

To hell with these worthless, aimless, characters! I refuse to vote for either one of them! This Conservative Republian is writing in Newt Gingrich for President on my ballot. Newt is not a “none of the above” choice. Rather he is the only one for leadership and an administration with vision. The democrats view him with considerable disdain. They view anyone with fresh thinking as an idealogue. That is simple to understand when you consider that democrats have no fresh ideas of their own. John McCain is a good man. But the problem is that he is lacking in vision and leadership qualities. He alwsays pursues a strategy rather than a vision of his own.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade”, oh yea, this guy is ready to be President, scary.

Posted by James Mori | Report as abusive

Obama’s sidestepping the abortion question is to me such a cowardly response. After all he has the most anti-life record in the senate, and that is saying a lot. His statement at the beginning about how we treat the least among us (referring to the poor) was such an obvious opening for Rick to ask about his voting to keep from giving medical care for babies who survived an abortion. How cruel can you get? And he is for the poor? How ‘least’ can you get than a helpless baby who just happened to be concieved at the wrong time? I admire any man who stands up for the unborn, and of course their mothers who are usually forced or co-erced into abortion. Think how much easier John Edwards life would be right now if his girlfriend had ‘chosen’ abortion. I am praing for McCain, especiall concerning the Supreme Court.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

The question was not about whether or not Obama was smart enough to answer it but whether or not he was wise and compassionate enough to wrestle with a very human problem. What a weasley and cowardly answer. At its best it was completely cerebral without any thought for the child at all, only about protecting himself. My God, what a self-centered idiot.

Posted by Susan Hanscom | Report as abusive

Of course Obama neatly side steps the “when does life begin” question; he’s supported late term abortions like no one else- there’s your answer on his views.

Posted by Cubber | Report as abusive

Obama doesn’t know when life begins, but he’s willing to allow abortions even when those children might already have human rights? Isn’t the intentional death of someone with human rights called “murder”? So Obama is willing to allow murder in his ignorance?

More proof that he’s willing to say anything, avoid any question, change his position as needed in order to win this election. Disgusting.

Posted by ken | Report as abusive

women who believe in choice …all womens rights to health benifits..equal pay and on and on now is the time to stand with obama.
men if you have a mother ..sister..or daughter..it is also a call for you!

Posted by h kendell | Report as abusive

WOW! How stupid can you get Obama? Above your pay grade??? Good job winning over the crowd there…my guess is there wasn’t a huge number of people fainting in the aisles when you uttered that bit of stupidity…

Posted by Cajun WBVMC | Report as abusive

Obama was all style and glib gibberish. McCain was all blunt substance, no equivocation!

Posted by Rebecca Lewis | Report as abusive

“Above his paygrade”? and he’s running for the highest office in the land? Guess he’s not up to the job.

If he’s unsure on life’s beginning and when an unborn human being should have “rights,” then he should feel morally compelled to err on the side of life.

So much for being an intellectual!! Obama isn’t nearly as smart as he and his cabal think.

Posted by Otis | Report as abusive

I don’t understand the term ‘above his pay grade’. I am confused. He is not going to tell us until we elect him president? Why would he duck that question! It was an easy question… I didnt have questions, but now I do…
And McCain, he needs to back off the ‘at conception’. This isn’t ireland, most evangelicals believe life begins at implantation. Otherwise, birth control would be just wrong. Besides, that wasn’t even the question.
Why can’t they just say what we all believe- human rights begin the moment the baby lives independantly from it’s mother. However, when life begins, thats a whole nuther ballgame.

Posted by Michelle | Report as abusive

What a difference! Obama was all about style and equivocating gibberish. McCain was all about blunt substance, experience and facts.

Posted by Rebecca Lewis | Report as abusive

What a wishy washy non-answer from Obama. I’m just glad he admitted he’s not qualified to address issues like abortion with specifics, which I would conclude means inability to promore or oppose legislation or supreme court justices. When are people going to call him for specifics not empty “its a ethical issue” answers. No kidding its ethical and moral but where does he specifically stand? I can only assume from his “above my paygrade” answer that his choice is the unethical and immoral choice. Sad.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

How many other issues are above Obama’s pay scale? When he is President, will his pay scale be high enough to give an honest answer to the full term, born alive question?

Posted by Cari | Report as abusive

Obama is a weasel, he is the most pro-abortion Senator in the Senate, he even voted against the rights of a child who survives a partial-birth abortion, he is trying to have it both ways and should not be able to get away with it. His radical pro-abortion views deserve no support from people of faith and his unwillingness to come clean about his views exhibit his untrustworthiness.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

we just watched a boxing match. A boxer who likes to bob and weave,,, and another came to fight…you guess which is which

Posted by sam | Report as abusive

He could have opted out for adoption and gotten more votes. Saying that it is up to God to decide is a cop out.

Posted by Charles | Report as abusive

What a cowardly answer from Obama. He has voted THREE TIMES to deny life support to a child who survives an abortion. Man or monster? You decide.


Posted by John | Report as abusive

NObama knows when life begins, knows that a woman has a right to choose. BUT that the choice is made BEFORE the legs are spread. Once the child is alive it has more right to live than it’s MOTHER has to kill it.

I’m not even Christian, or religious for that matter.

Vote for real choice – revolver or semi-auto. yugo or SUV

Posted by obamanation | Report as abusive

Barry Houssain Obama is a phoney and an empty suit. Look at the latest pictures of him and John “The Waffle” Kerry. He has a look in his eyes like he has sold his soul and is on a runaway train with no control. Aside from that, it’s quite evident that the man cannot produce an original thought.

CHANGE…it’s ALL you’ll have left.


Posted by fred | Report as abusive

Most people would be in favor of saving the life of a baby born alive after an abortion. Obama voted against a bill that would save a baby born alive after an abortion which answers the question about when Obama would afford human rights to an unborn baby. Answer: never, making Obama an extremist when it comes to being pro abortion and out of sync with the majority of Americans, I would say even the world. Obama’s extremists views on abortion tells you a lot about Obama’s moral code and judgment. I would go so far to say that most Americans do not want someone in the White House who appears to be in favor of infanticide.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Please do not post my previous comment, I had it backwards.

I meant to say:

The fact that Obama will not vote for three different bills that prevent babies from dying of neglect after failed abortions tells me all I need to know about this monster.

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

This is incredible! Not WRIGHT for America has been dogging Obama to answer this exact question about when a baby has rights, since Obama does not even believe they have rights upon birth (hence he opposed the Infants Born Alive Protection Act). So when is it, Obama?

It seems that the people above his pay grade here are Planned Parenthood, who he answers to on this issue.

Posted by Gypsy Man | Report as abusive

Obama’s refusal to answer the questions on abortion is a cop out. If he ran his campaign on his true left wing radical liberal beliefs he would have no chance. The abortion issue isn’t the only thing that is above Obama’s pay grade. America can’t afford this radical in the White House.

Posted by Kirt | Report as abusive

This guy is a Harvard-trained lawyer, but can’t answer a simple legal question?

The writers of the Declaration of Independence had no problem answering this, “all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.” Obama ought to read it sometime–or maybe it is above his pay grade.

Posted by Lrk | Report as abusive

John McCain gave a perfect performance last night. Obama, as usual, did not answer one question directly but sidestepped evey issue, to the point that when it was over, I asked myself, “What did her say?”. Please, do not be fooled by Obama’s ‘personality’.If you vote for The Chosen One, you will derserve everything you get. Unfortunately, so will all Americans.

Posted by CindyBrooks | Report as abusive

RINO McCain was spot on with his response here, but is considering placing pro-choice Ridge as his VP. Everytime I start to warm up to him, he does, or publicly considers doing something to turn away the base. The latest? The possibility that we’ll have a Democrat as his VP. I love Lieberman, but not as my party’s VP!

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

“Above his pay grade.” I wonder how many times he plans to use that one in the future. Trouble with Russia? Solving problems with radical Muslims? Too much govt waste?

“Above my pay grade.”

And that’s why he’s unqualified to be POTUS.

Posted by Deana | Report as abusive

It appears to me that for obama to answer any question with “specificity” is above his pay grade. His qualifications are almost minimum wage.

Posted by Mike Doyle | Report as abusive

Hey Obama, nothing like avoiding the question! And you’re are so good at telling people on both sides of the fence what they want to hear yet you stumped on this one.
What cracks me up is the liberals will say the child has no rights until it’s born yet on the same breath they want to charge a person with double homicide if someone kills a pregnant woman. You can’t have it both ways!

Personally, after the first tri the child should have rights!

Posted by Adelyn | Report as abusive

I was most interesting to watch the eye contact,or lack thereof as well as the general body language. Who best can stand up to Putin,”when we look in his eyes we see KGB”.
Who do you think you would do business on a handshake with?
TEXAS Cattleman

Posted by J.R. | Report as abusive

If you arent sure when life begins, how can you support abortion?

I think Obama made a huge gaffe on this.

Posted by tim88 | Report as abusive

Obama’s correct — it is above his pay grade. The presidency is too.

Posted by Al Bienstock | Report as abusive

As usual, elitist Obama dodged the question. More ‘pretty words’ with no substance.

Posted by Anon. | Report as abusive

I watched the entire show. Felt J. McCain’s answers were sincere and fell in line with my convictions. Obama;s answers didn’t always fall in line with his voting record, i.e. his answer concerning caring for people in need, (as I relate that to abortion), he hasn’t in the past felt the need to vote for the surviving baby of an abortion to get medical care.

Obama will raise my taxes. I pay enough. Government needs to spend more carefully.


Posted by Sharon Longley | Report as abusive

Query above his pay grade.

Isn’t that exactly what everyone’s worried about?

Posted by J Irwin | Report as abusive

Knowing Obama’s record with a real life case of supporting a babies death, while out of the “womens body”,after an unsuccessful abortion, maybe his elusive answer should have been- Life begins when a baby learns how to speak and can say the words I AM A LIFE AND DO NOT WANT TO BE KILLED!

Posted by Sandra | Report as abusive

Do not censor my opinion!!!!

Posted by Steve Tarkington | Report as abusive

If the abortion question is “above paygrade”, then so is the Presidency above his pay grade.

Posted by D E Pullen | Report as abusive

That’s a little scarry – “above my pay grade.” Has he not heard of ultrasounds? How about visualizing the heartbeat at 6 weeks after conception. Come up with something – but above my pay grade says he’ll be on vacation in Hawaii the next time Russia decides to strut its stuff.

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive

If it’s above his pay grade to say whether or not life begins at conception, then what is he doing saying that to kill an unborn baby is OK?! And go check out Jill Stanek’s testimony about how when he was confronted with the fact that at a certain hospital in the State where he was a Senator, Illinois, they were allowing babies that survived being aborted to be left to die in the utility room. Nurse Stanek was fired from her job for going to the head of the hospital about it. She then testified before a hearing at which Obama was the head of, and he said it would be UNCCONSTITUTIONAL to NOT allow it!!! He then accused the nurse of wanting to do away with Roe v. Wade! What a jerk! And you want this creep to be our President?!

Posted by Margie | Report as abusive

Ok, so the question about when life begins is above Obama’s “pay grade” but McCain was able to answer it? Proves Obama is not ready to get $400,000 (the president’s salary).

Seriously, does Obama really think the public is that stupid as to not see that all he was doing was ensuring he didn’t lose Democratic votes from pro-abortion voters?

Posted by David | Report as abusive

To answer that a question is above your “pay grade” is to attempt to push the responsibility for having an answer to the question on someone else.

Is he not qualified to think for himself?

It’s not rocket science, it’s a moral and philosophical question that everyone should think about.

If Obama is going to push his view and back legislation in relation to abortion, he should have an answer to that question that he can explain in a thoughtful manner.

“Above my pay grade” is no excuse for backing murder.

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

If Obama believes that abortion is above his pay grade he is unfit to serve as President. As President he would have to enforce our rights under the Constitution. The primary right of all being Life. If a President is unwilling to obey that, he would be willing to disregard every other right we have.
Every President since Roe has failed in their duty to protect the lives of the innocent babies that have been denied their fundamental right. Roe is a court opinion, not law. Courts do not make law, take the time to read the Federalists Papers and you will discover this lost principle. The President has a Constitutional duty to ignore an illegal court opinion.

Posted by David Kyle | Report as abusive

In God’s eyes, no child is not wanted. Life does begin at conception, which makes abortion wrong. If Obama was a true Christian he would realize this.

Jesus said to give on to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give on to God what is God’s. Jesus kept them separate, He did not combine the two.

As a “true” Christian you first, follow God’s word and then follow the law’s of man. So, a Christian can not except abortion as Obama does

Posted by Glenn G. | Report as abusive

Obama is a showman and the picture of a politician. He knows that his stance on abortion is extraordinarily distasteful to many Americans (he supports partial-birth abortions). Instead of coming forward with a little dignity and _honestly_ answering the question, he sidesteps, tucks his tail, and mumbles something about paygrades.


I believe life begins at conception. That’s simple.
If you support partial-birth abortions, life begins immediately after birth. Still simple. Simply barbaric.

Obama is a coward.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Whether it is about the human rights of the unborn or blatent aggression by Russia, Obama’s response always equivocal. “Maybe this, maybe that… I don’t know (above my pay grade)… both parties are at fault and need to be nice… Let’s just get together and talk…”.

Posted by William Abrahams | Report as abusive

I’m probably not voting this year, but I think that Obamma was refering to God when he made this statement. That is to say, only God can say when life begins. Besides, evangelicals ought to start respecting the sanctomy of life of all the innocent Iraqi people who have been murdered by the American government. PS… I’m registered Republican.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Judging from the sexist campaign that the Obama machine ran against Clinton in the primaries, I would say that the US Presidency is above his pay grade as well.

Obama is a presidential intern.

Posted by Judith Schultz | Report as abusive

Hussein proved to be the slick political hack he really is. On most questions he did the rope a dope coming down on both sides of the issues and avoiding specific answers. Unfortunately, the Reverend let him get away with it by never once saying “You didn’t answer my question”. The best example of this was the question on when do you believe life begins. Anyway, take the teleprompter and the expertely written speach away from Hussein and he is just a double talking hack and empty suite novice!

Posted by Jerry from Tampa | Report as abusive

So Obama wants to be president? And then will his “pay grade” be sufficient to answer difficult questions? Or should we judge him now on his unwillingness to answer questions? What an Empty Suit. Whether your pro-life or pro-abortion rights, this fool should at least be required to answer question. When will the 45% of Americans that like this guy wake up?

Posted by Lee in Dallas | Report as abusive

“Above his pay grade”?? How arrogant it that? And yet the faithfull will continue to follow him while degrading McCain calling him “the next Bush”.
Over and over Obama has shown his arrogance. But don’t say anything negative towards him or point out issues against him that matter, that would be “racism”.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

above his pay grade??? what $*&#??? he’s running for the most powerful position in the world. answer the question OBUMMER!!! you are a disgrace to call yourself a Christian, you insult the very word! Kudos for McCain.

Posted by horst | Report as abusive

If there is any question who should be President, look at the way they answer the question. Obama supports late term abortions vehemently, but dances around the issue when dealing with people of faith. McCaim sticks to his position. We are tired of having the last two Presidents who lied all the time.

Posted by unreal | Report as abusive

OBUMMER is unraveling as he speaks!

Posted by horst | Report as abusive

“Above your pay grade” Come on Barack. You are applying to be the leader of the free world. There isn’t a higher pay grade! You are it! If you can’t have enough spine to take a stand, to take a moral and ethical position then you do not have the strength of character and moral reasoning to be my President.

Posted by Bruce Cole | Report as abusive

This man is without a soul. He needs someone to tell him when life begins? He is also a coward, fearful to stand on principle for anything. I take that back, he is not afraid to take a stand against the voiceless and the powerless. Shameful!

Posted by kmne68 | Report as abusive

Absolutely, Mr Obama was certainly out of his depth and probably far below his pay-grade.
He is used to speaking with a teleprompter and a mike in his ear.

He is a complete failure and once again the democrats will lose another election.

Bring back Senator Clinton as fast as you can.

Do Obama and this country a favor.

Posted by SLaz | Report as abusive

“Above my paygrade”? Are you kidding me? I wonder what other issues, that are important to the American people, are above his paygrade. Is the Presidency above his paygrade as well?

Posted by Don Quashie | Report as abusive

Hmmm… Above his pay grade?

The presidency shall remain ‘above his pay grade’ too with glib elitist comments like that.

Posted by Dj | Report as abusive

He did not side step the question, he told the truth. An unborn child’s life is truly in God’s hands. Eternally above his pay grade. I am a mother of four high risk pregnancies. And each time I have to come to terms with the fact that the life inside me does not belong to me, but to God only. My baby is in God’s Hands. Barak Obama knows that an unborn child is in the balance between heaven and earth… this is an issue that involves God, mother, and child – Not some mere man. I think when he says “above his pay grade” he is trying to convey that this is not an issue for the government to decide. This is the stuff of Personal Spiritual Warfare and the government cannot go there – not even if they try. Just as some could say a doctor who provides abortion is playing God; a government who controls a woman’s body and the life growing inside the woman’s body is also playing God. As parents, we are accountable for our children of course under God’s authority. It’s not merely murder to lose an unborn child when the mother knows she will not be able to provide what God intended when he gave us life and the power to create life. It is a profound loss. But so is an abused and neglected unwanted child. So is an orphan trapped in a system that is incapable of true love. So are parents who are lost under a burden they cannot bear. So is a world with an all but forgotten population of orphans. And we all no that a president cannot make abortion just go away, legal or not. Only God can do that. We can commit to being God’s Servants. But if we criminalize and demonize abortion, then we immediately make it much harder to reach out to those who need our help in creating a world where abortion no longer exists. And Jesus will have to come back to finalize that. Barack Obama knows he is no Jesus Christ. He can only humbly follow the teachings of Jesus. And yet some conservatives try to blast him and portray him as portraying himself as Christ. Well, in that case I am sure he would be doing all he could to raise these unwanted babies from the dead and loving them in his open arms. He is only human and he knows it! COME ON! He gave a very human and humble answer to a question concerning the mysteries of life and death.

Posted by mel | Report as abusive

What an incredibly insufficient article! You completely forgot the rest of his answer, and chose instead to cover the 5% of it you could get people to take issue with!

Posted by Hank | Report as abusive

Obama did himself no favor by honestly admitting that neither he nor anyone else knew when life begins. McCain was more demagogic and therefore he will win.

Posted by norman ravitch | Report as abusive

I don’t understand how our so-called educated media continues to miss so many missteps or inconsistencies. John McCain was so emphatic about when babies receive human rights, which is at conception. Yet, he agrees with “Stem Cell Research”. How does one reconcile that inconsistency? It is not ok to abort them but it is ok to remove embryos for scientific experiments.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Coward. Not too shy to kill babies. Just too shy to admit it. Oh, sorry, he is just going to PICK the people that are going to reaffirm a “constitutional right” to kill babies. Don’t kid yourself. Everyday “failed abortions” are put on a table in the laundry room of hundreds of hospitals and clinics and left –sometimes for 8 to 10 hours to DIE. Unheld, unloved, alone. This “man” makes a joke about it.

Posted by moronpolitics | Report as abusive

Typical liberal: Thinks the Iraq war is a waste of time, resources and soldier’s lives, but is willing to allow the government to supplement the wholesale slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children.

Posted by Ovedya | Report as abusive

Obama seems to have forgotten that the controlling issue on when life begins is governed by law. As a paid US Senator he is expected to cast a vote on on relevant legislation, therefore it is within his pay grade. I believe he has already cast those votes which shows he does not believe that even after birth life has begun and that it is still the mothers right to terminate the childs life. Or else he advocates infanticide.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

“… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

typical snarky, empty-suited non-response wrapped in fancy words.

Posted by 1eyeninja | Report as abusive

[…] think this answer is going to hurt Senator Obama: DALLAS – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama side-stepped a pointed query about […]

Posted by wolfe’s Musings » Blog Archive » “Above my pay grade” | Report as abusive

The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) both in the Illinois and Federal legislatures was meant to make illegal death by neglect of born but unwanted infants. Obama as a State Senator he said he voted against the Illinois bill because the Federal “neutrality clause” was not included. Turns out he is not telling the truth about this fact. Even worse, he knows better because he was part of the legislative committee that added that very “neutrality clause” to the very same bill.

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block this bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

Posted by Ron Fellastanoocci | Report as abusive

Wow. I am so stunned by Obama’s answer my head is reeling. Is he not a human being? Is he not qualified to have an opinion? And is that a message to us lowly citizens, that nor are we qualified to have an opinion? What a collossaly dumb answer. But hey, this is the guy who is letting Bill and Hill push him around in what should be his moment, so how smart can he be.

Posted by Schecke Coxtoastin | Report as abusive

I am neither a Democrat nor an Obamamaniac. Nevertheless, he gets my respect for this reply. Abortion will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. A President can place his desired candidate on the Supreme Court, but he has no control as to how the Justices will vote on such issues. McCain threw the crowd a sound-bite that they (presumably) wanted to hear. Between the two, Obama’s was the more honest answer.

Posted by lirelou | Report as abusive

regardless of your stance on abortion….scientifically speaking, life begins at conception.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

I agree. We need more dumb presidents who can’t use big words like “specificity,” because they’ve served us so well over the past eight years. Those Bush tax cuts sure are working!

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Obama must wait to ask George Soros what his opinion should be on abortion. The puppet master must instruct the puppet before the puppet may speak.

Posted by Darrel | Report as abusive

“is above my pay grade.”? Are you kidding me? And this is the guy they are going to nominate in Denver?
This won’t be a campaign; it will be a suicide mission.

Posted by Bill Chicago | Report as abusive

Still not taking a firm stance on anything. Pathetic.

Posted by Not for obama | Report as abusive

Obama’s response was lame and gutless. I may not believe in the liberal pro choice view on abortion, but I certainly have alot more respect for somebody if they stand behind what they believe. This kind of wishy washy non answer did not win any points with me.

Posted by mlindsey88 | Report as abusive

So McCain goes against the bible and history – where until quite recently – abortion and abortifactants were acceptable through the “quickening” – or that point at which one can feel the fetus moving about.

McCain would also thus be against any help in that regard for rape victims and victims of incest – he would sentence them all to 9 months of labor and a life time of knowing that they had brought a product of a hate crime into this world – no matter what the victims feelings about the issue might be. He would be against stem cell research as it has been approved by the Bush administration. A bit harsh.

Posted by nh bob | Report as abusive

And who the heck can say that John McCain loves babies? Where is that in evidence? Because he’s adopted a view on when life begins that resonates with yours? That doesn’t even mean that he loves blastocytes; it just means he’s adopted that position.

Show me McCain’s policy positions on issues affecting babies — children who have already been born.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Still unwilling to give a simple answer to a simple question. The Bible Obama claims to love says, “you shall know them by their fruits”, but if they bear no fruit at all, how can you know them? Or is no answer also an answer? Being willing to stand for something, anything,and defend your position is a strong sign of leadership. What is the opposite a sign of? Like the song says, “a little less talk, and a lot more action!”

Posted by civilnomore | Report as abusive

It is unbelievable that a true Christian is not pro-life.
Thank God for McCain. BO, is a pretender to the presidency and cannot be trusted. We pray that McCain will not choose Romney for VP. He too, is a pretender and cannot be trusted.

Posted by CMHinsley | Report as abusive

The question posed wasn’t a scientific or theological one. Just a straightforward question about the subject. In typical fashion, Obama can’t give an answer.

He knows that if he were to give his true answer to the question, he loses nothing but he can’t help but give a non-answer out of habit. It’s what he does.

Those that will be voting for him know what his thoughts are. Those voting against him know what his thoughts are.

Posted by anarchy2day | Report as abusive

What Obama said yesterday contradicts what he has said in the past on the abortion issue. He has called, on several occasions, a baby that survives an abortion a “fetus” and has indicated that in doing so he would not support confirming basic “human rights” on that child. That fact that he won’t face this issue of life and death (not of choice and some like to call it) is sad.

If you support the legal killing of unprotected children, what is there left to do and worry about? What does that say about society? Abortion is NOT about a woman’s choice; it IS about murder. And until America faces that reality as a nation, the killing will continue. Why is it that when a pregnant woman is killed and the fetus is killed at the time or the crime, there are 2 crimes (Laci Peterson Law)? But, the woman going to a clinic to kill that fetus is legal? You can’t have it both ways.

Obama’s Abortion Extremism
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/article s/2008/04/caseys_endorsement_lacks_fathe .html

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Nothing Obama could have said would have been acceptable to the pro-lifers.


Posted by david32423 | Report as abusive

Had my doubts about McCain. Until last night. Go McCain. NOBAMA.

Posted by Stacy | Report as abusive

As inexperienced as Senator Obama is, there isn’t much that isn’t above his pay grade. Perhaps he’s recognizing this and will withdraw from the race…..LOL

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade? C’mon. Pitiful. This guy opposed the use of life-sustaining medical efforts when an aborted child is born alive. This is an extreme and very serious position to take and deserves a serious answer when questioned about it, not this kind of cutesy remark.

Posted by Po | Report as abusive

Obama, you were being asked a LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE question, you idiot – it IS your paygrade! Nevermind, I know when you think human rights begin…in the case of partial birth abortion it’s when the head comes out and the baby breaths….that’s why the procedure is performed feet first and the head is stabbed. Didn’t you also vote to let babies that SURVIVED an abortion and were breathing, to die? Maybe you are operating above your pay grade already.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Reading a response above – yes indeed we did “survive” the Clintons. We “survived” having 22 million jobs created, having the Dow Jones Industrial Average go up over 300% – having the poverty rate drop and the unemployment rate drop from 7% to 3.9% and having the US run a budget surplus for the first time in ages. Under the neo-cons – crushing deficits – a rise of less than 10% in the Dow Jones over 7 1/2 years – fewer than 5 million jobs – increase in the poverty rates and unemployment rates – the loss of the City of New Orleans and a botched war, the housing crisis and the oil crisis. I could us a little more Democratic style “survival”.

Posted by nh bob | Report as abusive

McCain showed what a leader he is. He answered all of the questions that were asked of him in a detailed manner to fully answer all questions. Barrack danced around each question stuttering and didn’t even really answer the questions.

I was very impressed with how much better McCain did during this forum. His experience and knowledge of history and the world leaders is hands down above that of Barrack.

I feel sorry that Barrack looked so inexperienced.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Gosh, I’m below the Obama’s pay grade. I guess I shouldn’t think about big things like abortion. Better leave it to my superiors.

Posted by MargaretD | Report as abusive

This is in response to Andrew Austin’s comment. Andrew, if life begins at conception then abortion is murder. The state forcing women to have babies? You have just admitted that fetuses are babies, plain and simple. Women (and men) have the choice not to have a baby. it is called contraception. Personal responsibility. And if you are not smart enough to master the complexities of the pill, there is always Implanon. And if the contraceptive fails, there are thousands of willing parents waiting to adopt your “mistake”. Heaven knows, we wouldn’t want you “punished with a baby.”

Posted by james cummings | Report as abusive

Sex = babies. Don’t want babies? Don’t have sex. Don’t kill the babies. It is simple logic. But, American’s don’t like logic. They want convenience.

Posted by Brent | Report as abusive

A fetus is not a person, therefore a fetus doesn’t have human rights. The fetus would die if not for the woman. If the woman choses that she does not want the fetus, it is her body and her right. Simple. Those of you who want fetuses should have them. This is not a police state that tells womens what can and cannot grow in their bodies. Obama’s answers shows that he comprehends deeply philosophical issues. Sorry if you don’t like it.

Posted by Downtown Grl | Report as abusive

This question and answer session further convinced me that Senator Obama is nowhere near ready to lead the greatest country on God’s Green Earth. The man simply spouts sentiments and statements that show has lack of depth, understanding, and experience in anything that could make him lead this country adequately. To me, it is simply scary to think that people in this country might choose him for the most important job in the world. McCain, again, by his experiences, words, and solutions to our serious problems proved that he is amply qualified and will continue the leadership, dignity, respect, understanding and greatness to our country. And I was pleased that he mentioned N. Sarkozy, France’s President, who is trying to bring the same to his country. We need men, and allies like him in this world of adolescents to bring common sense and attempt to bring maturity and self reliance to their citizens, and country – where people realize that they are responsible for their deeds and lives, and must be accountable for themselves.

Posted by gprice | Report as abusive

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die.”

Not just wrong, this sinks to utter STUPIDITY! Nobody forces any woman to get pregnant. Unprotected sex is a choice, freely made. That choice, once it results in the creation of another human being, is a voluntary choice to pro-create. Exceptions: Rape, incest and mental defect.

Posted by Doug | Report as abusive

The abortion debate is so ridiculous. I am totally against abortion, yet EVEN MORE against the government controlling it.

You worry about you and let someone else worry about themselves and this and so many other debates would be over.

The people that are so hell bent to control someone elses life actually scare me. It would be a lot better place if people would just mind their own damn business.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

Perhaps a trivial adjustment to the definition of person is in order. I propose no personhood status until age 18. This would extend the carnage from the innocent to the less obviously so. The abortion of an adolescent fetus might find justification in poor behavior. We will, under my proposal, end up with much better behaved children.

Posted by JimDriskill | Report as abusive

I’m not religious so have no views on abortion from that standpoint. I do believe that human life begins at conception. When I hear opponents say it is just a non-viable tissue mass, it makes me cringe. If left alone, what do they think it is going to become, a walnut? No, it is a human being at an early stage of development. I would respect their opinions more if they would just say they don’t care that it is a human being, they just don’t want to be inconvenienced by it.

Posted by Steve Hollar | Report as abusive

What a way to skirt the issue. Obama tries not to be nailed down on his views. Afterall,if we knew his view on abortion,or any issue for that matter, we might be forced to make a judgement on his character. If its one thing liberals fear the most,its facing truth,and moral the delema accompanying that truth. We don’t want to make value judgements do we. Hopefully the public will recognize this empty suit.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Now that Obama messed up again he will have to spin out an answer for his foolish comment.

Fox News – Senator Obama, what did you mean when you said this issue was above your pay grade?

“I meant that God himself is the only one to determine that. I thought I was clear in God’s house, that I was deferring to him on the issue.”

What he really means however is that he will do anything in his power to make sure abortion is legal, and to advance the methods and terms permitted under the law.

I don’t care frankly about this issue in comparison to others, but it shows how completely fake he is. Don’t elect this liar.

Posted by unreal | Report as abusive

This is directed to Andrew Austin’s comment. Sir, there is no more complete tyranny than what you advocate. The feebleness of mind you posses is betrayed by your own puerile statements.

Posted by Scott Sweeney | Report as abusive

Obama is in over his head or should I say he is in over his paygrade.

Posted by Long Johnson | Report as abusive

China likely cheated with underage gymnasts at the Olympics. Truth has never been a Communist strong point.

Posted by Silazius | Report as abusive

I have a question that I’ve never heard anyone address and it is this:
How can we say that women are strong enough to go into a war zone and face all the stress, discomfort, emotional duress, trials, fears, etc. of war, but it is too difficult for them to carry an unwanted baby to term? Can someone explain?
Please don’t tell me about about the whole freedom to choose. Finish the sentence . . . Freedom to choose to kill her baby.
Our definition of freedom is warped. Freedom is meant to mean free to do what we ought to do, not free to do what we want to do. We never ought to intentionally kill an innocent life. It is a distinct life, and it does not belong to anyone else.

Posted by Jeri | Report as abusive

Richard Cole, wear do you get your facts? or do you make them up as you go along?

“this man has no respect for life.”

are you out of your mind? seriously.

This is exactly the kind of mindset and person that scares me in this country.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

To Andrew Austin: If you concede that, as you stated, “it doesn’t matter when life begins” then for the sake of this arguement we will assume it begins at conception and as the article pointed out, that is when its rights begin (Obvious if its a living human). And then, as you stated, the woman still has the right to terminate its life to preserve her rights, why then would your mother not have the right to end your life today? You are both living humans being terminated by your mothers? And maybe fathers should also have the right to do this? I can think of several “honor killing” fathers that would agree with your assessment. And if mothers and fathers have the right to murder, why should it be bound by relationship ties? I can think of thousands of murderers in our prison system that think you are the einstein of political policy!

Posted by corey | Report as abusive

Saying that you don’t know when life begins but being an advocate for abortion rights is like saying that you don’t know if anyone is in a building while advocating burning it to the ground. Ignorance is not a defense for murder.

As for the argument “If you dont like abortions then DONT HAVE ONE!!!,” that’s pretty catchy. Don’t limit such a catchy argument to abortion, though. If you dont like murder then DONT COMMIT ONE!!! If you dont like rape then DONT RAPE ANYONE!!! Life is much easier when you can live your life one slogan at a time.

Posted by Pro-human | Report as abusive

[…] a baby

Posted by Obama says pointed abortion query | Report as abusive

The question truly is, When do we grant political (human) rights to a person? To say one doesn’t know when life begins is a dodge. Everyone who took high school biology learned this: The zygote is the first stage of a uniquely individual human life. It has all the physical and genetic stuff needed to progress to the nexts stages and eventually become a baby. Any honest discussion must acknowledge this biological fact, which can be verified in any high school, college, or medical school textbook.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

When truth confronts liberals then tend to ignore its reality. Hence the use of the word “choice” for deliberate literal execution of a viable living child during partial birth abortion as a most extreme example. Seriously, put yourself in the “operating” room during such a procedure. Put Obama in the room. I won’t describe it here, but the child is truly “partially” born. One cannot represent himself as a unifier, much less a reasonable human being in my book, if he can shrug his shoulders and pass off an answer to a higher paygrade – I think we all know what that answer would be in any event. Other late term abortions are just as horrible to the unborn child. While there are those that feel there are no gray areas with this issue, Obama certainly isn’t gray when it comes to abortion. Anyone who can be pro-partial birth abortion is no centrist, no unifier, and you have to wonder if “choice” of political aliances trumps that of life itself.

Posted by Bull Moose | Report as abusive

It is not a matter of “if you don’t like abortions, then don’t have one”. It is a matter of life and ending it because of poor choices. Women need to be more responsible about their “choice” of having sex and becoming pregnant. Women and men all have a “choice” about sex. How about self control and responsibility instead of aborting a baby because you lacked it. BTW, I am a woman who loves sex as much as the next person.

Posted by Average Jane | Report as abusive

“Abortion is NOT a Constitutional government issue.”

I couldn’t agree more. However the supreme court magically made it a constitutional issue – wrongly so in my opinion.

And I beg to differ, this IS an important issue because it deals with the most basic of human values – life!

If the “messiah” thinks this issue is “above his pay grade then he is making his own case for not being qualified for the presidency.

“If you don’t like abortions then DONT HAVE ONE!!!”

How about – If you don’t want a child then DON”T GET PREGNANT!!!

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

I am kind of shocked with the disproportionate number of pro-lifers on this board. Maybe they’re the only ones who get riled up over what is a very humble answer–God is the only one who knows when life begins. He’s not referring to his pay-grade status as a senator or as anything else, but his status as a human with imperfect knowledge. God is the only one who knows the truth. Oh, I’m sorry, Obama’s the presumptuous one, while everyone on this board knows the most difficult answers known to man.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Seems like we have some pseudo-scientists here. So maybe someone can exactly define what “Life” is. That’s a debate that has been raging for years in the scientific community. It’s pretty difficult to define where Life begins if one cannot determine what Life is.

Posted by SWMissouri | Report as abusive

Scientists and Theologians can debate until the end of time about when life begins, but it doesn’t matter.

The point at which we define a fetus as a “person” is just a construct. Whether we call it a fetus or person, the end result is the same: it dies, and you killed it. There was life, and then there wasn’t.

So if the pro-aborts want to debate about when life begins, that’s fine… but realize it’s just a rationalization.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade”? What kind of answer is that for a would-be president?

The President of the United States is not some unionized worker who can avoid a tough problem by saying “I don’t get paid for that”. What’s next? Demanding overtime, sick leave, and refusing to work more than a certain number of hours a week?

It is not just that he ducked a question on the central human rights issue of our time, but the attitude he displayed while ducking it.

Once again we see a level of arrogance and selfish pride on the part of a man seeking the most powerful position in the world.

Posted by Tom F | Report as abusive

Wow! This is the Democrat’s dynamic speaker??? Boy do they have to keep his head in the book to keep his head together enough to make sense of what he says. Maybe he sounds good, but speaking is not his plus. Barak has taken a hard one on the chin. Media will deny it, but it’s damage control in the Democrat camp. Maybe Hillary will seize the day at the last minute.
The truth be told, Abortion is murder. Only in the rare save the mama’s life should it be used. If she did not want to have a baby she shouldn’t have been playing with the boy down the street in the bed room.

Posted by john smith | Report as abusive

Is a new (human) conception a human? Yes, human dna. Is it alive? Yes,it’s converting sugars and nutrition into replicated cells and energy. The reason the preborn is killed is largely for someone’s convenience. The arguments against letting it live are largely because it has a different size, level of development, location, or degree of dependency from someone who has escaped from the womb.

How can one justify preventing “tyranny” against grown women by the slaughter (by poison, chemical burning, starvation or suffication) of a pre-born one (never mind the males)?

There are two human beings there, and ignoring one doesn’t change things.

Posted by Partenope | Report as abusive

andrew-(1st post)-Where did you learn that rights and responsibilities aren’t related? The “state” you want to condemn doesn’t snatch women off the street and impregnate them against their will. THAT would be something worth fighting and dying to stop. Natural consequences of human behavior are not. We can each have our own opinion of when life begins, but that is just what it is, an opinion, not a fact. If my opinion is that I can fly, that doesn’t make it a fact, as jumping off a cliff would prove. Real life decisions have consequences, or do you expect government to protect you if you decide to roller-skate on the freeway? Fetuses aren’t being sacrificed for “human freedom”, but for the convenience of the one who doesn’t like the consequences of their earlier choices. By your argument, infanticide would be ok too, as long as you kill them before they have a real personality. Good thing your parents didn’t buy into that line of thinking!

Posted by civilnomore | Report as abusive

‘Above his pay grade’ was probably a point that it is for you with your own God to decide on the point of creation and to use your own conscience in these matters, it isn’t for the secular state to decide.

Why not designate every sperm as sacred and make masturbation a crime? A lot of the self-congratulatory, masturbatory and holier than thou responses above would be caught here…

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

To Andrew Austin…
I don’t like to hurl insults out into the ether, but I have to say that your comment truly was one of the most inane, least thought out comments I’ve ever seen, read, or heard. To say it’s better to kill a fetus in the name of freedom than to kill a grown man because the adult has a name and personality is simply so ridiculous and illogical that it borders on being a non-sequitur. The fetus is the epitome of innocence. It has neither choice nor awareness of it’s actions, and is 100% dependent on the mother for every need. The adult is the polar opposite: he has choice and control over every action. How is killing a fetus a declaration of freedom? It’s no more an expression of freedom than putting a gun to a mentally handicapped child and blowing his head off…in fact I dare say it is exactly the same thing. Is it possible or reasonable to purposely execute a completely innocent child? Not on this planet. So how is it possible to kill an equally innocent unborn baby?

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

This is not a simple question. There is not a point you can identify and say this is when an embryo/fetus deserves rights. If you believe in conception as the point then you must be against birth control pills which in fact prevent implantation, not fertilization. I wonder if John McCain is ready to come out and say he is against birth control pills as a means of birth control.
Religion is just convenient for most people, they don’t really believe it when it comes to them. Case in point. How many pro life parents suddenly support abortion when there 16 year old daugter becomes pregnant? And why don’t we see many children with Down’s syndrome anymore despite the increased in women having children later in life.
There isn’t an answer to this only opinions. It is much like saying there is or isn’t a god, no one knows. I think we should make abortion as safe and rare as possible and reasonable limits such as up to viability would probably be supported by a majority. You can’t stop abortion you can only drive it into the back alleys.

Posted by kelly | Report as abusive

Take a look at Obama’s (admittedly sparse) voting record as a state and U.S. senator. Whatever slippery language he wants to use now, his pro-abortion voting record speaks for itself.

What I’d like to know is how does he expect the federal government to reduce unwanted pregnancies? Through forced sterilizations like they do it in China? Of course not. It’s just talk. The government has no real power (nor should it) to change human nature. Unwanted pregnancies will always happen. And abortion will remain a divisive issue.

Posted by megan | Report as abusive

Hey, Barack “Who’s Sayin\'” Obama….if a straight answer is “above your paygrade” then so is the Presidency of the United States, the position of Commander in Chief and leader of the Free World…

NObama is SO not ready for Prime Time…

Since when is LIFE an unimportant issue? And if you don’t want a child, either use a condom or get yourself sterilized, or don’t have sex…those should be your choices. Abortion is choosing murder.

Posted by doug in colorado | Report as abusive

[…] http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/200…his -pay-grade/ […]

Posted by Obama can’t answer question, says "it’s above my pay grade" : Las Vegas News | Report as abusive

The gov’t will “force women to have babies “? I thought sex caused children, not government.
Sex leads to babies. Don’t want children, then don’t have sex w/o birth control. REALLY 100% don’t want kids? Then don’t have any sex. It’s time people realize that many actions have entirely predictable outcomes.

Posted by WT | Report as abusive

OK. Let’s take Obama at his word and assume his pay grade stops at Senator. The President of the United States is absolutely cabable (and required) to take a stand on seminal ideas like the beginning of life.

Posted by Todd | Report as abusive

The State isn’t forcing women to carry unwanted children. Women make that choice when they choose either not to use contraceptive(s) or not to refrain.

Posted by KVBrown | Report as abusive

Did any catch the forum with obama and McCain, what a crock obama, when they talked about religion Obama wanted to still say like he did 7 months ago, and in his book Rev, Wright, was his Mentor and spiritual advisor,
but like alway Obama fliped floped again and again,

Obama showed today he is not ready for the 3am phone call,, he would get scared, and start stammering again,

When Obama and McCain when they really debate, is Obama going to agree with everything McCain says, like he did with Hillary Clinton, and him give Obama all the answers ,,, and take him as his own later,,,
Just like Hillary,, Even CNN News claims Obama Adopted all of Hillary’s Agendas, Why so many Obama supporter can not think for them self, the love the reality TV crap, Rock star image, Boy is this country going to suffer if Obama elected,,, I am a Hillary Supporter, this will be the first year I vote Republican because I don’t believe in throwing alway my Vote, and to me it still best for the job,

Posted by Jody V | Report as abusive

I don’t think the point of this story is pro-life vs pro-choice. We knew the cantidate’s stances on these issues long ago, so no surprise there. What IS surprising is Obama’s answer to the question. Maybe because of the forum he didn’t feel he could answer the question as directly as he might have wanted to. But isn’t the point of running for president answering tough questions regardless of how it makes you look? I’ve just changed my vote for November.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Democrats have aborted so many of their voters is why they are now trying to get to-be-released felons registered to vote in this election. They are pathetic.

Posted by Olga | Report as abusive

Barry’s answer sure clears that up! Barry Hussein Saddam Obama, a guy who has loved every aborted fetus he’s ever seen. Such compassion.

Posted by killerbee | Report as abusive

ok.. for those of you who don’t get it.. which seems to be most of the people commenting here.. he was trying to imply that only God know the answer as to when life begins..(which is true because everything else is just conjecture or faith) that’s what “above the pay grade means”

So can we please stop criticizing the fact that he simply pointed out something that was true in a clever way. Everyone knows he’s pro-choice and so did Rick Warren when he asked the question. He knew it was a loaded question when he asked it and Obama dodged it.. BRILLIANT move. If our president had half that tact, the rest of the world wouldn’t love him right now more the Alpha-male moron that you people elected.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

We can argue back and forth about abortion. The fact is this: a pro-life president has been in power for 8 years and we still have abortions in this country. Electing a pro-choice president will not change this. It’s a moot point regardless of belief.

My personal belief is that when in doubt, do not do it. Period. Can’t go wrong there. When given a choice as to possibly committing a murder or forcing nature to take its course is a no-brainer in my book.

Posted by rick | Report as abusive


I’m afraid that your unfounded elitism is showing your ignorance. Were these men in front of a group of Christians? Yes. Does that make them a bunch of medievalists (implication being uneducated, ignorant, lacking sophistication)? Hardly. In fact, I’d venture that most are as intelligent and sophisticated in their thinking–probably more so–as you. Would you rather have them in front of a group of environmentalists (by they way, they can also be accused of superstition and a lack of sophistication in their thinking) or college kids (not too sophisticated thinkers by the way)? Instead of complaining about the group they were in front of, you would have been better off to have listened to the questions and their responses–heck, you might have learned something.

Posted by pmccord | Report as abusive

I know y’all had your minds made up already, but it’s pretty clear that none of you are very religious. If you are religious, then your not the kind who believes God knows more than us. When he said “above my pay grade,” he meant that God alone knows about spirit. The real problem with Obama’s answers was that they all required you to think. It’s clear that the man truly is searching for a way to use his faith to make hard judgements. McCain was able to answer quickly due to his having to memorize answers forced on him by the need to coddle fudamentalists. He’s a good, moderate man, and you could tell he hated having to put on the Ultracon mask just to get votes. He ain’t who you think he is. And he damn sure knows that the real challenge of the 21st century is not Islamic extremism, but rather the matter of Energy, and the competition to secure it. Both of them know it and will support well-balanced plans to help us face it.

Final line is, I don’t care what they said, either one will choose better staff than the current administration. I’m just worried that the fools we put in the House will wreck anything good either one tries to do.

Posted by Alvin | Report as abusive

To Andrew Austin – The state forces women to have babies!!! What state do you live in? I think the state of delusion. This absolutely the most truncated thinking I have ever heard. Take some responsibility for yourself, you petulant child. The state did not force you to have sex and it doesn’t force you to have a baby. It has nothing to do with human freedom or tyranny. Do you understand that you are killing your own children? For heavens sake – grow up.

Posted by Marc | Report as abusive

When asked if he were President who he would consult on issues important to the country, Obama responded he would consult with his wife Michelle and his grandmother. If the US gets hit again by terrorists, Obama’s first reaction is to run home to his wife and his grandmother for advise on what to do. God help us. This is not a man but a boy. He lacks the gravitas and experience to be president. In contrast McCain came across confident and knowing exactly what to do with no equivocation. McCain is a leader and Obama is a canned candidate programed like a wind up toy. He makes wonderful speeches with a teleprompter but resorts to long winded pablum answers trying to straddle the fence. There is no CHANGE in that.

Posted by A.Brown | Report as abusive

[…] Barack Obama, unwilling to stray far from the pro-abortion platform of the Democratic Party, gave a pathetic non-answer a question about abortion: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama side-stepped a pointed query about abortion on […]

Posted by Blogs For Victory » Obama Ducks Question About Abortion | Report as abusive

Obama, Did you happen read in the part in the BIBLE that spoke about loving your brother/sister as yourself. Those children that are being killed on a daily basis are your brothers and sisters created by God for His good pleasure Not for your sporting fun. REALITY CHECK!!!

Posted by Miguel | Report as abusive

Since Roe v. Wade, abortions are allowed by Federal law. A majority of Constitutional scholars agree it is a bad law in that it is not in the power of the Federal Government to restrict State’s rights in such a way. So many liberals shout that if Republicans/Conservatives have their way, women who want an abortion would be relegated to back alleys like in the past. (There are posts like this above.) If Roe v. Wade is ever declared unconstitutional, it would fall on State’s rights to allow or not allow abortions, just like it is now with civil unions. If a woman wants an abortion and it is not allowed in your state, they would need to go to a state where it is allowed.

Posted by MarkJ | Report as abusive

obama not ready for primetime. Speaking to evangicals u think he would have a better answer for abortion. hes not the brightest bulb, hes your typical affirmative action ive league grad

Posted by doug collin | Report as abusive

The problems that confront America involve a LOT more than abortion, which I do not favor.

Sen. Obama’s answers were more than satisfactory for me, as are his economic and foreign policy plans. Sen. McCain has no vision for America save war and “Obama is bad.” He’s too old and too angry to be president.

This is an easy vote: Obama by a landslide

Posted by CoachA | Report as abusive

My vote is for Ronald Reagan. I don’t like either of these two turkeys. We need a ballot that: a) allows for write-ins and b) allows for a box “NONE OF THE ABOVE”. If NONE OF THE ABOVE wins, then each party starts all over again until we get what we want.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Typically, a democrat who needs to be paid to be moral. A hundred years from now, they will look back at us as barely civil. Just as we cannot fathom slavery, abortion will someday baffle our future generations.

Posted by JOE RICH | Report as abusive

Up until recently I had planned on voting for Obama. Recent events have shown me that that is out of the question.

1. The recent endorsement of Obama by the Communist Party USA (www.cpusa.com)

2. Caving in to Hillary regarding the convention (If he caves and surrenders to Hillary, what will happen with China, Russia, Iran and Korea?)

3. Has everyone forgotten Obamas trip to North Carolina to seek Edwards endorsement? Then he runs away to Hawaii when the heat is on Edwards?

4. “Above My Pay grade”??????? (Not exactly presidential

THIS is “Change we can believe In”? KEEP THE CHANGE BARACK

Posted by will | Report as abusive

“Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.”

Comparing grown men who have commited horrendous murders, been given due process including at least one trial, numerous appeals and a warm snug bed and three hot meals a day (all on the public’s dime) while the families of their victims continue to suffer……with the unborn who have committed no offense other than being inconvenient?

It’s not even close.

Posted by harkin | Report as abusive

I’m not sure how the religious hypocrites out there can bring themselves to vote for an adulterer like McSame… isn’t breaking one of the commandments a bigger issue for you than whether or not a politician takes a firm stance on an issue that is (quite frankly) one of the least of our problems today? You claim to be pro-life, yet you’ll vote for a butcher who openly admits he’ll keep killing innocent people in Iraq for the next hundred years? How is that in line with the teachings of Christ?

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

A woman has a right to choose what to do with her body. She can kill the unborn.

You’ve got 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree murder. Dude gets drunk and wipes out a family of five in a minivan; unintentional murder. Stupid, stupid man. Girl gets drunk and forced into sex, rape, whatever; has a baby. Poor poor girl.

If abortion is her choice . . . it is murder. I’d say 6th degree as a starting point.

Should I have to pay for this crime no matter the degree?

BHO thinks so.

Posted by ding | Report as abusive

Above the Messiah’s pay grade?

What isn’t above his pay grade except for infanticide?

Posted by Neal | Report as abusive

Liberals have gone from claiming that an unborn child is not alive (insanely ignorant) to claiming that a woman has a right to terminate the life — because of the 14th Amendment’s “right to privacy.” This was the basis for Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Does the “right to privacy” extend to anything that we think is proper? Do I have a “right” to kill a person who walks into my home — simply because I own the house? Yes — but only if my physical life is in danger of death. Thus, with this “castle law” rule of “privacy,” a woman should only be permitted to kill her unborn child if her life is in danger.

No matter how much the liberals like Obama bemoan this fundamental restriction, abortion is destroying a life.

Of course, Barack Obama wants to hide his hyper-liberal views about abortion for fear of alienating his supporters (especially the wealthy liberals who fund his political agenda).

Obama’s record in the Illinois state legistature speaks for itself (even though Obama tries to sidestep his record): He voted to uphold the barbaric practice fo “partial birth” abortion, to fund “secret” abortions paid for by the state for children as young as 10 yrs old without their parents ever knowing, and he voted to not extend health insurance coverage to unborn children for prenatal surgical procedures. Obama also opposed prosecuting or fining abortion doctors for killing a child that “accidentally” survives an abortion. Yeah, Obama’s position is clear — just don’t tell anyone!

Posted by Mireya Ayala | Report as abusive

While I don’t oppose abortion because of the numerous problems we would have if you have all these unwanted kids running around in the future, Obama’s answer was disgusting. This guy is afraid to give direct answers because he knows the American people won’t like it. He can give all the great speeches he wants with all sorts of catch phrases, but when it comes down to real policy issues, he hasn’t got a clue. Should come as no surprise from a guy whose only real job in life was as a community activist, give me a break. Even if you disagree with McCain on issues like the Iraq War, etc. you at least know you’ll have a president who gets it. The Obama ship is sinking.

Posted by jack | Report as abusive

Andrew makes a specious argument. The State is not forcing women to do anything at all, certainly not getting them pregnant by force. The argument is not about a personal belief as to the rightness or wrongness of abortion, but whether this country was, or was not, founded on the ideals of states’ rights. If it was, then Roe v Wade should offend every American based the fact that it circumvents the state’s right to decide for itself.

Posted by Dave C | Report as abusive

I think senator Obama weasled on the answer trying to hide his pro-abortion position.

I believe life starts before conception, spiritually.

This culture of sexual immorality and death in this country should no longer be condoned or supported financially by the government. Additional wrongs include masturbation, pornography, and most entertainment that depicts wrong doing.

End government grants to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

End abortion on-demand.

To the end of contraceptive pills and condoms.

To the end of forced abortions in communist China.

The comment from the atheist gives me hope. I’ve heard the bogus theory of evolution used as a reason for abortion.

Freedom of Choice for men and women:
1. Abstinence at any and all times
2. Sexual intercourse in a loving stable marriage ready to raise the children.

Not only are these choices within God’s ways, they will keep people from getting into trouble.

The only valid marriage is between one man and one woman.

Posted by LM | Report as abusive

Perhaps its semantics but shouldn’t a baby have human rights. A fetus (unborn child) is what most question as whether human rights are involved. It wasn’t that hard of a question. President of the United States is the top pay grade. Take a stand America!!!

Posted by disgusted | Report as abusive

Obama, again afraid to say what he really thinks. What he believes is, abort any baby any time during the pregnancy. That is his voting record. Why doesn’t he just come clean and admit that is what he believes?

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

Barack Obama would probably support abortion if there were some way that an unborn baby could vote for him.

His policies are, like other hyper-liberals, guided by his voters.

Posted by Mireya Ayala | Report as abusive

What pay grade is above that of the president? What a pathetic answer…..

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

The democrats say they are out to help the little people, the people who can’t help themselves? However they fail to protect the “littlest”, those people who are truly the most vulernable and cannot protect themselves. Hypocrites!

Posted by Roger Peters | Report as abusive

When asked about America’s greatest moral responsibility, Barack quoted from Matthew: “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” This was a good answer.

However, moments later when he indicated he would not support the protection of the very lives of truly the “least of these” — our unborn babies — he proved that he is no moral leader, and in fact that he is an unashamed hypocrite when it comes to moral responsibility.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I am pro-life based on scientific principles. Does this mean I am an un-educated fear-mongering redneck?

Posted by Ted | Report as abusive

Senator’s Obama answer should have been the truth…that life begins at conception…for EVERY living organism. And that he, Senator Obama, believes it is the right of every woman in the USA to terminate that life, either while inside the womb, or outside (after a botched abortion) once delivered.

These are the FACTS.

Then, it is a choice for the American people as to which candidate they support on this issue.

Why can’t these politicians just say what they mean, and mean what they say ? It would make the whole “democratic” process so much more relevant, and meaningful.

Posted by Dan Barr | Report as abusive

If the comments, were a poll McCain wins hands down. Obama is out classed.

Posted by Debbie | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade??? What exactly does that mean?? I’m very serious – it made no sense to me. Did this make sense to anyone out there? If so – PLEASE explain as I would like to give Obama a fair chance.

Posted by Lindee Bean | Report as abusive

Obama wasn’t making a joke when he said the decision was above his pay grade. He was saying the the choice of life or death is up to God and God alone. Are you so ignorant that you can’t see that? A president should always pale in comparison to God and by giving anyman the power to decide fate over the mother is to ratify a movement towards dictatorship. Is it a requirement to be blatenly blind and ignorant if you are a conservative?

Posted by tuck | Report as abusive

Hurrah for Obamas refusal to pander to the right wing.

Only a few years back Mc Cain referred to their pastors as evil. But sheep don’t have long term memory I suppose.

Posted by TominElPaso | Report as abusive


Everybody knows that life begins when the stork arrives with a blessed bundle.

And abortion? All aborted fetuses go straight to Heaven where they play all day with God and Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and all the Apostles. So what’s the problem?

And marriage? Marry them all and let God sort them out.

Posted by Marty Kay Zee | Report as abusive

noboidy fiorces you to have a baby but something as cruel as late term abortion is murder and being a mother i would not live live that down …let alone the emational havok you will face later in life

Posted by victoria hirko | Report as abusive

Let’s say that Obama really does want to reduce the number of abortions. (Who would be dumb enough to say publicly that they want MORE abortions?) What is his plan to do that? More training on how to put condoms on bananas?

As usual, Obama assumed that voters care more about his charisma than convictions–assuming he has convictions. It seems like people are beginning to recognize this.

Posted by justjohn | Report as abusive

The person who made the comment”Abortion is NOT a Contitutional government issue”. I must agree. However, it was made a constutional issue by liberal judges who have their own agenda as to what our society should be. Activist judges who make law have placed this issue before us. I certainly would not vote for a presidental candidate who would nominate more activist judges. No matter what his pay grade is. Obama is nothing more than a marketing creation puppet of the Left.

Posted by octi | Report as abusive

Obama made a very strong case that the Presidency is way above his pay grade.

Posted by Bob Parrick | Report as abusive

I’m always amused by the “Against abortion? don’t have one” folks.

Against slavery? Don’t own one. Against killing abortion providers? Don’t kill one. Against beating up women? Don’t beat one up.

Some issues require champions that will stand and say “Some choices are wrong.” It astounds me that one of the most basic moral debates of our time is reduced by the “pro-choice” side to the moral equivalent of a trip to Baskin Robins.

No one is talking about forcing a woman to have a baby. There are lots of choices that get made before a baby enters the picture. To shift the burden of responsibility to the voiceless is cowardly and depraved.

Posted by kmne68 | Report as abusive

When he said abortion was above his pay grade, it very obviously meant to me that he was saying he is not GOD – who McCain seems rather comfortable trying to mock.

If a woman has an abortion, it is between her and her God, not between her and her president. Abortions have gone down in the last decade due to improved birth control methods and the morning after pill, not because George Bush sleeps in the White House.

And I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you believe that abortion is okay in the case of rape or incest, you are pro choice.

Posted by Malea | Report as abusive

Barry, barrack voted 3 times to allow post live birth abortions. His friends in the Illinois legislature want to help hide the truth but he is a radical left wing socialist that hates the values that many in the “fly over” states value. His slogan- America is the greatest country on Earth- lets change it! what a moron – he is running for President and says a question is too sophisicated – guess he was in Harvard b/c of affirmative action- we don’t need a “victim” for prez

Posted by R Sarto | Report as abusive

yeah moran if it wasnt for tax cuts the wealthy would have no reason to work harder thus give your lazy ass a job… so you should kiss G.W.b

Posted by victoria hirko | Report as abusive

Above his pay grade was a good answer, because no human should be answering questions that only God knows the answer to.

Posted by John P. | Report as abusive

Its funny – this debate was meaningless. Religion is a sham. No one cares about some stupid pastor debate. This has nothign to do with war, economy, and all of our homeland problems. Once we stop with this relgious nonsense we can center on the real issues.

We the Egyptions satanist’s because they worshipped the sun?

Hello people – seperation of church and state. Go watch the 700 Club and stay out of politics.

Posted by St3v3 | Report as abusive

RE:” He went on to reiterate his view that it was important to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies”

Neutering usually helps….

Posted by Marty | Report as abusive

Some liar said it was tyranny to “force” a woman to have a baby. Wow. So callous. We need to balance the rights of the woman who is pregnant against the rights of a person inside the womb.

Posted by freedom | Report as abusive

Those who advocate “baby’s human rights began “at the moment of conception ” “are bunch of superstitious medievalists.”

The haters on the left are so tolerant and compassionate.

Posted by R Denis | Report as abusive

I am amazed and frankly dismayed at the myopic views shown in the postings here. You folks never, ever look at anything from anyone else’s perspective but your own. You want your view to be the only view and are, frankly, intolerant of others’. The view that life, which begins at conception in your view, must be protected at all costs is one I can agree with. But this same view directly contradicts death penalty advocacy as well as any war we are fighting which costs the lives of innocents including our own soldiers. Its hypocrisy pure and simple. Whether its abortion, sticking a deadly needle in someone’s arm or bombing a village in Iraq, its putting yourself in God’s place. This is the greatest sin of all.

Posted by BD | Report as abusive

I see a 3-in-the-morning telephone call ad in McCain’s future.

Posted by Self-hating boomer | Report as abusive

“answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade…”

Obama answered the question with complete honesty, and he is correct…..now lets send him back to Illinois.
(to FINNISH his term)

Posted by pdbh171 | Report as abusive

And by the way, for all of those who don’t seem to get it, Obama was referring to God when he talked about the decision being above his pay grade. I think its a pretty good observation.

Posted by BD | Report as abusive

If McCain can debate the same way as he spoke with the Pastor, he has a legit shot.

Either way, we are going to have a liberal president.

Posted by Steve McGary | Report as abusive

You know, I think what he was trying to get at is that we may not really know the answer to that question. We can say what we think, or what we believe, and we can pretend to have all the answers, but the reason this issue is so contentious is because we humans don’t really know for sure. If we did, then there would be no reason to argue, would there?

He is trying to be pragmatic and realistic, by saying that the ultimate goal we have is to reduce the number of abortions. Making them illegal isn’t necessarily the only, or even the best, way to make the abortion rate go down.

Posted by April | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade”?!?! Uh, what happened to ANSWERING THE QUESTION UP FRONT? It would seem to be easier to just answer and not WEAVE!
I weep for America should he be elected. He has proved again and again that if he doesn’t have a script, he’s LOST and (in a word) WORTHLESS! Leaders should be decisive and give answers that truly answer the question.
Genuine answers are worth more than “Jokes”, especially if they fall flat.

Posted by Sophia | Report as abusive

Irrelevant question. Abortion is a state issue.

Posted by Luhiss | Report as abusive

To all you people who think that Obama’s answer was “wimpy”–the question asked by pastor Rick Warren was ABSURD. WHICH ONE OF YOU CAN PINPOINT THE EXACT MOMENT OF HUMANITY IN A FETUS? Not even the world’s best scientists have been able to pinpoint the exact time a fetus becomes “human.” You pro-lifers are all a bunch of nitpickers dragging the human race back to the stone age, when women were barefoot, pregnant and submissive to men. Have all the theological discussions you want about the abortion matter, but stay out of the political arena, for God’s sake. Reason should prevail, not superstition. And on an end-note: I think Obama’s answer was about as good as you could give to a person who refuses to be open to reason and instead, CHOOSES to wallow in his beliefs that have long past their expiration date.

Posted by Auntie “M” | Report as abusive

“Above his pay grade”?!?!?!? Give me a break. He certainly feels its within his pay grade to support legislation and court cases that allow unlimited abortions (even to the point of partial birth abortions and killing the baby post-birth) but when asked to answer a question that has to be answered if one is to have any position on abortion, he dodges it. This man is not fit to be a city councilman, much less President.

Posted by BC1358 | Report as abusive

surreptitiously , bho

Posted by earl | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin,

I’m not aware that any state in history has ever forced women to have babies. The creation of new people is a natural process that the state has no ability to cause. Your rhetoric is telling. Only a person whose reason has been swallowed by fanaticism could view the preservation of life as a form of tyranny.


Am amazed that anyone could considerer voting for a candidate who demonstrated such profound vacuity. Obama flatly refuses to express his beliefs on vital social issues? How can an empty suit a country?

Posted by Mr. Tweedy | Report as abusive

It is amazing that single issue voters can influence an election. There are so many issues that are critical to our nation right now I would hope that people can look beyond abortion as a means to elect a president. A woman’s body is her own body and the moment the government steps in to legislate what she can and can’t do to her own body is the day that I cry in disbelief as the fundamentals of our country go into the gutter as the basic principle of separation of church and state gets thrown into the trash.

Posted by Tedhaggard | Report as abusive

Obama votes present on every big issue. Except on his right to a life of public presents for just showing up. His pay grade is Lifetime Leech.

Posted by Marvan Hogan | Report as abusive

McCain is toast. He fumbled and bumbled his way through that interview, telling false anecdotes (”oh hey, did i mention i was a prisoner 40 years ago?”) and dishing out kindergarten-level logic (”evil exists. must be defeated!”). DUUURRRRRRR

Posted by gob bluth | Report as abusive

Even though the rights of unborn children are above his pay grade he can still vote to have them killed. What kind of double-think addled new-speak is this?

These weasel words rank right up there with USA Today’s report that BHO considers sin to be defined as anything that differs from his opinion of right and wrong.

It is for reasons like this that thoughtful people are coming to the conclusion that BHO is more than a garden variety left wing American stuffed shirt elitist but rather a dangerous menace to the cause of human Liberty.

Posted by Randall Dunning | Report as abusive

Obama would not have nominated Clarence Thomas because he was not qualified for the job. Wow! Not because he disagrees with his votes. Obama just gave a pass to everyone of his peers not to vote for him in good conscience.

Posted by Denise W | Report as abusive

Obama continued to illustrate that he loves to hear himself talk. Lots of long-winded narratives for responses that sound good on the surface only. McCain can be awkward whilst speaking, but at least you get an actual answer and you know specifically where he stands when he is done talking.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

“It’s above my paygrade” is the same lame answer he would give to Russia, Iran, Isreal, Mexico, and an energy plan. The only definite answer he does have is raising taxes, no drilling for our own oil, and wait to see what the poll numbers say when respongding to foreign affairs. He’s lame. The Dem’s might as well have elected a 22 year old liberal right out of one of our most liberal colleges with the same inexperienced and ignorant viewpoint of the world and our country. Simply pathetic!

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

30 million and counting , there is no more important issue than life and death , you are lucky abortion was illegal when you were born or you would not be able to have an opinion , and it is your insistence on killing babies that has led us to where we are today , show me a dem that does not kill babies and they will get my vote

Posted by earl | Report as abusive

you liberals want to save the world … excepting of course for the babies right here in america

Posted by earl | Report as abusive

Thank the Lord everyone still has time to picture the baby who survived an abortion laying on a table and left to die, which is what Mr. O stands for, and will continue if he gets elected. But what about asking the question of why has this country gotten to a point where there are so many that would dispose of a life, because they refuse to suffer consequences of their actions? They want to play, but they refuse to pay for their actions, in spite of KNOWING BEFOREHAND what is at stake. Ut oh, just got pregnant. Oh well, just kill it. What a mentality that has developed in this great country. Sickening.

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

Senators are paid a six figure salary precisely because they are supposed to have gained sufficient wisdom to make these determination and act on them.

Andrew Austin’s comment that for the state to intervene to save the life of the unborn constitutes “tyranny” is perverse. If “freedom” requires the ability to snuff out innocent life, then none of us is safe from Andrew’s murderous outlook.

The unborn have faces; it’s not their fault that we have difficulty seeing them. Giving a name to someone doesn’t make them more or less human. In the concentration camps, the Nazis branded Jews and others they dehumanized with numbers. Once you admit that an unborn baby is human and is alive, as is uncontestable medically, his or her life should be protected.

Posted by Lucius | Report as abusive

a womans right to sex without accountability is far more important then the life of a baby , what are we talking about here a baby i mean come on , kill it and get back to having all that sex without consequences

Posted by earl | Report as abusive

fifty years from now the abortion issue will be equated to the Slavery issue. Obama should thank the thousands of northern soldiers who died to end slavery because they believed slaves were human and made it possible for him to become a senator

Posted by Louis | Report as abusive

To be consistent pro abortion Democrat, if you have to allow parents to murder their children at any age. Hey don’t mess with my right to choose.

Posted by brian schneider | Report as abusive

Obama’s answer is typical of any democrat. Never take a position. Liberals only care about the polls. Liberals don’t stand for anything or anyone. Only when something becomes popular will a Liberal Democrat take a position. Barack’s lack of respect for the United States and Americans in general is a clear indicator of the way he’d run this country…..”into the ground”. He panders to the Europeans and special interest groups. He hates evangelicals, hard working americans, and anyone that disagrees with him. Voting this radical into office would be a vote for socialism and the ultimate weakening of the U.S. This country was built on the back of hard working people that don’t resemble Barack one bit. Barack is an egostical, European loving, hate speech raised socialist. Go ruin somebody else’s country Barack…I don’t want your weak minded leadership here. I’m sure some Middle Eastern country would love you to be there dictator. “Above my pay grade”. Is that your answer when you get tough questions Barack????? Dealing with the Russians or Iran….above my pay grade….your so weak and have no idea how to lead this country.

Posted by JB | Report as abusive

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities”

Wow, now I’m certain that this comment wasn’t meant to be so insidious, but at what point does someone lose their credibility on a topic? You would rather kill unborn fetus’ (some say children) who have no say in the matter, then send a volunteer force to war (That IS a soldiers job btw, to fight and kill) and do the thing that their commander-in-chief asks? I would like to remind the democratic anti-war side that it was a democratic administration that sent us to Vietnam (Kennedy and LBJ) So there is no guarantee that a political party is the machine to war. McCain won me because of his ethics, his honor and his honesty. If I don’t agree with him, I still believe that he has a reason for his policies and that the reason he gives will be an honest one I can live with honest discourse and disagreement, but the fact that Obama seems unable to speak and stumbles and hesitates, while obviously educated, tells me he is searching for the “right” way to phrase something. I don’t trust him.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

The Republicans are trying to use the low approval ratings of Democrats in Congress, gay issues and abortion for political gain again this election cycle.

I think it’s important to remind folks that having a majority of ONE with at least one Independent spying on the Dem’s plans (Lieberman), with a Republican president who promises to veto any bill he doesn’t like – makes it extremely difficult to solve ANY problem.

I could also remind you that Democrats continue to have a much better approval rating in Congress then do the Republicans currently serving there.

As for using the abortion and gay rights argument (he’s pro-choice or a baby killer and marriage is between a man and a woman), Republicans had the majority in congress for 12 years, they had a conservative supreme court during those years and a well liked Republican president for at least 10 of those years — what was their problem? Why didn’t they kill the Roe vs Wade law? Why didn’t they pass a constitutional amendment making it a law that marriage is between a man and a woman?

It’s simple folks. If they killed those laws — they’d have no platform to run on in the next election cycle.

Posted by Coonsey | Report as abusive

If you are Catholic you cannot vote for a pro abortion democrat. That is just a fact. You will be committing a mortal sin and will be an accessory to murder.

Posted by brian schneider | Report as abusive

Obama is obligated to have an opinion answer the question. A real man worthy of the presidency should have the courage to form an actual opinion and the stones to speak it. What a coward.

Posted by Dee Snutz | Report as abusive

Whatever your views are on abortion, the answers of the two candidates were very telling. McCain had the courage to stand up for his view, while Obama wimped out and gave a non-answer. Obama is finding that he can’t be everything to everyone once he has to appeal to people outside of his liberal Democrat base.

Posted by Bob Smith | Report as abusive

Yeah, yeah, yeah. All you pro-lifers are just loving it aren’t you? Do you REALLY think John McCain will put overturning Roe Vs. Wade at the top of his list if he is voted into office? You are all a bunch of superstitious sheep being lured into the same old political loop-de-loops intended to distract us from what is really going on: the bargain basement sale of our government to the corporate elite at the cost of our children and the middle class of this country. Don’t you think you should be thinking about healthcare for your parents and yourselves and your children? And a host of other ills this country is suffering from: Iraq, Afghanistan, the rise of gang and youth violence once again, Russia, methamphetamine, illegal immigration, the rising costs of college education, the burgeoning senior population, small farmers going under because of corporate farms that rape the land for pure profit then are rewarded by the government with grants and emergency monies for doing so, the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina, the oil companies, lobbyists, government-sponsored unconstitional wiretapping, the list goes on. I THINK OBAMA’S RESPONSE WAS A FAIR AND REASONABLE ANSWER TO A STUPID AND ABSURD QUESTION. OBAMA ’08!!!

Posted by Auntie “M” | Report as abusive

Obama should switch his campaign theme from “Change” to “No Fetus Can Beat Us.” Remember it’s in our Declaration of Independence that it’s our right to “LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Posted by G | Report as abusive

Obama became quite lost in his non sequiturs

Posted by MM | Report as abusive

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.”

I’m not certain whether or not this comment is meant as “shock value” to get us to think about our position or a failed attempt at “logic”. If the “logic” is that we live in a country that is tyrannical when it comes to abortion then I am certainly not a United States citizen. I find it completely asinine that some would think more babies–not fetuses–should be aborted in an attempt to increase freedoms. And remember, it is the brave grown men and women who have be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country. For anyone who feels that their freedoms are violated, I personally invite you to feel free to move to a nation that is more in accordance with your beliefs.

Posted by mtboy2000 | Report as abusive

It absolutely matters at what point the baby’s “human life” status is recognized. For one human’s life trumps the “freedom” of another. A person’s freedom, or individual liberty, ends at the point where it infringes upon the freedom, or individual liberty, of another. That seemingly thinking people don’t understand this point is exasperating. The question of life is absolutley integral to the issue of abortion. Life trumps “choice”. Am i “free to choose” to walk away from a fatal car accident that I caused? NO! Even though the loss of that “choice” may have very negative consequences, I do not get to “choose” a destructive choice. This is why pro-life is really opposed by “pro-death”… not pro-choice. If you could demonstrate that life begins at the arbitrary moment of departure from the womb, that would be a compelling argument; however, modern science contiues to prove the opposite. Everything we have learned in recent decades points to beginning of this unique, human life at conception, when the unique personal DNA is formed. Every study shows how the stages of development inside the womb are no different than after departure (birth). This primitive form of denial where we kill the child before we can “see” it is a denial of reality and refusal to accept the very real consequences of behavior tha tin the vast majority of cases was completely voluntary, if irresponsible. Most of us on the pro-life side have even conceded to allowing abortions in the case of rape to eliminate the cases where the mother had no part in the real “choice” (fertilization). This in an effort to save the (over 98%) babies produced by sexual behavior the mother consented to. The “pro-choice” crowd does not make any similar concessions, even blocking the right of parents, charged with the health and welfare of their under-age daughters, to be informed, let alone decide. On top of all of this and on a purley legal front, there is absolutely NOTHING in the U.S. Constitution that speaks to the issue of abortion, privacy, or the so-called “right to choose”. The Roe v Wade decision has absolutely no constitutional support. Please show me where in the Constitution this so-called “right” is defined or protected.

Posted by Rufus | Report as abusive

Obama proves once again he is not a leader. He will not take a stand on anything, except passing out our money. Every-time he opens his mouth, he drops in the polls. As unbelievable as it may sound, I’m starting to see a McCain landslide in November.

Posted by the Dude | Report as abusive

The choice is not when you have the child. The choice was when you had unprotected sex. The majority of abortions that happen are what I consider lifestyle abortions. That is, someone getting an abortion to not interfere with their life at that time. A perfect example is a friend of mine got an abortion a few weeks ago because if she didn’t, she couldn’t go on a cruise in 6 months.

The biggest irony that I see is that the same people that are OK with leaving a baby out to die who survived an abortion will be the first to persecute someone who picks up a mother on the way to an abortion clinic, rapes the mother, then kills the child.

If we’re going to be ok with leaving babies out to die after they have survived an abortion (Which Obama does), why even take it to the doctor? After the child is born, just put a bullet through his head.

Posted by Austin Jesmore | Report as abusive

Andrew: No one forces women to have babies. There is no state mandate that women have intercourse or unprotected intercourse. Women make that decision on their own. It’s only when that intercourse results in pregnancy that the state becomes involved. A life has been created. And allowing the woman host to kill that life should not be acceptable to a society that calls itself civilized. You give far, far too much weight to a woman’s right, and none to the baby’s right to life. Give this issue more thought, please.

Posted by George | Report as abusive

Obama is an empty suit.

Posted by steve petersen | Report as abusive

Above my pay grade? He does realize that he is running for president right? That would make him the most important person in the world. That proves that he is not fit to run this country.

Posted by M G | Report as abusive

After last night’s forum, Obama has solidified the fact that he has neither the spine nor integrity to lead us. Just shameful.

Posted by Gordon | Report as abusive

Even more telling was Obama’s answer about intervening in foreign matters. He said he wouldn’t intervene without “international” consensus. The Pastor then said, “You won’t use the military without UN approval?” Obama replied, “No I would.” Obama is either a liar or pathetically indecisive.

Posted by Pascal | Report as abusive

Read the conservatives responses then read the lib responses. Now you see why I’m a conservative and always will be. Obama, you are a joke. You blew it. About time people see who you really are. Get a clue libs.

Posted by Buzz | Report as abusive

Since this discussion i am much more comfortable voting for McCain. His direct answers to the questions were very refreshing. Obama danced around the questions and really answered very few of them. The commentators say his answers were more “nuanced” I think that means non-specific! Pro life vs prochoice. I think women should have the right to choose NOT TO GET PREGNANT if they don’t want a child. Once a woman is pregnant there is another person to be considered. The baby would likely choose to live. Abortion is a disgrace and a shame to every American.

Posted by SamanthaD | Report as abusive

While we may not know exactly when life begins, I believe that when you discover you are pregnant, its a life already. Yeah people make mistakes, but you have to be accountable. It may be your body, but its ALSO another life too. Because another life is inside your body doesn’t mean you have a right to kill it.
People claim that those who believe in capital punishment and are also pro-life are hypocrites.
I believe that a fetus is innocent. It did nothing wrong. The fetus did not make a wrong choice by taking another’s life. The fetus did not have a choice. The fetus did not choose evil.

Posted by Larry A | Report as abusive

Yeah, it’s hard to look centrist on abortion when you were against a bill preventing infanticide in the Illinois state legislature.

Posted by Brent J. | Report as abusive

I have a question for Obama.

Would you consider abortion in the following four situations?
1. There’s a preacher and his wife who are very, very poor. They already have 14 children. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with their 15th! They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you recommend she get an abortion?
2. The father is sick with sniffles, the mother has TB. They have four children. The first child is blind, the second is dead. The third child is deaf, the fourth has TB. She finds she’s pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you consider recommending abortion?
3. A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl and she became pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?
4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiance is not the father of the baby, and he’s very upset. Would you consider recommending abortion?
If you would have recommended abortion in any of these situations, you should know that…
In the first case, you recommended killing John Wesley, one of the great evangelists of the 19th century.
In the second case, you recommended killing Ludwig Von Beethoven, one of the most famous musical composers of all time. (He also became deaf at an early age).
In the third case, you recommended killing Ethel Waters, one of the nation’s leading gospel singers.
In the fourth case, you have just recommended killing Jesus Christ.

How many wonderful people have we already killed?

Posted by SamanthaD | Report as abusive

Oh the poor unborn babies. Can we please fix some of societies problems before we get to them? What if we just aborted all future abortionist, after all they aren’t against abortion, problem solved!

Answer me this: what does it matter? Neither candidate will be able to change the law as it stands. And if it was illegal it would happen anyways because the cause wouldn’t have gone away. The point is kinda mute. I realize it seems tied with morality, but it is actually opinion. Even the bible doesn’t mention this and that is supposed to be your moral source.

Obama does not hate babies and advocate murder for fun. That is ridiculous, stop arguing ridiculous points. Obama was completely rational to advocate reducing the causes of abortion, and not advocate the impossible task of just ending abortion now in 2008. For McCain life starts at conception, and ends when he drops a bomb on some gooks head. It is the black and whiteness of his opinions that worries me, yet encourages you. Being waffly on this subject actually represents Americas waffly opinion better eh?

Above his pay grade, he’s talking about God folks, he’s saying he isn’t god and has no authority to really say. You anti abortionist are so easily drawn in by this one, you do realize that that leaves you open to people taking advantage of you. Just reading these responses i can see it blinds you. No joke.

Posted by penkilk | Report as abusive

To Andrew Austin…in regards to your comment that the state is forcing women to have babies…NO ONE is forcing these women to get pregnant. THEY are choosing to not use protection. Pregnancy can be prevented and there are plenty of places to get contriception for free if you cannot afford it. Since THEY choose not to prevent it, than they have to live with the consequences. An innocent child with a functioning brain and beating heart should not have to pay for the stupidity of its mother!

Posted by Angela | Report as abusive

Obama, you screwed up! You thought your cute canned answer about when LIFE begins would endear you to us by referring to God as being above your pay grade. But you weren’t asked about human LIFE, you were asked about human RIGHTS, and that is exactly in your pay grade. Tell us, if you can, where you set this legal demarcation..or can you not handle your job?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Obama’s reasoning is flawed. If you don’t know when conception begins, then the reasonable moral thing to do is err on the side of caution: don’t abort the life. His type of reasoning is only an effort to justify what he and his followers on this issue want personally.

Posted by David A. Farrell | Report as abusive

The argument goes both ways. There are appropriate health reasons why an abortiion may be necessary and the right thing to do. The issues to me are responsibility and accountability. You cannot enforce morality on a people as a whole. Asking the government to effectively do that is impossible so it is a no win for either candidate. It is easy for someone to say “no abortions period” but the reality is that even if you pass the strictest laws in the world you cannot enforce this. Reasonable thinking people will realize that the many unique circumstances and issues with such things as abortion are limitless. To say that someone is a pro abortionist because they agree that in certain circumstances an abortion is warranted is rediculous. The correct answer is “working to limit abortions”. That is the right answer. How that is done is not easy based upon what I said above. I think educated people understand the need to reduce abortions and increase education. The morale case is with the family and the morale fortitude of the nation. If you want to affect such things, then pass laws that restrict pornagraphy, violent movies, get rid of strip clubs so young women can’ work in that environment, stop the creation of violence in games, improve restictions on internet porn and fine porn sites or tax them to death. You know it is so easy to ask a president to do something about abortion but the reality is that no matter how many judges you elect or what their stand is and no matter how many laws that are passed, it is not going to stop this immoral irresponsible behavior where it is inappropriate. Moral fiber is something that cannot be legistated. So when you look to elect the next president think about that. Saying I am against all abortions and so forth doesn’t really mean anything. I think most adults in this country that are honest would agree abortion is not wise and inappropriate in most cases. The govenment does have a responsibility to the people as a whole and our way of life and if the government can pass laws that improves our moral fiber or make it difficult for the people to screw up their lives by spending their money on cigerettes, alcohol, strip clubs, pornagraph, violent games in gaming systems, inappropriate music and movies, then that is what they need to do and if doing so violates the constituion then tax these things so high nobody can afford them. Now if you do that, then you will see decreases in abortions because people will have to choose a more moral way of hopefully spending their time and money.

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

“For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die…”

That would, indeed, be tyranny. However, the state does not force them to have babies. They conceive them of their own free will 99.9% of the time (yes, rape and incest are exceptions).

What the State does need to do is protect the natural rights of those who are unable to do so on their own. That is the purpose of the State. And, the most basic natural right is life.

The fact is, Obama killed legislation that would have made it illegal to deny medical care to babies that had already been born, if those babies had been targeted for abortion before hand. Think about that. There is no impact on the mother’s body at that point. All arguments about her right to her body are moot. And, he still killed this legislation.

Even Barbara Boxer voted for this bill at the national level. The senate passed it without a single nay vote. And, Obama killed it repeatedly in the Illonois state legislature.

That’s murder.

I’m a mostly pro-choice Libertarian. I don’t think the Federal government should be taking stances on this issue. But, Obama’s position on this is disturbing and indicative of a character so weak as to not be fit for the highest office in the land.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

you notice how Obama responses always seemed like a painful birth? The answers would come out halting, a little at a time, and changing form throughout. His head was always cocked and he seemed in pain every single time. Not quite sure of where he himself stood on the responses forcefed to him by his handlers, kind of making up the spin as he went along.

In contrast, McCain nailed every single response with crisp answers exploding with conviction and strength.

Indeed, who looked more prepared to lead the USA last nite?

Posted by Joe America | Report as abusive

If Obama really knew Jesus, that would be an easy answer for him. There’s no grey area about abortion.

Posted by Juliaah | Report as abusive

Obama’s ‘above my paygrade’ response is equivalent to voting ‘Present’ in the Illinois state senate. He failed to engage because he has no substance from which to draw.

Obama needs to realize failing to engage is not an option when the responsibility for American lives requires real decisions and the courage to stand by those decisions.

Posted by Kayla | Report as abusive

How absurd that people still believe the Republicans and don’t see through their bait and switch tactics: every time an election comes around, they haul out their claims about being against abortion and honoring life and claim that their opponents are baby killers. In reality, if elected, they do nothing to either prevent unwanted pregnancies or reduce abortions. They instead lie to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, including children and pregnant women.

They also avoid the real problems with any abortion laws: If all abortions, except those for victims of rape, were made illegal, there would be thousands of illegal abortions each year. An entirely new underground industry will spring up, without the oversight of the legitimate medical community, and many young, frightened, ashamed girls will become victims. The situation would be similar to that with the “war on drugs.” Making something that people want illegal does not stop it. It makes it more expensive and more dangerous.

Simply put, McCain belongs to the party that has repeated deceived the public and continues to oversimplify complex problems.

Posted by Jake Johnson | Report as abusive

For those who are too stupid to read nuances, “above his paygrade” means that NO ONE knows – only God!


Obama’s answers are nuanced. These things aren’t easy. Regular people who aren’t fundamentalists feel they are multifaceted too. I’m pro-choice, but yet would never abort my own baby. It’d feel wrong to me. I don’t think that a single cell has “human rights” like McCain does.

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

The right to life is certainly NOT tyranny! I was born to a 17 year old unwed mother, and adopted by wonderful parents that couldn’t have children. Thanks to the fact that abortion was illegal in 1947, I was given the gift of life!!! I’m sure my 4 children and 3 grandchildren are also grateful! I thank God that our government upheld moral values THEN and disallowed this abomination of aborting one’s children. It all comes down to moral responsibility for oneself. If you don’t want children, abstain or use birth control, period! If a mistake is made, think beyond your immediate convenience and allow someone who can’t conceive the joy of raising a baby. All it will cost you is a little time and compassion.

Posted by Kay in Kansas | Report as abusive

Obama didn’t speak thoughtfully and philosophically he skirted the issues- every issue. When asked “when does life begin” he said it was above his pay grade. Well it is not above the President of the United States of America’s pay grade. A leader leads. Every “hot button” issue was skirted- and anyone that thinks a leader can skirt an issue when an ICBM is coming in on Washington DC or any other American city- has no idea what a leader is. We are the only nation in history that came to the aid of and insured the freedom of- every nation in the world. France, England, Poland, you name em’ we freed them. Anyone that wants to be President of the United States of America and doesn’t realize that this is the greatest nation that ever existed- doesn’t have a clue- and has no business seeking that great and honorable office.
Oh and SW from Missouri, with your “chicken or the egg” argument. God does not force people to do drugs or live risky lifestyles either- but they still have miscarriages or babies born with defects. No God gave you free will to ruin your life if you choose. I think your are the hypocrite if you can not take responsibility for your own actions.

Posted by Jim from Addison, IL | Report as abusive

GOD has a paygrade above the president.

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

Just pathetic. Both candidates pandering to the Christian base is just sickening. Religion has absolutely no place in politics. Both should be ashamed for such public boot-licking.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Everytime A democrat opens his mouth ,something dumb comes out, HA HA , keep it up” DEMS” Obama is right up there at the top!!! OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES COMES FORTH (nothing) I love it!!!!

Posted by Sarah | Report as abusive

[…] seemed incredibly lame: doesn’t he have a view? Some “meaningful” response would have been […]

Posted by Commentary » Blog Archive » Flotsam and Jetsam | Report as abusive

While neither an ardent Obama or McCain supporter at this time, I feel that OBAMA IS TAKING A LOT MORE HEAT THAN NECESSARY. Of course that was a political blunder on his part to say it was above his pay grade, but one can’t criticize him from being honest. He told us in his opening sentence, if i may repeat his words, that “whether you look at it from a theological perspective or scientific perspective with such specificity that such question is above my pay grade.” Well obviously he is saying scientifically or theologically that there is no way for him to know for sure at what point it can be called human. I don’t think any of us know FOR SURE. Of course from a theological perspective it is at the moment of conception. And scientifically there is no hard proof of that being true. Obama’s answer was honest, but was not a good political answer as McCain’s was. Let’s not forget that Obama did continue on with his answer and did take a stance. He supported pro-choice, and I’d like to add if you criticize and hate Obama for being pro-choice (which i’ve seen from many of the comments above) then you have to at the same time hate 55% of Americans who opted for pro-choice.

Also, I hope many of you that are commenting above have watched the clip, because any one can tell when Obama jokes, but his demeanor showed he was giving an open and honest opinion.

I also want to add I felt both were very strong last night, McCain giving much more upfront and straight answers, but that political blunder on Obama’s part I knew for sure would be taken to the extreme as it has.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Ok, right. McCain is pro-life and pro-babies. But your 18-year old babies can go fight meaningless wars for him and come back in a coffin, or dismembered or crippled.

McCain is pro-war, any war. That makes him bad news for me. I don’t want an 80-yr old president.

Posted by Javier Gonzalez | Report as abusive

What he said was that only God knows when life actually begins.

And, the question is irrelevant if you believe that a woman’s right to choose trumps that.

John McCain thinks that the moment a sperm hits an egg there are human rights attached. What an idiot. A single cell has rights? Most of the time they don’t even survive.

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

This will be Obama’s undoing…..if you can’t have the highest respect for a life growing in a mother’s womb, how could you possibly respect others?? As columnists have noted, the Obama’s are even for late-term abortion, where “the fetus is stabbed repeatedly in the head with scissors and the brains sucked out to ease the passage to the trash can.” Don’t believe it?? See articles by Buchanan et al. Yes, Michelle is in favor of that type of murder. Sign me, no longer such a big fan of B.O.

Posted by Marc L. | Report as abusive

My questions is what to do with the babies once they are born?

These commenters seem to be pro-life until the babies are born, please read the stat below:

According to the Adoption Institute as of 1999 there are 581,000 children in foster care in the United States.

Posted by Damian | Report as abusive

Please actually watch the entire forum before making a comment on this one quote which is severely out of context, in what is ultimately a good answer to the question.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade”… I thought that was Obama’s strongest line. Do pro-lifer’s really want presidents dictating that issue? He’s saying that there are far more astute minds dedicated to this. While important to a lot of folks, unwanted pregnancies are a sticky, horrible, gray issue that will not be solved by any one man.

Posted by Michael Albaugh | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters has the full report here. […]

Posted by Too cute, too glib « Seeing Red AZ | Report as abusive

I saw BO run away from something he truly believes in: abortion

Posted by MM | Report as abusive

THE BIGGEST LIE of the night still isn’t being reported.

Obama was asked to name a time when he reached across the aisle to work with others. He named the ethics / campaign finance bill he worked on with McCain.

Yes, he worked on the bill. But once it got to the floor, Obama CAVED in to democratic party pressures — and actually voted AGAINST the bill he helped craft.

For all you dems out there, please note that you are NOT voting for President Obama. You are voting for President Pelosi / Reid. Obama ALWAYS toes the party line.

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies means more abortions, Obama. We are not stupid. Or…judging from the polls, maybe we are.

Posted by Walter | Report as abusive

Ken, I did not see pres. Bush participating last night, DUH?

Posted by Jerry D | Report as abusive

Dear Christians,

Murder is a legal term for unlawful killing. Abortion is legal, therefore does not fit the definition of “murder.”


Posted by Evolved1 | Report as abusive

The fact is this: Everyone is saying that Obama gave “thoughtful, nuanced” answers, when in fact he was simply dodging.

At least McCain had the guts to come out and say that “I’m pro-life, and I’ll support pro-life policies and appoint pro-life judges.”

We all KNOW Obama is on the opposite side of that coin: He’s pro-choice, and he will support pro-choice policies and judges. We all know that 100%. Did he have the guts to actually say it out loud? No. He did is little “nuance” tap dance, trying to disguise who he really is, and avoid giving a sound bite that won’t play well with the evangelicals he was trying so hard to court.

No spine. He’s not another JFK. He’s another Jimmy Carter.

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

How come when he’s preaching to black fathers he says “your responsibility doesn’t end at conception” but when he’s pandering to the pro-abortion crowd all of the sudden he doesn’t know when life begins?? Wake up people !!

Posted by The Oracle | Report as abusive

Those of you who are flaming McCain need to realize that his stance means that your state will get to vote for whether or not your citizens have a right to abortion. So, California can be California, Texas can be Texas, and so on.

Obama’s way means that we all life with the left’s agenda.

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

I am 100% pro-life and will vote for and support John McCain. But I think a number of poster misunderstand Obama’s pay grade reference. His answer was for ”theological” or ”scientific” perspectives. Neither He, nor Sen. McCain or Pres. Bush are scientists or theologians. Its obvious that in his answer he was simply being humble in stating that he was neither a scientist or theologian.

By the way, I am not sure how any person of faith could assume that being president is the ”highest pay grade”.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

I have not been a big McCain supporter, but I truly believe he upstaged Obama during this program. I noted that one poster stated that he knew that both candidates were given the questions in advance…if that is true, then Obama really should have looked them over and decided on some straight-up answers. He looked quite lame.

As for the life issue, it is clear that when egg and sperm meet the woman isn’t growing an eggplant in her womb. To say that it was “above his pay grade” was, again, LAME. Obama’s history notes that he is more than pro-choice-he’s willing to allow babies who survive abortions to die rather than give them medical attention. If the mother’s don’t want them, then allow them to be raised by someone else. Do something about improving adoption in this country. BTW, I watched both CNN and Fox’s news reviews of this issue. BOTH pointed out that the number of abortions are at their lowest levels since the 1970’s.

Posted by Realist | Report as abusive

One canidate did not hesitate and gave straight forward answers and the other canidate answered in Rev. Jackson style! BREATH TAKING DIFFERENCE!!!

Posted by Jerry D | Report as abusive

Though I did not see all of the forum I did see this part. Barak Obama’s answer was simply a side step. He knows that Evangelical Christians, & others who believe in the authority of the scripture, know that abortion is against God’s will. Interestingly this has been a Christian stance since the 1st century. It is NOT a recent change or approach. The Didache (google it) written in the 1st century to summarize the basics of the faith, covers both abortion & infanticide which the pagan world practiced regularly. Christians were not to be practice these as they were contrary to God’s will & word. So anyone claiming to be a Christian must be against abortions or else they have rejected the faith passed on to us from the 1st apostles. It does not matter if you are catholic, evangelical or any other designation, if you are Christian you are to not support abortion.

Posted by Ed Vise | Report as abusive

Both candidates are horrible.
Obama made a huge mistake with the paygrade answer, that’s really weak and undeserving of the post he’s running for.
McCain panders to the stupid and ignorant who just want a quick answer they can relate to.
On the positive side Obama did reveal himself a little more and went personal where “My Friends” McCain pushed his stupid drilling and war agenda.
Overall, I am not impressed at all by either of those two.

Posted by Hans Meiser | Report as abusive

It’s sad that Obama quotes the bible — SPECIFICALLY the verse, “That which you do to the least you do unto me,” and then say it’s okay to let aborted babies die if they happen to survive the abortion.

Does he not see the hypocrisy?

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

Isn’t it sad that Presidential candidates now have to answer questions that a celebrity pastor asks them. The president should not choose whether women are allowed to have abortions or not that should be fought on the local and state levels. Picking a president for their religious beliefs(which is what this Rick Warren crap is all about), is just as sophomoric and insane as voting for one because of their race. Vote or don’t vote for a president because of their beliefs in the constitution, civil liberties, or capitalism thats what effects all of us and are the things that a president has some control of. This puppet show with Rick Warren though is just a sad and extremely lame way to appeal to the masses of religious voters who make their decisions based on a book written thousands of years ago by man.

Posted by NoneOftheAbove | Report as abusive

The state is not forcing women to get pregnant, are they?. Women should think once or twice about using the myriad of options, some that even free and easily accessible to NOT GET KNOCKED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE! Don’t give me all the tired excuses, hormones, it just happened, blah, blah, blah, etc. What level of person responsibility do liberal activists what to cede to the Feds next? What’s for lunch? OH I KNOW! You Americans can’t drive cars anymore, it’s BAD for “Mother Earth”

Posted by Jamesb | Report as abusive

Weak answer(at best) by Obama. Simply put, it’s bad law. No one should have a “constitutional right” to abortion. Leave it to the states, PERIOD! It’s terrible law and has no place as a “right”.

Posted by Otto-Miami | Report as abusive

I like both candidates. Pastor Warren’s format was great.!

When I watched Senator Obama’s respnses they seemed very articualte..but maybe too much “looking at this way, and then that way”..like an everything is Ok attitude..his abortion answer about “pay grade” was honest and told the story about where is “coming from”. Equivocation is not good for a President..maybe OK for court room lawyer talk.

Senator McCain came across as my preference now. His answers were very clear, with very little equivocation. I really liked the “stories” he used to make his points. He seems much more like one who has the life excerience to be a leader make the decisons needed to be our President.

Posted by alan | Report as abusive

Abortion is precisely the opposite the position of the first poster. We should fight and die for the right of any person to be murdered for the sake of convenience. Abortion, and not the right to murder, is what is worth fighting for. I guess they never read George Washington’s address that he fights for the freedoms of the the living men and women, and the unborn in the womb’s of their mothers. Imagine Washington seeing this America, he wouldn’t have fought at all.

Irrespective of my own stance, to say that an issue like abortion is above anyone’s pay grade and they claim they want to run the largest country in the world means he is a liar. His pro-murder stance is well-known and he’s pretending he doesn’t know he wants the right to murder. And no, I don’t like McCain either.

To refute another ignorant poster, there was one answer Obama could have gave to make pro-life people happy: defend human life from conception to natural death.

Posted by Michael Solimanto | Report as abusive

Then at who’s pay grade is that decision made? That should have been the follow up question.

You are willing to make life/death political decision, but you have no core belief to make that decision.

Posted by roan | Report as abusive

I watched this full thing and I must say John Sidney McCain did much better then Barack Hussein Obama. McCain didn’t dance around any of the questions. He didn’t seem to care how many people had the same views as him. He just answered the question based on his beliefs and knowledge. Obama on the other hand did a dance on every tough question to try to alienate as few people as possible. He tried to play both sides on abortion instead of answering the question. Oh and he never answered the question when does a fetus have basic human rights? If he was for Late term abortions he could have said at birth he just didn’t want to commit to an answer.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

david2323 said, “Nothing Obama could have said would have been acceptable to pro-lifers.”

Have you considered the opposite: “Nothing McCain could have said would have been acceptible to pro-choicers?”

The fact is this: Being pro-abortion and pro-life are both legitimate political stances. John McCain was honest enough to stand up and clarify his stance, in no uncertain terms, to the American people.

Obama, on the other hand, didn’t have the spine to do this. Instead, he tried to obscure his stance. The “pay grade” will haunt him in commercials during his own convention next week, I predict. But even worse, what does “encourage less abortions” mean? Condoms in schools? Bringing back Jocelyn Elders to teach “mahsturbation” in schools?

Oh…plus, Obama lied. Abortions HAVE gone down in the past 8 years. But I guess the facts weren’t convenient.

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

I’m going to have to reconsider my position on Sen. Obama. He is no where near as appealing as he was five months ago.

Posted by Odi | Report as abusive

Obama is right, leave the whole abortion issue to the professionals, if you haven’t noticed the country is a mess and we need someone vibrant with fresh ideas to lead us. If you don’t like abortion then don’t have one.

Posted by Russ | Report as abusive

With an answer like that, Obama apparently doesn’t plan on making it to the presidential pay grade. What a blatant sidestep.

Posted by US Voter | Report as abusive

To the first poster, Andrew Austin: Sir, your opinion is remarkable in its muddled thinking. The fetus, as you so cagily call it, is a human being. That life is the one we should fight and die to protect. That life is the one that tyrants like yourself want to snuff.

Posted by Charles | Report as abusive

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.
– Posted by Andrew Austin ”

Hey Andrew,

Last time I checked the state does not force women to have babies. The majority of pregnancies occurring in the united states of America are VOLUNTARY.

Posted by Liberty | Report as abusive

Funny how the dems attack conservative views but let Obama slide when he tries to convince conservatives he is one of them. If I were a dem, which I’m not, I would be furious at Obama for pandering to the conservatives like he is trying to do.

Posted by jusme | Report as abusive

The argument that the “state is forcing women to have babies” is absurd. Unless a woman has been raped, she chose to have sex, knowing, even with contraception, that there was a chance of becoming pregnant. If that isn’t an option she and her husband or boyfriend are willing to live with, then they need to grow up and practice SELF-control. It’s time for men and woman to act like adults and not feral animals who can’t control their every bodily urge. A pregnancy is not a disease. If you’re too immature to handle the responsibility then don’t get pregnant. Abortion is not the answer. Life begins at the moment a child is conceived, whether you choose to accept that or not. McCain is right and has the guts to say it outright, regardless of whom it offends. Good for him. Liberals want to make up their own “truth” as it suits them.

Posted by Cathy | Report as abusive

Reviewing the above comments, I don’t find many legitimate arguments for a proabortion belief. Several should be commented on:
1. Back alley abortions, sort of an urban myth, studies found the number of deaths prior to and post Roe v Wade were almsot the same.
2. Woman’s right to use of her body. Are all proabortion advocates, also pro prostitution? No one dies, and it is legal in most countries in the world.However we do restrict and outlaw this activity, how is this different?
3. Seperation of Church and State, since when did this become excepted dogma? The bill of rights stated …the Gov. would establish no religion. Thinking of the times, and the importance of the Church of England during the 17th century, it made sense to allow all religions.

Posted by Ted Scott | Report as abusive

After reading some of the comments here it’s more clear than ever that this election is not Democratss against Republicans, because I know a LOT of Republicans supporting Obama, but intelligence and integrity against ignorance and lies. When Obama said the answer was “above his pay grade”, he OBVIOUSLY used a bit of humor to point out that the obvious – NO ONE outside of God (if one embraces “God”) knows EXACTLY when consciousness takes place. BUT we ALL know that our men and women fighting in Iraq ARE conscious and McCain has NOT supported their care as Obama has. And McCain would support a woman forced to bear a child from a rape. Women forced to bear children they cannot emotionally not financially care for. So McCain only cares about life in a vague way, not as TRULY supporting those already struggling to live, OR our troops. That becomes VERY obvious when you note that our enlisted people have donated 6 TIMES as much money to Obama as to McCain. Big Business supports McCain. Wake up America. This MIGHT be our last chance to return America to her once proud stature. McCain can’t and won’t do it. Obama will try (he’ll need cooperation), but he can only do that if he is elected. Vote for the future we deserve. And heaven help those passing on viscous lies about Obama. The funny thing is that many CLAIM to be Christian. What a joke!

Posted by C-in-WA | Report as abusive

If Americans want the government’s nose in their personal business, then by all means vote for McCain. I, personally, would not have an abortion, but I am not entitled to force my opinion on others! Republicans, in their narrow little minds, think their ideas are the only correct, morally right ones. Their focus should be on their own lives not their neighbors!

Posted by judy grace | Report as abusive

Obama’s answer does show his inexperience. A better answer might have been, yes an embryo has the rights we confer upon them. Those rights are as arbitrary as the right of a human in this United States to equitable access to medical treatment, proper nutrition, and sound education, among many other rights and pursuits we consider lead to an orderly and free society. It easy to define life as beginning at conception when it is an abstraction to most folks. There is no real consequence to those wishing to impose that definition upon those who resist that definition, except a rally point argue. Put one day old human embryo and embryo of toad in front of the average person and ask them distinguish the difference. They can’t. Do the same a one-day old toad and human baby. Arguing about abstractions is an easy cop-out to tackling the real problems of the world. The embryo hasn’t done anything, yet, to offend the pious. Yes, the “buck stops” at the President. That is nothing more than short-hand for: “Please make the world black and white enough for me so I don’t have consider that the worlds is complex place.” Obama was right — it is above his pay grade. But, the masses want simply, easy answers and cringe at the freedom of others to make a decision independent of their own limited belief system. No empathy for the woman — just righteous, presumptive judgments — faith with little reasoning is nothing more than radicalism. Warren’s forum is a reflection that the young folks of the US are not following in lock-step of their parents limited social views, and seek a more balanced social agenda. They have to. They see the mess they are being left and need real solutions to fix it.

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

How do right-wing, Republicans reconcile their pro-life views with their staunch support of the death penalty?

Life is life is life and for conservatives to chastise liberals for being pro-choice while their almighty leader GWB ended many, many lives as governor of Texas is the heighth of hypocrisy.

Posted by what about logic | Report as abusive

If you all are such fanatic life respecting and saving freaks, how can you support a war that McSame believes is the savior of the United States that has killed tens of thousands of innocent women and children. The support for actions that results in the murder of civilians while in the same breath claiming the sanctity of life is the epitomy of idiotic right wing hypocrisy. We just got 8 years of B.S. from small brained voters who vote on these personal moral questions. Try and expand your perspective and pull your heads out of your rearends.

Posted by Hayes | Report as abusive

“Above my paygrade”?? Then why was it not “above your pay grade” when you repeatedly voted in favor of abortion on demand in Illinois, including committee votes to allow a baby to die that was born alive after a botched abortion attempt.

Posted by Liberalbut not that liberal | Report as abusive

How can conservatives be pro-life and be for the death penalty? What about that follow-up question?

Posted by hmmm | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin writes that no-one has the right to force a woman to be pregnant. Except in cases of rape no woman has been forced to be pregnant, it is actually quite easily and inexpensively preventable, so why should the unborn pay the ultimate price for her irresponsibility. In the case of rape, perhaps the rapist should be put to death instead of the unborn innocent. We could ram a scissor into the back of the rapist’s head then suck his brains out till he dies. Mr. Obamas feels this is acceptable treatment of a small human being, why not a large one as well? He wouldn’t want to punish his daughters with a BABY, why should society be punished with a rapist they must endure or support in our tax paid prisons?

Posted by Veronica | Report as abusive

I found out the hard way that life begins at conception. Because society told me having an abortion was risk-free, I had one. I went to an abortion clinic, I had the abortion, but the moment I awoke I felt a loss I have never felt before. It was a loss of such magnitude that I instantly started to cry. I looked around the room and all the women who just had an abortion were crying. They were feeling the same loss. There was an attachment to the life that was growing inside me — an attachment to my soul, beyond any I had known before. I knew that I was mourning the loss of my baby which was only five weeks old. Since I wasn’t anticipating anything like that happening, I felt ashamed and full of guilt for killing my baby. I mourned for weeks after and have carried the guilt with me my whole life. That was many years ago, but I always wonder about the life I took and if I’ll ever be able to forgive myslef. Maybe some people don’t feel the loss and remorse and for them, abortion is a woman’s right but I don’t agree. I am so deeply saddened that Obama believes that all abortions are acceptable – even the very late abortions at 8 or 9 months. I now know when life begins (at conception) and I watch in horror as the number of abortions grow. Obama is right, we should lower the number of abortions but the only way to do that is to get women to understand that life begins at conception and it is something to be honored and charished, not thrown away like trash. Maybe then, they will be more sexually careful and honor their bodies more by not being so premiscuious. I don’t know how Obama will achieve that otherwise.

Posted by dianeremarx | Report as abusive

If John McCain is 100% pro life, and if he believes life begins at conception, how can he support stem cell research using live embryos? Looks like a lot of people have missed or wanted to gloss over that one. Barak Obama is not a minister, we shouldn’t have ministers running for president (whether its Jackson, Sharpton or Robertson), so his saying he’s not qualified to answer a theological question is totally appropriate. Thomas Jefferson said that religious questions are best served being answered by ministers.

Posted by Kirk Marchand | Report as abusive

When asked when a baby is a baby Barack makes a glib remark that this decision is above his pay grade. This fits right in I suppose with another callous remark he made regarding abortion and I quote, “I don’t want my daughters catching a sexually transmitted disease or being PUNISHED with a baby.” I wish this pastor had asked Barack he thought his two little girls were when they were inside his wife Michelle?

Hey Ted Scott tell God those brilliant Democrat talking points when you meet Him. I’m sure he’ll be impressed.

Posted by Mike O’Brien | Report as abusive

McCain gave quick, short, direct and decisive answers, often before the questions were even finished. Obama danced, ducked, bobbed and weaved on the questions.
I want a President that can make a decision when he gets that call at 3:00 am. Not one that will still be sorting out the “nuances” at 3:00 pm.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin (comment #1) is laughable:

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.”

Let’s regurgitate this in regards to care for the mentally retarded:

“It doesn’t matter when life begins OR ends. For American citizens to be forced to take care of people who contribute absolutely nothing to society is tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the retarded for the sake of human freedom than to kill adults acutely conscious of their existence.”

Yes, this is the new “pro-life” Democratic Party…

One that finds having an opinion about life or death “above its pay grade.” Indeed, smart folks have always known this. The amusement comes with the Dems finally acknowledging it.

Posted by KPYTA | Report as abusive

You Obama supporters can throw out you “war-unemployment-economy” Stop-Sticks like a battalion of cops trying to stop a speeder. That wasn’t the focus of that forum for those issues. The question was simple and direct. Obama choose not to address it, but to blow it off in a glib, cutesy manner. McCain answered it. He said what he thought. You may not like his answer, but at least he was honest about where he stood. Already the media is defending Obama’s comment with the usual “,Gee, isn’t he adorable!” . No, he’s not adorable. Or cute. Or witty. He is a frightening example of how playing the numbers, not substance, between January and June can catapult you towards the White House. He is scared to say what he thinks, because he knows the vast majority of Americans will reject it.
My fellow Americans, meet the Prophet from Illinois. Meet the Manchurian Candidate

Posted by Bill Chicago | Report as abusive

Almost everyone who has left a comment in here trying to slander Obama has forgotten to look at one thing. He was asked when a fetus gets human rights. He was not side-stepping the question and joking when he said it was above his pay grade, he simply meant that he is neither a scientist, a doctor nor a MEGA-CHURCH pastor, all of whom make more than Obama in a fiscal year. So saying it is above his pay-grade to make a succinct decision that can be contested any number of ways is a viable answer. And i would like to poll all the people that read this post and ask them if they believe in evolution or if the dinosaurs were put on earth to “test” our faith.

Evolution + 1

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin also posts:

“It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.”

I would rather the state to have heart to “force” women not to destroy their unborn children (coldly referred to as a Fetus) in the name of “human freedom”, than to be as cold and heartless as Andrew Austin is towards human life. By the way, Andrew, unborn children actually do have personalities amd many are even given names before they cross over your line between fetus and human being.

Posted by Veronica | Report as abusive

For Obama to make the statement that “it’s above my pay grade” really shows how he doesn’t want to or doesn’t choose to understand this important issue. This isn’t about studies or who knows more about the science! This is about LIFE and to understand it doesn’t take a special degree. It takes a heart and a real feeling about what life is. Obama is stick figure with no heart.

Posted by dianeremarx | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin,
No one is forcing women to have babies. Having sex is a personal and individual choice. As with all choices, there are consequences.

If it does not matter when life begins then can we kill people with whom we disagree? Can we kill our kids when they become troublesome teens because we do not want to be burdened with them?

If it does not matter when life begins then life itself does not matter. I bet abortion rights people think their lives matter enough to be happy their mothers did not abort them…

Posted by Big Dog | Report as abusive

Oh my God, the question is above his pay grade? That comment is going to no doubt return again and again to haunt him. A United States senator running for the highest office in the land responds to a question involving one of the most divisive issues in America that it is above his pay grade? What a loser…

Hopefully, people here aren’t marionettes for either party, but whatever side of the aisle your on, you must shake your head and admit that Obama’s political sidestepping here was a bad move.

Posted by Templar | Report as abusive

I’m quite tired of the media’s assumption that pro life automatically equates to evangelical. The vast majority of my friends and family are pro life. We probably number around 400 and are quite vocal about our pro life position. Evangelical? Not even close. In fact we are typically quite removed from any associations with evangelicals.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

The Constitution states it had been formed to “ensure domestic tranquility”. In no way does an individual’s decision to have, or not to have, an abortion disrupt domestic tranquility and therefore, lawmakers are not entitled to have a say about it.

Posted by Anne R | Report as abusive

In response to the person who asked how pro-life catholics can vote for a pro-choice Obama. The answer is simple…90% of catholics were simply ’born catholic.’ Catholicism is their way of absolving themselves of guilt and avoiding other religions.
Catholicism is great in thought, but few catholics question their beliefs before committing some certain act.
Catholics, are actually responsible for a far greater percentage of abortions than their actual US population should show. If every group had an equal amount (based on population), they have far exceeded their equal amount.
Sorry to the good catholics out there, but there are so many of you that are catholic in name only.

Posted by T-Mugg | Report as abusive

When does life begin? Nobody really knows, but there sure are plenty of unqualified morons on this site ready to claim they know. The only truly intelligent answer to this question is “I don’t know” or “It’s above my pay grade”.

If I were a fetus, and I had the choice between abortion or an unhappy life with parents that don’t want me, I would choose abortion. Why doesn’t the religious right ever consider what’s best for the child, rather than what’s best for their selfish, one sided religious point of view. We have enough unhappy kids in the world, and we can’t even take care of the kids we already have.

Obama 08

Posted by James | Report as abusive

As someone who believes abortion is wrong but an issue that must be discussed openly, respectfully, with a lot of give and take or compromise, I wonder if all liberals believe partial birth abortion should be legal.

When a baby’s foot is left in the womb with the rest of the body out, they cave in the baby’s skull, killing it before throwing him or her in a bag marked medical waste. They say this is legal because the baby was still in the womb. How crazy is this?

If any of these pro choice folks saw the procedure in practice, I wonder if they would change their views. If not, the world is surely going down the tubes.

Posted by Templar | Report as abusive

[…] stage as John McCain. The difference between the two last night was striking. While Senator Obama punted on questions of great importance to the American people, and sidestepped even simple questions […]

Posted by Obama Stumbles Without TelePrompter « New Wars | Report as abusive

Actually, no Catholics support abortion.

In Roman Catholic Canon Law, Canon No.915 provides for automatic and immediate excommunication of anyone obtaining an abortion, assisting in that regard and/or supporting the policy or those who affect that policy.

Therefore, if you support a pro-abortion candidate, you are automatically excommunicated and are no longer a Catholic.

As a result, 0% of Catholics support abortion. But there are a bunch who CALL or think of themselves as Catholics who subscribe to this wholly immoral practice and an ignorant media lets them continue to record them as Catholics.

So if you think you’re Catholic and vote for Obama, better get to confession and contact your bishop about remedying the excommunication, or your vote will have cost you eternity. Good luck…and goodbye.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

Last night’s events with Obama and McCain, was a great eye opener for me…….Obama, without the crutch of a MSM facilitator to “prop him up,” and Obama’s “stump speech” answers only making him look more “out of sorts,”
McCain, whether you agree with all his policies looked/sounded more “presidential,” than did “floundering around” Obama. “Above his pay grade..”
What in the world was THAT!! He, Obama, you showed last night you couldn’t get us out of a wet paper bag much less a mess with Iran, Russia or even a street gang in South Chicago………

Posted by albsure | Report as abusive

All I can say is ‘wow.’ I’m a gay Republican that lives with his liberal boyfriend, and a liberal roommate. The only way my boyfriend will vote for Obama is if Hillary is on the ticket, well that’s the only way he WAS going to vote for him. I read that quote to both of them, they were flabbergasted. If a Supreme Court Judge were being nominated to the bench, and they did not have a stance on Abortion, as it seems Obama is trying to let on, then they would be blocked. And yeah, Separation of Church and State is to prevent the government from interfering with the church. NOWHERE does it state that the church CANNOT get involved in politics. Politics 101- Separation of Church and state is just a guideline, not an actual law. I understand in some circumstances needed an abortion. For instance, medically speaking, it is not recommended that a woman with Type 1 Diabetes become pregnant. But, lets name a few things: Condoms, birth control, and the morning after pill. There is no medical reason for a late-term (as liberals say)/partial-birth (as Conservatives say) abortion. Seriously, there isn’t. And it’s awful to pull the baby out only for it’s head to be crushed by the forceps. And how close to 90 percent of mother’s that find out that their child in their womb has down’s syndrome decide to abort the fetus. I would love to have a normal child, but also I would love to have a child with Down’s Syndrome. The most loving and kind people… If they aren’t responsible enough to use a condom or birth control, or even SMART enough to get the morning after pill (NO Prescription needed), then they aren’t smart enough to make a decision as big as getting an abortion. I have interviewed many women through my line of work that have had an abortion and and up with depression, a few even ended up not having the ability to get pregnant again. Seriously though…why not give the child up for adoption? You can even leave it at a hospital or a firestation, they are safe haven’s. And they won’t even try to find you. If the Secular Progressives gain control of the government, we are in trouble.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

If this one thing is above Obama’s “paygrade”, one wonders what else will be. I wonder how pro-abortion people would feel thinking about the possibility that their mother might have chosen that option. I wonder what life would be like today if Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Einstein’s mother, Martin Luther King’s mother, Marie Curie’s mother, or any other mother of the greatest minds of our history had chosen that option…..If Bill Gates’ mother had chosen that option we wouldn’t be speaking this way today….Thank God those mothers didn’t make that choice, I’m sure that many of them had the same difficult circumstances that women do today and they chose life……

Posted by Jules2008 | Report as abusive

Barry for class prez!!!!!

I love it:)

Posted by tim johnson | Report as abusive

I am not a religious person and I don’t see this as being an issue about religion. The only people who can tell you when life begins are the women who knew the day they conceived or the women who have had abortions and live with the guilt. They’re the only ones who really know when a life begins. Obama and others want politicians, judges or science to tell us when life begins. Any intelligent, spiritual person can tell you that it begins at conception. The people who believe otherwise chose to ignore the truth because it doesn’t fit into their agenda and expectations. Obama seems to live his life that way and that’s why he flip flops all over the place.

Posted by dianeremarx | Report as abusive

The last commenter stated “it doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents a tyranny against which Americans should and die”.
Doesn’t he recognize that, if life has indeed begun taking the life is infanticide; the lowest and most evil form of murder, worse that matricide or parricide.
Obama has voted against laws outlawing partial-birth abortion.The phrase ‘partial birth” means that at the time of the so-called “abortion” the healthy, living infant’s head is outside of the mother’s womb. The “partial birth abortion” is accomplished by the so-called physician sticking a pair of scissors into the baby’s brain. Obama has voted to keep this procedure legal, and has succeeded. In so doing he has voted for infanticide.
Knowing that infanticide is as evil as it gets is not above anyone’s pay grade. We all know it. Unfortunately America is to weak to acknowledge it.
John McCain is correct. Evil must be defeated. Is there a greater evil than infanticide?

Ron Roth

Posted by ron roth | Report as abusive

Let me interpret here, folks… when Obama says “it is above his pay grade” what he’s saying is that he cannot answer the question, and neither can anyone. By being pro choice he is for individual rights… it is a mother’s choice whether to commit murder or not… no one else can tell her what is right and wrong… what is good and bad. And actually self determination and individual choice are strong conservative values (have you cons forgotten?). Of course abortion is “wrong”!… who in their right mind could actually say it is “right”… the question is whether it should be allowed by law. I see McLame as taking the easy way out by simply saying abortion should be illegal. He will get the vote of all the unthinking sheep who are too lazy to think about the true underlying issue of individual freedom.

Posted by Karla H… | Report as abusive

Anyone watching to Saddleback interviews saw our great orator, Barack Ostutter. Without his teleprompter he can’t string three words together and not sound like double talk.
Simply put, McCain wasted his ass !!! He was quick with his answers….didn’t fumble for words. I have a question for Obama and his friends….”DO THE “PRO-CHOICE” PEOPLE EVER STOP TO OFFER A PRAYER OF THANKS THAT…THEIR PARENTS WERE “PRO LIFE”??? OR DO DEMOCRATS EVER PRAY AT ALL??

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

This is worth repeating. Thanks Rufus. You show intelligence and heart which I don’t see in a lot of comments here:

It absolutely matters at what point the baby’s “human life” status is recognized. For one human’s life trumps the “freedom” of another. A person’s freedom, or individual liberty, ends at the point where it infringes upon the freedom, or individual liberty, of another. That seemingly thinking people don’t understand this point is exasperating. The question of life is absolutley integral to the issue of abortion. Life trumps “choice”. Am i “free to choose” to walk away from a fatal car accident that I caused? NO! Even though the loss of that “choice” may have very negative consequences, I do not get to “choose” a destructive choice. This is why pro-life is really opposed by “pro-death”… not pro-choice. If you could demonstrate that life begins at the arbitrary moment of departure from the womb, that would be a compelling argument; however, modern science contiues to prove the opposite. Everything we have learned in recent decades points to beginning of this unique, human life at conception, when the unique personal DNA is formed. Every study shows how the stages of development inside the womb are no different than after departure (birth). This primitive form of denial where we kill the child before we can “see” it is a denial of reality and refusal to accept the very real consequences of behavior tha tin the vast majority of cases was completely voluntary, if irresponsible. Most of us on the pro-life side have even conceded to allowing abortions in the case of rape to eliminate the cases where the mother had no part in the real “choice” (fertilization). This in an effort to save the (over 98%) babies produced by sexual behavior the mother consented to. The “pro-choice” crowd does not make any similar concessions, even blocking the right of parents, charged with the health and welfare of their under-age daughters, to be informed, let alone decide. On top of all of this and on a purley legal front, there is absolutely NOTHING in the U.S. Constitution that speaks to the issue of abortion, privacy, or the so-called “right to choose”. The Roe v Wade decision has absolutely no constitutional support. Please show me where in the Constitution this so-called “right” is defined or protected.

– Posted by Rufus

Posted by dianeremarx | Report as abusive

“above my pay grade”?

He is therefore saying this job is above him. He clearly is not able to handle the job of POTUS. He has said it himself. The President has to make the tough calls and take a stance.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

there is a price to be paid for everything we do and don’t do…HOW DARE OBAMA put a price or pay scale
on taking a stand on this issue….SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on him. I know poor people on the streets who make enough
money to answer this question…how dare that man make
this issue so trivial…this just makes me sick to my
stomach that this man has gotten as far as he has…shame
on him and shame on our country!

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Obama is phonier than John Edwards and the Clintons combined. He just looks better when lying. He is an absolute disaster and the Democrats should be worrying that McCain will have coattails at his expense.

Posted by tim harman | Report as abusive

The ”punished with a baby” was of course misconstrued. He did not say that every baby is a punishment, he said that for the mistake of having sex and either not using the proper protection, or having that protection fail, a young woman should not have to be forced to carry out a pregnancy if she is emotionally and financially totally unfit to care for that baby.
I just love the unrealistic arm chair pastors in here who are above it all. YOUNG, UNMARRIED PEOPLE ARE HAVING SEX! YES THERE! That it goes against your beliefs is totally irrelevant, not you and not anybody else will prevent that. Sure we can stick it to them, yeah, no abortions in the united states! Well they’ll just travel to a country where they can get that done. How did that help exactly?
Barack is realistic here. Educate kids about sex, pregnancy. Enable those who would get an abortion because they simply can’t afford a child with financial help. Make adoption easier when a woman just is unfit to be a mother and is thus conflicted with abortion vs adoption.
I will say it again, you can cry pro-life all you want, I respect your opinion. But don’t force it on others and most of all, be realistic and stop pretending that you can live in a world where no woman ever would want to terminate a pregnancy.
McCain represents the simpleton attitude LIFE AT CONCEPTION OMG AND NO ABORTION EVER. Great sound bite, but unrealistic, out of touch and simplistic.
It isn’t a simple issue, and Barack made clear he understands that. He just should have used a different wording than the pay grade thing.

Posted by Hans Meiser | Report as abusive

Is this idiot still running ads acusing of John McCain of not wanting to talk about the issues? So this guy is too good to answer questions and then accusing his opponent of racism when he is challenged. This guy isnt a bad person, Obama just has a victim mentality that is dangerous when in power.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

To say it’s above your pay grade sounds like you’re a government worker only doing the minimum of what you have to do. This guy wants to be the most powerful person in the world, and thinks having an opinion is too much for him?? What happens when something really tough comes up? Obama is an empty-headed suit who’s able to repeat a speech someone else has written, and that’s all.

Posted by Anne | Report as abusive

It is a sad day in the history of our great country that a man such as Obama would even be considered for the most honorable office we have. God help us all.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

I’m not sure what’s more unnerving: Obama’s weak answer or the fact that alot of people posting here are leaving me with the impression that they’re a 1-issue voter. You don’t owe me an explanation—but you do owe it to the country to not be myopic. 3/4 of evangelicals voted for Bush 4 yrs ago, and most said it was because of abortion rights. So how’d being a 1 issue voter then work out for us all?

Posted by Jeff Dutton | Report as abusive

[…] already lost when he started to pursue it; when asked when a baby gets “human rights” he responded with “whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific […]

Posted by PoliGazette » “That’s Above My Pay Grade” | Report as abusive

I have one question for the “Choice” people and all this crap about personal freedom. Why when the child is born and the Mom is really tired from all she’s been through can’t she just make the CHOICE to sleep through the night and not feed her baby? How dare the state try to control her body and ruin her “Individual Personal Freedom” and force her to get out of bed. She’s tired and its her RIGHT to sleep if she CHOOSES. Oh but when the newborn baby starves to death they take her away and put her where she belongs, in prison for the murder of that baby. So according to Karla abortion is always wrong, but its a question of personal freedom. Should we allow the individual freedom to choose to murder or not. And how many accomplices to this murderous act should we choose to ignore.

Posted by BP | Report as abusive

“Above my paygrade”??? As President, you won’t have anyone “above your paygrade.” You will be “the paygrade.” The buck stops there. Make up your mind and lead!


Posted by Pete Nole | Report as abusive

The real question should be what does a pay grade have to
do with the dignity of life? Seems to me that your values
determine and reflect your true moral stance.It’s better to be financially poor and morally rich than to
be popular and rich while being spritually bankrupt.

Posted by Gary Tyler | Report as abusive

Just one more thing about this do any of you know Obama’s real position on abortion? Do you know that his voting record suggests he is in favor of extremely late term abortions. Also, with some of these late term abortion baby’s are coming out alive and he supports leaving the baby on the table and not giving any medical attention and letting it die. Now once the fetus is outside the womb alive shouldn’t that fetus be given medical treatment. I mean at that point the baby is a U.S. Citizen. I thought Borack believed in Free Medical care for all kids!

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

As Mother Teresa said:
“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

Posted by KM of Oregon | Report as abusive

For me the curiosity last night was not about McCain. Whether one agrees with him or not, he is a known entity. What I was curious about was Obama, as I still haven’t quite figured him out. I want to go beyond the rhetoric and pictures painted in the media and understand for myself what all the furor and adoration is about. So I was paying close attention to Obama and his answers and demeanor.

However if last night is any indication — especially after side by side comparison which IMO was disasterous for Obama — I though his performance was frankly embarrassing. How has he got to where he is one step away from becoming the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world is truly beyond my comprehension — and I’m not even talking about his politics which is far left of where most American are.

In short he did poorly last night yet looked even worst because of side by side comparison with the commanding performance of McCain.

Posted by shirin | Report as abusive

It has always struck me as odd that the party that so fervently supports the right of every zygote over the rights of the woman who carries it, also equally fervently supports the use of the death penalty.

Posted by Josh | Report as abusive

Excellent point from the writer who points out my earlier submission as failing to argue for support of Rove v Wade. The purpose of my earlier entry was to call to task statements that serve to propagate lies about Obama.

Now, as to Roe v Wade. Prior to Roe v Wade, this writer lived on the border with Mexico, and witnessed the butchery carried out by so-called doctors south of the border aborting pregnancies upon desperate young women, some of whom died, some of whom would never again carry a child, some whose health was permanently damaged, some of whom were crippled. Roe v Wade put aside those tragedies, for the most part. It’s disturbing that many on the so-called “pro-life” side disregard the ruined lives of many women prior to Roe v Wade.

Those who want to use government to intrude into the most private and intimate decisions a woman may be forced to make regarding her body and the embryo she carries while her male companion carries no responsiblity are rather insincere when they claim a desire for “less” government or a “smaller” government while calling for a tossing out of Roe v Wade.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

BO was smoked by McCain. Barry is a prentder. And to the earlier blogger who spoke so eloquently of the Clinton years – pls don’t forget that he let Osama bin Laden get away three times, allowed the Chinese to steal our nuke technology (Loral Systems, Hughes) in exchange for campaign monies, and made lying/cheating acceptable IF related to sex! The Clintons truly harmed this country and it may take years to realize how much.

The democrats – as a whole – are anti-American, anti-Church, and anti-life.

Posted by Typical Whitey | Report as abusive

It’s 3 a.m. and the phone rings in the White House…
Obama answers the phone and after a long winded self-serving speech states “it’s above my pay grade”. I guess he’ll need to consult Oprah or George Clooney before before he knows where he stands.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

1 in 4 US adults is an evangelical?
Where did you get that number?

Posted by 9ftnedlove | Report as abusive

Karla, Conservative’s have not forgotten what we stand for. We stand for life. Yes, the it’s the mother’s choice to have an abortion. But it shouldn’t be an option unless medically necessary. Ok, so it’s a mother’s choice whether or not to murder? Why can’t a father choose to kill one of his kids because he decides he doesn’t want them? Why is it that anyone else would get charged with murder, but the mother shouldn’t? You are the one that used the actual word murder. And, that’s what the government is here for, to creat laws based upon morality.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

A few people have pointed out that Obama’s answer was intended to imply that only God can say when life begins.

I agree that this was his intention, but I point out that he is wrong. As many other posters have noted, scientists have unequivocally proven that life begins at conception. Still other posters have pointed out that when in doubt, you err on the side of caution, which would mean protecting the possible human life.

There’s just no way a pro-choicer can debate this issue and win. All he or she can do is lament about the poor pregnant woman, side-stepping the issue of whether or not there is a poor baby at stake.

Posted by Marty | Report as abusive

To all of the people on this site that keep saying that Pro-Lifers “want to force women to have babies” or “will drive women to back alley abortions”, etc. etc. Here is an intriguing thought: How about these women and their men stop having unprotected sex?? For the love of God, we have a 70% illegitimacy rate in the African American community alone. Stop the out of control promiscuity. You want to have the “right” to terminate the life of your unborn children but you won’t take enough responsibility to exercise self control? If you don’t want to have a child either don’t have sex or take measures to ENSURE that a pregnancy does not happen. In other words, grow up. This applies to both women and men, even though the fathers apparently have no say in this decision these days.

Posted by Veritas | Report as abusive

Anyone notice that the Obama rehab word of the day is “thoughtful”. Seen it over and over. There must’ve been a mass email after The One failed last night.

Posted by James Orllin | Report as abusive

Don’t care if abortion is murder or not – I want the right to have one if needed. End of discussion. So Obama gets my vote already. Get over it, chistards.

Posted by jules | Report as abusive

I watched the discussion in Dallas with a true open mind. When it was over, my mind was made up: I will vote for John McCain. Obama is in way over his head. I cannot think – as hard as I try – of a more lame answer a prospective POTUS could give to a serious question than “it is above my pay grade.” How many pay grades up does it take for a man who wants to be president to confront this issue and give a answer. I would probably have agreed with Obama if he said he supported abortion, but his weak response astounded me. This is not leadership.

Posted by Chase | Report as abusive

Oh come on! When are you blockheads going to FACE REALITY and admit that there are already too many babies on this planet and people should exercise restraint, contraception and abortion as needed to avoid MORE UNWANTED HUMANS??

Posted by Get Real | Report as abusive

Look at you people!! Your heads are buried in sand right now. Listen to yourselves. McCain’s performance last night was to say the least, pathetic. All that kept coming through to me was war, evil, military. He sounded like he was giving a stump speech and your people just lapped it all out. When are you going to learn? Everyone of you seems hung up on pro-choice/pro-life.. What about the other issues? Even after hoping that he would show us a more honest self, we still know nothing esp since all we get to hear about is how Obama is this and that..(not all good things). What we know as Frank Rich wrote, is that we are all stuck with the skin-deep, out-of-date McCain image. This fairy tale he recounted last night, himself, the hero who survived the Hanoi Hilton…h has stood up as rebelliously in Washington as he did to his Vietnamese captors. He strenuously opposed the execution of the Iraq war; he slammed the president’s response to Katrina; he fought the “agents of intolerance” of the religious right; he crusaded against the G.O.P. House leader Tom DeLay, the criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and their coterie of influence-peddlers. And yet it all turns out, that except for his imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.

Stop bulldozing us all of you!!!

Posted by eva_belle | Report as abusive

It was a pretty elegant reply from Obama stating that the question is not one that the President should be getting into. We have religious nuts like the Talaban and various other groups around. Can’t we learn about these nuts by seeing how successful our own President Bush has been when you mix religion and the real world.
It’s almost breathtaking how narrow-sighted such “pro-life” attitudes can be. If you don’t want abortions, DON”T HAVE ONE!

Posted by dick192 | Report as abusive

You guys are a bunch of tools. Obama’s answer was perfectly reasonable and respectful. He simply meant that he, and no other human being, has the right to decide WHEN a fetus earns “human rights”. I think if anything the question itself is grotesque and clearly meant to trap Obama. It’s ok to be pro-life, it is NOT ok to be unrealistic and intolerant. I think Obama is a breath of freash air and his lack of ties to all the twisted, ugly things that go on in the dark political world will be just what American people need.

Posted by Bethany | Report as abusive

And how is the government going to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies? I bet whatever the magic plan is, it is another way to separate me from my hard-earned money. Above Obama’s “pay grade”? Does this sound like a man who is ready to be the leader of the most powerful nation on earth?

Posted by Maurine | Report as abusive

1. People unable to think for themselves. Followers. Lemmings. Those with no cognitive ablilities of their own.
2. People (usually faux Christians) who continually vote for “Pro-Life” politicians who never actually do anything but talk about how “Pro-Life” they are.

Posted by Jenn | Report as abusive

This is yet another reason why govt should not be involved in matters such as these. This should be between a woman and her doctor and her conscience. And they should pay for it out of pocket. Why pay for someone else’s issues??

Posted by David Nga | Report as abusive

The most interesting part of the discussion had nothing to do with the candidates. What stood out to me was the questioning. Rick Warren showed that a candidate discussion could be led with clear, fair, non-spun, unbiased questions. By keeping the candidates seperate and asking them the same questions he did a great job in of drawing out clear answers (to the extent that is possible “above my pay grade” indeed!!) and the difference between Obama and McCain. I have never seen a debate where the candidates’ views were drawn out so clearly.

This approach was in startling contrast with the old MSM standard approach of asking questions in a format that favored their candidate. Rick Warren for president)!!

Posted by nolie | Report as abusive

Oh, come on! When are you bleeding-heart-blockheads going to FACE REALITY and admit that there are already too many babies on this planet and admit that people should exercise restraint, contraception AND abortion as needed to avoid MORE UNWANTED HUMANS??

Posted by TiredofStupids | Report as abusive

What disturbed me about McCain last evening was his deliberate and obviously coached responses that included a dismissal of a possible solution to the economic plight of the middle class by tagging it “class warfare.”
He brushed aside any indepth discussion of the tragic decline of the working middle class by making light of the problem with nothing but a platitude.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

Obama showed the world what a shallow, know-nothing, sorry excuse he really is. He could not or would not make eye contact with Rick Warren, this tells me he is a liar. His answers were vague because he has no knowledge of leadership and his values are right out of Karl Marx. We must not allow this man in the Presidency. Vladimir Putin would have him for breakfast!

Posted by tdrag | Report as abusive

The state doesn’t force women to get pregnant, and it shouldn’t make infanticide legal, so yes it is important when life begins.

Theres no telling how many women have died in the womb. One of them might well have been the next Hillary, or Condi, or Margaret Thatcher, but we’ll never know. None of them merited the death penalty, having committed on crime but only wanted to live.

If questions like the one posed to him are above Barrack Obama’s pay grade, then he isn’t fit for the top pay grade, which was the point of the whole interview… to see who is most fit for the top job in the nation.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Americans are unbelievable. You make fun of your current president because he’s a dope and an idiot, spewing out drivel like “I looked into his eyes and saw his soul”. Yet when you have a candidate that thinks before he speaks, approaches a matter with an element of humility and answers complex questions in more than 5 words you criticize him for not being “succinct”.

Abortion will never be legal because democrats want women to have a right to choose and Republicans want Christians to show up at the polls.

Perhaps making an educated decision about who should lead your country may be above your pay grade.

Posted by John Peters | Report as abusive

Abortion is a litmus test for me. If a candidate thinks Clarence Thomas is the worst judge and praises Ginsburg, it’s apparent he’ll appoint more Ginsburgs. I believe that one day we’ll look back on this era (maybe 100 years from now) and be aghast that as a society we supported the killing of those who couldn’t defend themselves- in the name of “reproductive freedom”.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

WHAT AN IDIOT STATEMENT TO MAKE!! And your a MAN??? GROW UP!! You can find a date without being spineless and rolling over to “impress” some whacked out liberal woman! “For the country to force a women to have a baby” HILARIOUS!! Who forced her to take off her clothes, spread her legs and have sex??? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF!!! Wait let me guess…McDonalds needs to be sued also for making YOU fat? Or giving you a heart attack too right?????

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

Americans are unbelievable. You make fun of your current President because he’s a dope and an idiot, spewing out drivel like “I looked into his eyes and saw his soul”. Yet when you have a candidate that thinks before he speaks, approaches a matter with an element of humility and answers complex questions in more than 5 words you criticize him for not being “succinct”.

Roe v. Wade will never be overturned because Democrats want women to have the right to choose and Republicans want Christians to show up at the polls.

Perhaps making an educated decision about who should lead your country may be above your pay grade.

Posted by John Peters | Report as abusive

It always amazes me how many CHRISTIANS LOVE unborn people and show so much HATRED to people already alive.

The CHRISTIANS in the audience loved the adulterer McCain

They loved the WAR MONGER, MCCAIN – war kills people

They loved the religious BIGOT – MCCAIN.

You know, Jesus was seen as a wimp too! His followers wanted him to come with a JOHN MCCAIN sound and fury and fight off the OPPRESSORS.


I am voting for Barack Obama- he is a Christian and has shown in in every word he says…The average Evangelical on this page seems to me to be the worst example of religious zeal gone wrong- and almost FACIST.

Posted by FAITH | Report as abusive

If Obama doesn’t know “when” life begins, the elderly should be alarmed, because it follows that he doesn’t know “when” death begins, ergo euthanasia coming soon!

Posted by mary | Report as abusive

I wonder how many of the right-to-lifers know of someone close to them that had an abortion—and they are still talking!

Posted by Herb Siegel | Report as abusive

I’m voting for the person least likely to take us into more war. It seems neither candidate is absolutely perfect on that score. As far as more killing–which is all too often becoming the way of handling international problems–that is surely one where we–as a world–have at least begun to see the need to evolve out of using it as a method to solve our problems. There is also the issue of so many countries that are still dealing in arms. If there is a clear issue that involves life and death it is the worship of all of the military industrial complexes. Eisenhower was a military man and even he got it. I agree with the person who talked about abortion being also a part of our cultural climate. Isn’t that something that at least has to be considered as much as who is responsible for unwanted pregnancies? Also, I see much failure in the supposed Christian communities. That we can still have so many holier than thou protests against abortion, yet still have so many hungry, abused, and unloved children in our country is a disgrace. Jesus helped the woman who had “many husbands.” I don’t remember him judging–just loving. Furthermore, if all of the Christian “men” really wanted to help end abortion they would start promoting the idea that it always takes two to tango. If the burden for the creation of this life is always put on the woman then this problem will never be solved. You men who act like you had nothing to do with creating these lives remind me of the men who force women to wear the veil in certain countries, etc. The fact is, birth control doesn’t always work. The other fact is, many times men have more to do with the decisions leading up to producing these children than the women do. Who gets all of the burden dumped on them? And why–now that we have DNA testing? The logical conclusion to your absolutist thinking is that all men should submit their DNA samples and be forced to help support these children in all cases. They should also be forced to give forth at least monetary contributions alone in the cases where the mother feels he is not fit to be involved in the child’s life. Which is often the case. This could be enforced whether said “father” was married, etc. or not. Now is this the sort of system you holy and righteous men are ready for? If not, why not take better care of all the people in their sorry states until we evolve spiritually as a society and thus take sex altogher more seriously as a sacred act. Until then, save your righteous politics for someone who believes in your God-like countenances. Senator Obama simply meant he isn’t God. I think more nuanced thought is needed in our country..let’s hope it can keep us out of more wars. Places where women can get “knocked up” by rape fairly often by the way.

Posted by Babysteps | Report as abusive

Seems that many posters here have a special relationship with the invisible space daddy. Sad really, considering this is the 21st century.
Abortion should not even be open to debate. For those who are against abortions I have some advice: DON’T HAVE ONE !!!!

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

It is said that “the greatest lies are never said”
or to paraphrase “silence in the arena of truth is of the same ilk of the great lie”
Hear that, O?
Answer the American people with a definitive yes, no, and quit saying you are undecided. You have voted 100% one way liberal and you deride Clarence Thomas for being, blunt, straight forward, and 95% conservative.
Methinks it’s your way or the highway for your decision making fairness.
But then again, you are based in Chicago

Posted by nothingbuttruth | Report as abusive

Have any of you raving, foaming at the mouth pro-life, anti everyone but your own kind right-wing conservative bullies ever stopped to think, for even one second, why the issue of abortion is so important to you? Have you taken a look around the world in the last week or so? Are you capable of seeing past your brainwashing for one day?

Do you really think this issue is worthy enough to disregard all the otherwise pressing issues of our time? The issues that actually matter (in reality) when thinking about who should be president?

Election after election your kind brings it all back to these core divisive issues. You would elect Hitler if he claimed he was pro-life and you wouldn’t elect Gandhi if he said he was pro-choice, based on your rigid dogmatic beliefs.

If you’re so at peace with your maker and so confident that all the rest of us are going to hell when we die, why not just kick back and enjoy the glory of your own self righteousness? Why the anger?

What religion is God exactly?

Posted by Casper | Report as abusive

Women deserve the right and responsibility to choose whether to bear a child, at least up to the point of a fetus’s viability. Millions of wanted children have been born who wouldn’t have been if their mother had been forced to carry a previous pregnancy to term at a time when she couldn’t have properly care for it. There should be greater access to the morning after pill. The right is so afraid of sex (except when they do it) and won’t even support educating women about how to practce birth control. Abstinence programs have been proven not to work because they defy human nature. Why should we take moral guidance from a Church whose religious leaders engaged in massive pedophilia and the cover up of it.

Posted by Elk | Report as abusive

Obama made many stupid comments and since there is no follow-up, the lemmings won’t pay close attention. He says he wants to protect a woman’s right to chose, and in the next breath he says he would lke to see abortions be rare. If there is nothing wrong with abortions, why would you want to make them rare?

I noticed he named his wife as one of the people he would seek advice from, and yet he says she’s off limits. I say she’s fair game.

McCain cleaned his clock. I’m not a McCain fan, (this climate change, stem cell opinion), but he’ll push for drilling, conservative judges, and pro life.

Posted by elena | Report as abusive

They have completely missed the point. It seems that the fundamentalist do not want to think. There is nothing in the bible prohibiting abortion. Neither god nor scientists have spoken on when sentient life begins. Sure, when two cells unite and reproduce you can call that life, but when is it a human life? I believe that women are the only ones capable of decding what to do with her body. No Government or religion should try to assume control over this.

Posted by Jmk | Report as abusive

Earlier, Obama talks about the Bible saying we must care for “the least of our brothers”. If that doesn’t mean the unborn, who does it mean? If he wants to be president, it certainly is in his “pay grade” to know if the unborn deserve protections or not.

Andrew from Austin, no one is talking about the state forcing women to have babies. We are talking about the state protecting innocent human lives.

Posted by Rebecca from Austin | Report as abusive

When Obama said “above my pay grade” he was talking about his ultra left-wing donors. Basically he was saying “If I say life begins at conception, I’ll lose some major donors.”

I hope we see this quote over & over & over again in McCain ads. It shows Obama is a guy who is unwilling to take a stand.

Posted by AndyW | Report as abusive

Roe v wade will never be overturned?
Would not be too sure about that!

McCain’s already indicated that is one of his goals. Maybe when women NO LONGER HAVE ABORTION as an option, they will begin to show a little more common sense about WHEN, IF and WITH WHOM they have s*x!?

Posted by Maybe | Report as abusive

“funny” how the “christians” seem to think that believe human rights begin at conception but ends at birth.

Posted by Zack | Report as abusive

Obama’s decision to speak out against the war in Iraq in October 2002 was “the most gut wrenching decision” he’s ever made? While running unopposed for re-election to the Illinois State Senate in a district that votes 90% Democratic? In a city that was preparing to give 82% of its votes to the most vocal opponent of the build-up to the war in the United States Senate at the time (Dick Durbin)? Give me a break. If not for “the fairy tale,” it would have been the easiest call he ever made.

Posted by Bum Chicken | Report as abusive

You conservatives can`t seem to grasp something very simple. Up to a certain point, the tissues which are forming afteran impregnation are not capable of independant life from the woman they are a part of. She has the right to expel them if she so chooses. Once they are capable of actually surviving on their own and becoming a human person, things are different. If the woman has been misled or even forced into pregnancy, and is not willing or able to support an offspring, it is in the best interests of the State to raise the child. Sorry about your slavery to the misunderstood old book. try thinking about what you just learned, instead of remembering the grisly pictures of surgical procedures which were never any of your business.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

“I believe that women are the only ones capable of decding what to do with her body. No Government or religion should try to assume control over this.”

Problem – your body has your DNA. Somebody else’s body has different DNA. A baby’s DNA is not the mother’s DNA.

Posted by consultofactus | Report as abusive

Obama bombed. “Above my pay grade” did it for me. He’s supposed to be smart? What???

Posted by Pat Davis | Report as abusive

Wow that was a lame lame answer andrew, if in fact life begins at conception and we are fully unique and human at conception, is not the rights of this unique and divinely created human just as important as those of the young woman who thinks its ok to just discard that child.

Nobody is forcing a young woman to be a mother, 99.6% of the time she is making that decision herself, when she decides to have sex. That is the decision to have a child, once a fertile girl or woman decides to have sex.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

So Obama freely admits to being to stupid to answer the question. A leader doesn’t need to be expert in every topic which comes across his/her desk but does need to have wisdom and courage enough to make the decision. Obviously had the forum been different this career politician would’ve answered more honestly.

One really has to wonder how idiotic pro-choice advocates are. An “offspring” created by two humans would, presumably, be human regardless of developmental stage. What else would it be, a dog, cat, chipmunk??? That it is even suggested or implied that such is not human is moronic.

Those so vehementally opposed to human rights for the most innocent and most vulnerable people on earth who are unable to voice their concern or defend themselves should be ashamed.

Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.
Ronald Reagan

Posted by bjamnjm | Report as abusive

I too watched the Dallas discussion. I was not surprised by the replies of Obama. He revealed his true character, and provided insight into his personal beliefs. He is a man who is learned, but not wise. He is not a Christian, I don’t not see evidence by his works, words, or opinions. What I think amazes me the most are how many millions of people in this country bought into this sham. “My people suffer because they lack knowledge.” I can only hope and pray the individuals who support this man will have a change of heart and consider their options. If he wins the American way of life will be shattered.

Posted by Maryanne Watkins | Report as abusive

The entire notion that we have two candidates pandering to these mega-church pastors and their sheep is ridiculous. Evangelicals report that they are 30 percent or more of the US population. At most, they’re ten or so percent. There are a mountain’s worth more of active Catholics in the US. And we have to sit through these elementary “soul-searching” drivel questions put forth by a man who was educated by people who believe that Shakespeare helped write the Bible. Seriously…Protestants are just ridiculous…

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

[…] Via The Drudge Report and Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge: Obama says pointed abortion query ‘above his pay grade’… […]

Posted by I guess Obama’s an E-1. | I’m Surrounded By Idiots | Report as abusive

Obama said that he doesn’t know when life begins. If he really believes that, shouldn’t we then err on the side of caution and protect the life in case it is human life? Obama voted against protecting a baby – already born – while in the Illinois legislature. Even though the born baby was obviously human, he voted against protecting her right to live. It wasn’t above his pay scale to vote to kill an already born baby!

Posted by Rhonda Floyd | Report as abusive

The sad part of this whole thing is that Obama continues to call himself a Christian. You cannot be a Christian, a bible believing Christian, and have any doubt that life is a sacred gift from God beginning at conception. Anything short of saying that abortion is wrong proves you are lying about your faith, period. I would expect nothing less from a liar such as Obama. Wake up America and realize he is a joke for President.

Posted by TAB | Report as abusive

I saw nothing out of McCain except tired old war stories and parts of his stump speech. Does this guy know how to think critically about anything at all? Meg Whitman is one of the wisest people he knows? Huh?? His first marriage should be his biggest regret….he left his handicapped, loyal first wife for the rich b%^ch. He owns 9 houses, flies on his wife’s private jet….but Obama is the elitist?
What is pathetic is the lack of critical thinking in this country. Our economy is toast, your house is worthless, the economic and competitive future of you children has been destroyed, and yet YEEEAAA McCain!! Give us more! Give us more!
This country is going to come apart at the seams because of the Republican rule over the last 8 years. But go ahead, vote for McCain. Keep us going in the same direction….backwards.
A Fortune 500 company would not hire a 72 year old for a CEO. We have a senile Republican with an itchy trigger finger…WWIII yes most likely with McCain.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Obama has shown himself to be a man without courage. He doesn’t have what it takes to even state his own opinion about when life begins. He is afraid to let the people know his true belief and hides behind the unbelievably trite “pay grade” dodge. If this is above his pay grade, leading the free world, managing the economy or even running a 7-11 is beyond his reach as well.

Posted by Bob Hawkes | Report as abusive

Obama answered perfectly. NO ONE can answer that question with certainty. What our politicians CAN do is protect those we KNOW are living right now, and that means WOMEN. Without Roe v. Wade women would be dying. Women have a right to choose if they want to be mothers. OBAMA must win this election, or else we will all be living in the dark ages again. Get out and VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!

Posted by Baz | Report as abusive


Posted by Lucy,Hartford CT | Report as abusive

How arrogant and condescending is Obama? Above his pay grade? I suppose the Presidency is above his pay grade too and he has shown absolutely nothing in his very short resume that would indicate he would qualify for it!

Posted by Awkins | Report as abusive

Okay, so Obama is a Christian. That does not mean he follows Christian principles. It’s tough.I sin daily, but for goodness sake, to premeditate a sin is a bit much. Obama said we should take care of the least, so why does not include the unborn. Has he ever read the Bible? I guess a good question would be what parts he believes.

In Ex 21:22-23, the Bible provided for capital punishment for any one who harmed a pregnant women or her unborn child.

God told Isaiah He had formed him in the womb (Isa 44:2)

Job described the way God created him in the womb before he was born (Job 10:8-12)

David wrote about the way God created him the the womb and had plans for his life before he was born
Ps 139 13-16

The angel Gabriel told Mary she would be “with child” and give birth to a son Luke 1:31

Before Jacob and Esau were born, God revealed his plans for them Romans 9:11

And there are many more examples. Bottom line, if Obama wants abortion on demand, same sex marriage, government to pay for everything for those who do not care for themselves, at least we know it know.

Posted by elena | Report as abusive

McCain – “Some of the most miseable people I know are rich” – My friends, everybody John McCain knows is rich. “I want everybody to be rich” – how cute and quaint. Dumbass. If everyone was rich, rich wouldn’t exist. It’s a relative term. The question was looking for a dollar amount, and out of mcCain we got typical republican generalities.
Obama was very specific. “if you make over $150,000″ you are not middle class. Anybody want to argue that? Obama specifically stated his tax plan – let the bush tax cuts expire, and those making $250k and over pay a little more – for the common good. If you think that is socialism, screw you. Look at your Republicans buying out Wall Street with my hard-earned tax dollars. Either way, our taxes get spent. How do they get spent? lets see-

Democrats – better public schools, education, police, border security, pay down national debt

Republicans – bailout rich bankers and investors, keep the status quo at Wall Street, and WAR WAR WAR

Do you know that over 1/2 of your payroll taxes go to pay for the military (past and current)? I invest 10% of my paycheck into my 401k, but I STILL PAY MORE TO THE MILITARY every year!!!! Do your own math. Hmmm…McCain, do you think that will stop, continue, or grow??

Mccain, guess what. I don’t give a f%^k about the details about how you were tortured. What does your experience getting tortured have to do with leading economic policy, homeland security, and investing in this country’s education, infrastructure, and future? Not a damn thing. You are an oppotunist, and your whole political career you’ve been milking your f’n war stories to a receptive, overly patriotic ignorant base.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Andrew Austin wrote: “It doesn’t matter when life begins. For the state to force women to have babies represents tyranny against which Americans should fight and die. Better to sacrifice the fetus for the sake of human freedom than kill grown men with names and personalities.”


This has to be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read. Human freedom? What about the freedom of life? The right to have basic life? Shouldn’t the unborn child have that MOST BASIC FREEDOM? Your statement is just another piece in a growing body of evidence that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Posted by Ovedya | Report as abusive

To Mr Andrew Austin, when you say “It doesn’t matter when life begins”. Anything you say after the fact to a great number of Americas is pointless. I have always been willing to listen to all sides of the question. But that statement leaves( I believe in your view no point for discussion). As far as killing grown men with faces and personalities, if your refering to the current war in Iraq. Those grown men many of which I know made a choice whisch is more then you can say for the unborn.

Posted by James Tyre | Report as abusive

All you pro-lifers…

If you had your way and every single pregnancy resulted in a birth, what do you think would happen to this country?

Do you think every unborn child would have a responsible mother and father to raise them?

Every single one??

If you hesitated on saying, yes absolutely, then you are a hypocrite. This society is too fragile to bring children into this world who don’t have a suitable mother and father ready to raise them. That is the reality of our society – no it doesn’t mesh with your fundamentalist views, but reality can be tough like that. For the sake of this country’s future – GROW UP.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

McCain’s performance was disturbing because it was too canned and practiced as compared to Obama who came across as more genuine. I have seen and heard McCain when he was not so well polished and he has been much more believable than I found him last evening.

McCain’s telling of his imprisonment was diminished because it was delivered in an excessively deliberate, dramatic telling to squeeze as much from it as he could for the pupose of garnering votes.

In contrast, McCain responded to the question concerning the lowest moral moment of his life by quickly saying the “failure” of his first marriage. His succinct comment went by so hurridly that its brevity in contrast with his milking his autobiography as a prisoner caught me off guard.

What McCain did was attempt to say and be done with the topic before anyone asks further questions.

McCain, it turns out, left his first wife, who was a cancer patient, for his current wife, and in doing so immediately enriched himself economically.

In other words, McCain acted immorally and similarly to John Edwards. But McCain made reference to it so quickly, he and his handlers were hoping to close the door on this part of his life before we look through that door and begin asking questions about McCain’s true character.

In short, McCain was extremely successful in manipulating his audience with quips and rapid-fire answers that were obviousy practice and play well if no one is paying close attention to the facts.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

The fact that Christians hate Obama makes me want to vote for him more.

Posted by – Dante | Report as abusive

The problem is people who are absolutists and are unwilling to entertain the other’s point of view. Those whose lives are truly full of God’s redemption are not so quick to be absolutely right because they realize they, too, are sinners. Saying the mysteries of life are above your pay grade seems like humility to me, not stupidity. It is those who would forcibly impose their beliefs on others (like women) that create intolerance. Advocate, promote, encourage, persuade others to your point of view, but don’t become religious facists. Truly, what is the difference between Christian intolerance and Islamic intolerance?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

It’s so obvious why Obama didn’t want to directly answer “when life begins at conception” question or any of the other questions posed at Saddleback…he wants to try to be all things to all people. Hence all of his other flip flopped positions. I’d love to ask him when Michelle was pregnant with their two girls, did he say “we’re going to have a baby” or “my wife has a fetus inside of her and it’s above my pay grade to see whether it’s going to be a baby or not” He is alllll talk, no action and no substance. Good Lord, could you even imagine what his presidential addresses would be like?!! The Obama followers (and that’s what they are) will love it! It’d be their favorite un-reality TV.

I can understand in some sense why some rationalize their position that abortion is not taking a human life. I had an abortion before I came to know the Lord. I understand how easily one can justify their position to get to their means. But I don’t understand now as a Christ follower who has a reltionship with the Lord, how someone who says that they are a Christian could approve the death of 400 million innocent and pure lives? The bible is clearly pro-life read Deut 30. I guess it’s a matter of who you choose to serve…yourself or God? Regarding wars and the death that comes from that…God has ordained wars all through the bible. Back to abortion and it’s consequences, a pro-abortionist doesn’t have the big picture, nor do they want to. It’s a huge $ making industry. There are detrimental consequences to this sin. Pro abortionists will never tell you that there are millions of women (and men) who have and are going through emotional turmoil through the decision that they made. Norma McCorvey (the original Roe in the infamous lawsuit) would concur and would love this amendment overturned. Pro abortionists also won’t tell the world that it’s less than 1% that a mother’s life is in jeopardy and that an abortion will take place. Many who have had abortions will not be able to get pregnant or carry a wanted child to full term.

Overall, the questions posed at the Saddleback Forum were good enough for many to see just how shallow Barack Obama is. The three most important people he would consult with as president…oh for cryin out loud! He’s downright comical!

Posted by Gidget | Report as abusive

Being President and making Presidential level decisions is obviously above his pay-grade as well.

Hope and Change… Translation: “Hope know one is paying attention” and “Change my mind whenever convenient.”

Reject Socialism in 2008!

Posted by Dave King | Report as abusive

Pro-lifers, why do you even bother pretending that you are “open-minded” about Obama? What a thin charade. After reading all the comments below, I see that 9/10 of them were left by people who are absolutely sure that THEY KNOW when human rights begin. Did you know that millions of embryos a year are lost through natural causes having nothing to do with abortion? What about the rights of all those poor lost babies?! What are we doing for them? Oh, the tragedy! There’s dozens of much more important issues on which this election will be decided. Thank goodness the abortion issue really isn’t one of them. McCain can have your votes, they were never in flux. Obama will be the next president of the US.

Posted by Steven Seven | Report as abusive

I think you all missed the pay grade line. (although I do get your point)

Forget about him being the President. He is a US Senator (a lawmaker)—it happens to fall directly in his current pay grade!


This will all boil down to time. BO needs to keep deflecting and hope the American people run out of time before he has to answer any questions. I think it’s a kick that he’s still tied with McCain—based on the news and the sheeple he should be way ahead…

Posted by IrascibleChef | Report as abusive

Perhaps if we give Obama a raise he will answer the question.

Posted by Mark Carlton | Report as abusive

hey reuters blog i love the way you only let liberals post on this.

Posted by sky | Report as abusive

Given the forum he was in, and what some of his previous answers were, when Obama stated that the answer to that question was ‘above his pay grade’, I understood him to mean that only God knew the answer to that, and he would defer to God on that answer – which makes it above everyone’s pay grade. I’m guessing that when his people put out that “clarification”, that’s what it will say. I knew that answer would be the one that was grabbed onto by people who never would vote for him in the first place.

Posted by nat | Report as abusive

Abortion is a Constitutional or at least a governmental one. Remember that little line “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” that’s in the Declaration of Independence?

Does a woman have to RIGHT to DENY the unborn baby’s right to LIFE? That’s why there is all that arguing about when is a fetus ALIVE.

Honestly, the issue should be just put on a ballot and settle it once and for all.

Posted by Gene Allen | Report as abusive

So Obama says he doesn’t know when conscience life begins and people start freaking out. I think it was wise not to pretend to know what he doesn’t. For those right wingers out there who are pro-war, to be be pro-life and like this war is so obviously hypocritical that it’s not worth getting into it with you. The government should not decide for women whether they should or should not have a child. Instead of focusing on this issue pro-lifers should try and help those children who are born into bad situations. If you really care about life then shut up and prove it.

Posted by MP | Report as abusive

Actually, I don’t need a “public servant” (i.e. sucker of the public teat) to tell me what is right and wrong. Abortion is “wrong”… just as burning the flag is “wrong”. But I don’t need laws to tell me so! And I’m not into jamming my personal beliefs down other peoples’ throats. Politicians should not even touch this issue. There should be no laws regarding abortion (or flag burning) one way or the other. People should think it out. Yeah… it takes effort (OMG). This way personal freedoms are preserved, and our taxes are lowered because we don’t have self righteous politicians talking about moral issues. After all, slimeball politicians are the last people to be talking moral issues (right Mr. Edwards).

Posted by Karla H… | Report as abusive

It is an unfair questioin to ask any one when life begins. This is a question of religious faith. I as a Jew believe that life begins at birth. I respect the view of others that life begins at conception. I do not respect their insistence upon dictating to people that believe life begins at a later time and that therefore a woman has a perfect right to terminate a pregnancy. She is not taking a life if she believes as I do that life begins at birth or at some time other than conception. The issue of abortion is a religious question and is one that the state has no right to legislate. It is time that we begin to respect the deeply held views of others on this question. I respect Senator McCain’s view. I would expect him to respect my view and others like me and not pander as he does when he speak about Roe v. Wade. The decision is correct.

Posted by Joel Field | Report as abusive

“Above my paygrade?” What a non-Christian response. One more indicator his pretense at being a Christian is just that. I suspect BO wouldn’t know a real Christian if one voted for him. However, he will continue to claim to be a Christian of some kind while doing his best not to offend anyone who is opposed to Christians. Freedom of religion? Not among these libs.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

The government is not impregnating women so it is not, in fact, forcing women to have babies. There are many changes needed in our culture to support families so women facing an unexpected pregnancy feel able to cope with it, but keeping abortion legal isn’t one of them.

Posted by nik | Report as abusive

Obama: What a coward!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Oh thats great! Give him a tough question and he ducks it saying ‘its above my pay grade’? Are you kidding me? He just does not want to answer it and be a slippery politician. Dishonest!

So what happens when he gets asked a tough question when he is actually working as a politician? Good thing that never happens as HE IS ALWAYS CAMPAIGNING AND NEVER ACTUALLY WORKS!

He Obama – $10 is above your pay grade. You creat nothing, do nothing, ask other people for money all day and night long, you dont vote on anything, you dont propose any new bills aor laws, you dont do anything but say how great you are.

Great answer you fraud! Your job is having answers and ideas – that is what leaders do.

Run of the mill politicians slip slide away from tough questions by saying things like “Its above my pay grade”

Get a job!

Posted by Robert NYC | Report as abusive

Obama says that commenting on when life begins is “ABOVE HIS PAYGRADE”!

It seems to me that a great many things that he will be asked not to make a speech about but problems to actually solve may also be way ABOVE HIS PAYGRADE! This unknown, inexperienced politician wants to lead the most powerful country in the world at this time…and he has no clue what the responsibilities truly are that fall on the President of the United States. He can bring in a VP with the foreign political experience that he lacks, he can bring in a leading economist to bolster his lack of economic training, he can bring in an energy expert, a health care expert..and on and on…and “fabricate” a presidents coat out of many colors. What a country.where are the statesman we need now, How the mighty have fallen.

Posted by JoeyZ | Report as abusive

It’s amazing to me how many angry people here blindly accept their own musings about when “life” begins and what constitutes a “person”. Does anyone know how tiny and insignificant a zygote is? It’s smaller than the width of a human hair. A zygote is what occurs when the egg is fertilized by the spermatozoa. It is not an embryo yet, it is not a “baby” yet. So abortion at this stage is not “baby killing”. Pregnancy is a graduated scale. There are no clean lines. So when people say that it is a “person”, they are wildly misinformed. Can the zygote move under its own power? No. Can the zygote “feel”? No. How is it a person, then? It isn’t.

There are no easy answers to this, which is why Obama equivocated. They’re both politicians looking for votes. They both want to tell people what they think they want to hear. McCain is just spouting off dogmatic nonsense like the rest of you who don’t understand biology, and believe a magic “essence” is created by fertilization. Some people would even kill to defend this notion that is completely unprovable. We all need to be careful about what battles we fight and where we draw lines in the sand. We might be drawing them at the edges of cliffs.

Posted by Brandon | Report as abusive

Sen. Obama’s voting record on abortion is clear. Despite his declarations that he doesn’t know when life begins his consistent pro abortion record clearly indicates he doesn’t believe that life begins until the baby emerges from the womb and even children who survive an attempted abortion are without rights. Bottom line: The senator is a hard core pro abortion politician and will be a hard core pro abortion President.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

The American people have a right to hear an answer to that question. The man wants to be president yet refuses to take a stand? He wants to be everything to everyone which is easier to do if you do not state your opinions.

Posted by Jenalyn | Report as abusive

Obama’s unwillingness and inability to answer basic questions was breath taking. He looked and sounded very much like the junior senator he is. Above his pay grade????? Obama is not ready to be commander-in-chief or leader of the free world. He hasn’t successfully run a snow cone stand.

Posted by Jamey | Report as abusive

I am a catholic, a republican, and am pro-choice. I personally believe that abortion is wrong, however it is not for me to make that decision for ever other woman. Forcing someone else to conform to your morality is also (to me) wrong, because having a baby is something that is the most personal decision you can ever make. In the end the only person who has to pay for that decision is the mother because it will be on her when it is her time to be judged in the eyes of God.

Posted by dolceluce | Report as abusive

At least he is consistant with his not being “punished with a child” statement. But on the other hand, since he could neither look Rick Warren or the audience in the eye, should we trust him? I wonder how credible he would appear to heads of state. He does better with a speech that the paid speeches writers pawn off to him to read back to the gullible public. He is better off staying away from a forum where we can see that he can’t think on his feet at all.

Posted by Vera | Report as abusive

His answer was honest and thought out…. too bad “Thinking”
is not considered a plus these days.
I am absolutely sick of these so called conservative Christians who on one hand condemn abortion but on the other hand are not willing to waste 10 billion (with a B) a month on the death and destruction taking place in Iraq, while robbing social/educational/ and medical social services to do so.
For all the huffing and puffing about abortion what about the root social problems that lead to women feeling as they have no choices.

Posted by Josh in Seattle | Report as abusive

Fascinating… So many people spouting their rants about Obama being unfit due to him placing it within the power of the states as opposed to trying to force his religious beliefs on all women in the country. McCain has no solid stance and is unsure if condoms prevent the spread of STDs. Is this the sole issue that many of you are basing your vote on? While we are coming close to another great depression, illegally acting as terrorists in Iraq (A war of agression is considered a terrorist attack based on the agreements in the Geneva convention), human rights violations, development of new Hoovervilles (Buschvilles), torture (which McCain approves of even though he stated that it dosen’t work, from first hand knowledge). The sheer ignorance of the American public will result in our downfall. Voting for a senile, elitist, incompetant boob because he’s a good christian. Hitler was a good christian, and if he was running for office in that position, just as many would vote for him. “Make something idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot”.

Posted by John F. | Report as abusive

Christians are ruining America. If you don’t fall in line with their beliefs, you are hellbound. There are no grey areas, just agreement. They raise a stink on abortion and have no problems bashing Obama and praising McCain (the guy who’s gonna lead us to war in Iran, North Korea and Russia while keeping a presence in Iraq (over the Iraqi government’s wishes) and Afghanistan). Sending thousands to die in war, but being pro life. What a joke. JUST DON’T VOTE.

Posted by TW | Report as abusive

I thought that Obama appeard exceptionally thoughtful while McCain seemed like a wise cracking old uncle. O’bama’s “above my pay grade” remark clearly meant that he had wrestled with it and he wouldn’t pretend to “be God.”

The problem with evangelicals and fundamentalists is that they want to push their view of the world on everyone else. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. Express your views and try to change people’s behavior through your arguements and your example. In this case you are trying to use the power of the State to enforce your beliefs. Many Americans don’t agree with you and don’t want religious beliefs of any kind shoved down our throats. That is why lives are being sacrificed in Iraq, etc. We don’t want any beliefs shoved down our throats. We want the FREEDOM to choose what we believe in.

Posted by William | Report as abusive

if having answers and ideas is a politican’s job, then mccain should retire immediately. MEG WHITMAN is one the wisest people mccain knows.

enough said.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Who actually likes abortion? No one! Some of just believe that a woman’s freedom to think for herself, control the happenings of her own body, etc should be HER choice and not the government’s choice. I won’t be having an abortion, but that doesn’t mean my decision and my beliefs should control someone else.

I took Obama’s “above my paygrade” comment to mean that it is GOD who knows such a thing. Fair enough!

It’s sad that McCain believes in giving human rights to single-celled organisms the second sperm meets egg…but, has no problem sending men off to wore where hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians die. He was so ready to rush to war over the Russia-Georgia thing and he continues to support Iraq.

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

McCain thinks that someone who makes $4.5 million isn’t rich! $5 million is his threshold! Get real.

So, McCain is a filthy rich philanderer who left his first wife for a pretty woman half his age and has no problem sending our troops off to foreign countries where hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians die…but, you should vote for him because he is going to protect that single-celled organism the moment sperm meets egg. (And, then do nothing with the millions of orphans already existing in this world)

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

Can the world accommodate 40 million more children a year when there are already tens of millions that are homeless orphans?????

The answer is not about making abortions illegal – the answer is about PREVENTING ABORTIONS. Which means education, birth control, and programs to help women. If we PREVENT millions of unwanted pregnancies, then we never have to deal with the abortion issue and we don’t have to argue over when conception begins. It’s a WIN-WIN situation.

And, is also Barack Obama’s solution.

Posted by GetOverYourselves | Report as abusive

Could someone show me in the Bible where it in any way says that abortion would be acceptable? Animals and plants were provided a source of food but as for humans it clearly states that thou shall not commit murder. Would you be so bold as to stand in front of God and perform and abortion on his creation right at his feet? You need to take your faith to the polls, not leave it at the doorstep of the church. This country was founded on foundation of the church not as some, namely those who oppose the Christian faith, believe. This country allowed freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

Posted by Gary | Report as abusive

None of us are going to agree over when life begins or whether abortion should be illegal. This debate has been going on for decades.

What we do all agree on is that no one WANTS abortions. We would all like to PREVENT them. So, why aren’t we finding common ground and moving past this bitter bickering? Why don’t we focus on education, birth control, adoption promotion, supporting pregnant women, etc??? It is a winning solution for all of us! Then we can end the bickering and focus on other issues that are important.

Pro-lifers keep backing presidents who pander to them on this issue, but then do nothing to actually help the “life” they claim to value once its alive. They cut programs for the poor, spend billions on wars, etc. If we all worked together to move past this abortion issue and just prevent abortions,t hen this could no longer be a wedge issue.

But, my guess is that it’s easier just to stick your guns and never win. And, millions of abortions will continue. And politicians will use this as a pandering issue over and over.

You get what you deserve. McCain=4 more years of Bush’s failed policies, yet not one baby was saved.

Posted by ProChoiceMama | Report as abusive

RobertNYC – got news for you, McCain hasn’t really done anything in eons. Several times this year he’s been the only senator not to show up for votes. That’s what happens when people are campaigning. McCain is no matter than any other. If you think differently, you are fooled.

Posted by ProChoiceMama | Report as abusive

Who wants to stop abortions?????

I bet you do.

So, let’s work together to prevent them. Stop bickering over something we’ll never agree on and instead work to prevent them.

Donate money to sex education programs, birth control programs, and organizations that provide health care and support to pregnant womena nd new mothers. Help women either learn not to become pregnant in the first place or have the resources to keep and care for their babies.

Stop bickering. Stop abortions.

Posted by CommonGround | Report as abusive

I see that Reuters is doing their usual censorship of opinions which differ from their Leftist world views!

Posted by DJ | Report as abusive

Comments like “above my pay grade” are prefectly Obama. On the surface witty & clever, but at it’s core absolutely hollow.

Yet another example of him not taking a stance other than peddling unspecific concepts of hope & change as a means to exploit the hopes and dreams frustrated Americans.

Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, I want a leader of the free world to stand for something. He needs to have purpose by knowing right from wrong, and good from bad.

This is more evidence that Obama just doesn’t have what it takes.

Posted by Bob D | Report as abusive

i agree, bush is bush, but if mccain was in office during this whole georgia thing, i guarantee we would all be losing sleep tonight because mccain would have escalated it to some absurd and dangerous level right now.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

John McCain just played you all. He had a list of talking points and gave his stump speech….he threw in the terms you want to hear “life begins at conception” and “9/11″ and “I’ll get Osama” and “I was a prisoner of war”….

And, that’s just it. He says those things to get elected. It was a stump speech, not a converesation. Obama spoke from his heart. He could have said those things to win you over, but instead he gave thoughtful responses.

YOu’ve all been bought by McCain…and, you’ll all get another 4 years of failed Bush policies.

Posted by CommonGround | Report as abusive

How sad that a man running for the office of President cannot make a simple decision about abortion. Men and women who go to war or who commit crimes have a choice, the unborn child does not and relies on the decency of the citizenship for protection. The choice should be simple, in my opinion.

Posted by pax ton | Report as abusive

Above his “pay-grade”? He will be the most powerful man in the world and is interviewing for that job. What he means is, he either doesn’t want to admit what he thinks, or just doesn’t want to answer.

Other people make more $$ than the president, but there is no higher pay-grade on Earth. We deserved an answer. Weak!

Posted by Ster | Report as abusive

If Obama doesn’t have an opinion as to when life begins, why does he support abortion?

Posted by Sigmond | Report as abusive

“I took Obama’s “above my paygrade” comment to mean that it is GOD who knows such a thing. Fair enough!”

If that is true, why does Obama support abortion?

Posted by Sigmond | Report as abusive

I liked how he said that Clarence Thomas didn’t have enough experience (without actually using the word). Thomas was in law many years more than Obama was in ANY office.

Perhaps he knew not to use the word experience as he is also lacking.

Pretty funny how the least experienced candidate for a more powerful position says he would have rejected Thomas because of his lack of experience.

So… one of two things is true:
1. He, himself doesn’t have enough experience.
2. He used the ‘experience’ thing to discredit Thomas instead of saying he can’t stand a conservative black man.

So, he either shouldn’t be in office for lack of experience, or he shouldn’t bein office because he lied.

Strike one and two in one question.

Posted by Ster | Report as abusive

He will not answer because there are only two logical answers:
1) at conception
2) at birth
Obama really thinks 2) but is being political by not saying what he thinks.

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

Obama is simply saying that he doesn’t know when life starts. A very humble answer. Here is a test:
1. When does life start?
2. Prove it.
Anyone who is looking for the government to make a call on this issue:
1. Doesn’t know what is right or wrong, and needs the government as a “parent” for them (bad).
2. Wants to use the government as a “parent” to jam their personal beliefs down others’ throat (worse).
By giving the government the power to make personal decisions for us we are ceding our freedoms to the government. We are turning ourselves into sheep.

Posted by Karla H… | Report as abusive

His response to ‘when does life begin’ wasn’t a joke. It was simply a statement that said no one without a doubt can prove when life begins, except God. That’s what he meant folks. Not a joke, not ‘wimping out’ it’s a simple “I don’t know and it’s not my call to make, it’s God’s call.”

I’m so tired of my fellow Christians that ‘know’ the mind of God and are so darn sure of EVERYTHING.

Posted by Daryl | Report as abusive

Did Obama ever answer a single question at all? I mean, answered it yes or no, or at least answered enough that you knew exactly what he thought.

McCain was wishy-washy on a few questions, but I don’t remember Obama actually answering any. At all. And Pastor Rick never asked him to actually answer them, or at least say… “so, do you agree or disagree?”

Obama is just another politician that can’t answer in yes or no. You may not think McCain is any better, but at least we all know that Obama isn’t change, or a different kind of politician. He’s just the same as all the scumbags in Washington. He just says he’s different.

Posted by Ster | Report as abusive

If Obama was an “old, wrinkly (white) dude” (thanks, Paris) and had the same exact views, and answered the questions the exact same way, he would never have made it past Iowa in the elections.

Posted by Ster | Report as abusive

McCain says that an unborn baby’s rights began “at the moment of conception”. And yet he’s said previously that he thinks the decision on whether or not to allow abortions (and in what cases) is best left up to the states.

So he thinks each individual state has the right to pass laws allowing its citizens to summarily terminate the lives of other citizens without due process, without a trial, without any repercussions?

Yeah, Obama’s comment was a bit of a dodge (even if it had a lot of truth in it).
But McCain’s answer was just insane.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

Obama is neither a theologian nor a scientist, not God and not Einstein.. and has the humility to recognize this.

The key to preventing abortions is PREVENTION. No law will prevent them. Only easy confidential access to birth control will prevent abortions. There will always be abortions whether or not they are legal if pregnancy can’t be prevented.

The consequence of illegal abortions is the gruesome deaths of poor women. Rich women will always be able to have medically safe, confidential abortions.

It is obscene that we cannot provide better education and access for birth control than we do.

Posted by Cathy | Report as abusive

If this question is “above his pay grade”, then why did he vote against a bill in the Illinois legislature that would guarantee rights for babies born alive after failed abortions. Seems to me that he has made the decision that the baby has rights only when the mother deems them – regardless of the viability of the baby. The guy claims to be a “new” breed of politician, but he is nothing but an empty suit – who is beholden to the fringe left.

Posted by Steve F | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade” is a well-worn expression that basically says, “That’s up to God to decide” for you functional illiterates out there.

Posted by Class is IN | Report as abusive

The fact of the matter is that Americans get abortions. It is not a politician that chooses. It is our fellow citizens that choose. They choose in droves. They either don’t think that they are killing a baby or they don’t care. Neither Obama nor McCain can change that. The question then becomes do we use the power of the State to enforce the views of a segment of the society to control the behavior of another segment of the society. Obama thinks that we shouldn’t. McCain thinks that we should. As a child I was taught in church that life begins at the moment of conception. I don’t know if I would have had the same belief if someone hadn’t taught it to me when I was not mature enough to say “How do you know?”

Posted by William | Report as abusive

Obama pretends to avoid making a judgment call on when life begins — but he does exactly that with his voting record and position. If he truly “didn’t know” when life began, he would completely be removed from the abortion discussion and take no position. But he does take a position — a very firm position — in favor of completely unrestricted abortion.

His response is pathetic pandering and spineless. And honestly, up until now, I had rather liked the guy.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Although I only saw extracts from this debate I was surprised and saddened to see that some of my Amerucan friends have been brought to a condition of near apoplexy by Mr. Obama’s observation that a conidered opinion about abortion was dependant upon his salary scale! Just remember American Guys what Sir Robert Walpole once said, “Every man has his price!”

Posted by Ralph Smith | Report as abusive

If Obama doesn’t know when life begins, shouldn’t he error on the side of life?

Posted by Scott Everard | Report as abusive

BO was in desperate need of a teleprompter. He was unprepared for basic questions he should have known he was going to be asked. Obama is not ready to confront evil dictators. He is in over his head and is definitely above his pay grade. He said it himself.

Posted by JW | Report as abusive

“Class is IN” knows what he’s talking about, at least. Maybe my faith in humanity has been restored.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Keep in mind that it will be tax dollars from you and me that pay to raise and then in many cases jail all those unwanted children born to women who could not get an abortion! I can think of better uses for my money and doubtless you can for your’s too. Also realize that, under our present system, it is often the poor and minorities who can not afford the alternative and bear those children.

Posted by Bob Clark | Report as abusive

0bama has shown himself to be so radical. So out of touch with the feeling and thought of the vast middle of the country. So at odds with our self-image as a nation. We think we try to protect the vulnerable. We think we’re kind.

Democratic leaders like 0bama are radical on abortion because they live in fear of a pro-abortion lobby that has money, clout and workers, and that can kill the hopes of any Democratic aspirant who doesn’t toe the line. And that pro-abortion lobby is largely composed of the professionals, journalists, lawyers and operatives who long ago showed such contempt for America. And for Southie. And for taxpayers. And for those who hold to a spiritual or nonspiritual sense of right and wrong, good and evil, and who have a visceral sense that abortion is bad for our nation and its future.

The Democratic Party’s complete obeisance to this lobby makes Democrats look bought, frightened and craven. It also makes them look stone cold. You look that way when you back stone-cold policies.

0bama and Democrats are doing what they think they have to do to survive.

And there’s this. Deep down, in some still vital area of human knowledge within you, the place where you just know things, you have got to know that no political party primarily funded, supported and led by fierce pro-abortionists, by people whose great interest in life is seeing to it that the right to kill infants is retained, can long endure. Nothing can long stand on a foundation like that. Nothing.

Posted by Tom Paine | Report as abusive

Obama was stuttering and stammering over the life question, trying to think of a way to:

1–Fool the American people; and
2–Prevent Planned Parenthood from getting angry at anything incorrect he might say

It slays me how liberals think that:

1–because they don’t know when life begins
2–they try to transfer their ignorance to the people, the scientific and theological communities … even though embryology textbooks state life begins at conception

Posted by Dennis Durband | Report as abusive

Obama fears truth and therefore refuses to speak truth. American’s expect – and must demand – that the President of the United States has no ‘above my pay-grade’ stands. We need a leaders who stands tall and secure in what is self-evident: Like it or not, life begins at conception.

Posted by Douglas Love | Report as abusive


On this…
“But he does take a position — a very firm position — in favor of completely unrestricted abortion.”

Just not so.
He’s repeatedly said he’s OK with laws restricting access to abortion on the state level.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

Surely, the respective positions of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party on abortion was well known by
everyone prior to the debate. so the question was unnecessary. Pastor Warren said he would not discuss Gay rights and abortion, then proceeded to do just that.
Obama is right. No one knows exactly when life begins.
Why didn’t the Pastor discuss adultery and get John McCain’s answer?

Posted by Lilly | Report as abusive

If Obama is unable to answer the question based on it being “above his pay grade”, does he have the smarts reuired to exercise judgement as president?? I look forward to a McCain – Obama debate with questions that demonstrates their leadership acumen, but it won’t happen because Obama is too big a coward…besides no teleprompters are permitted in a debate. Though I am not a big fan of McCain, the altrnative is unthinkable.

Posted by Samurai | Report as abusive

“He will not answer because there are only two logical answers:
1) at conception
2) at birth
Obama really thinks 2) but is being political by not saying what he thinks.”

Actually, there are several more possible answers, mostly based on the physiological develpoment of the fetus in the womb.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

Reuters has censored me 3 times, is this going to be the 4th?

Posted by mary | Report as abusive

Reuters, why are you not posting my posts, “awaiting moderation”?????????????????????????????  ?????

Posted by mary | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade” is just another example of Obama’s elitism. He’s saying, “my opinion is above your reproach.” He’s also saying, “I’m not courageous enough to tell you the whole truth.” He knew he was in a forum where the attendees were most likely pro-life and he couldn’t be strong enough to give an honest answer. What a putz.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

You people have entirely missed Obama’s point here. He’s only saying that if the question is theological, he isn’t a priest or pastor, and is therefore unable to answer the question as specifically as the questioner would like. If it is a scientific question, he is NOT a scientist or medical doctor and therefore also unable to answer completely. His job as president would be to ensure that we, Americans, have the ability and the RIGHT to use all the resources we have available to us to make that decision ourselves.

Posted by Erick | Report as abusive

Wake up America! The presidency is above this empty suit’s pay grade.

Posted by Rod Mann | Report as abusive

If being President of the United States doesn’t have a high enough pay grade to come up with a definative answer then I do not know what dose…..

Posted by Daniel Pettit | Report as abusive

I find it strange that so many people were offended by the phrase, “Above my pay grade,” and thought that Obama was sidestepping the issue. I think he was saying, although maybe he should have done it more clearly, that none of us is in a position to make a determination about when life begins, not even a presidential candidate… only God can decide that… or each individual for herself. And historically, the beginning of life was usually seen as “the time of quickening,” that is, when the baby could be felt moving in the womb.

This is a VERY complex issue, and I’m offended by people who consider themselves morally superior by taking a black-and-white stance. Having known a young woman who died trying to do a self-abortion rather than face the social stigma of unwed pregnancy and the wrath of her family, I think maybe conservatives need to come to terms with the fact that not all young women have loving support, and in banning ALL abortions, they may start seeing the death of both unborn children AND their mothers.

I am not “in favor” of abortion, especially for that small group of women that thinks of it as a form of birth control after the fact. But Obama is right… his answer was far deeper… women do not make the decision easily. And why is it considered so moral and righteous to give up a child for adoption, and have that child spend its whole life wondering why mommy didn’t want him or her?

Posted by Rebecca Randle | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade” is just another example of Obama’s elitism. He’s saying, “my opinion is above your reproach.”

This is silly… he’s saying the question is a very complicated one.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

That’s proofs he wasn’t scripted or couched. A blunder happened, so what, it’s hard to say what a woman should or not do to do, let her faith and church decide, right or wrong. We’ll take care of the parking tickets, let the Almighty do it’s job.

Posted by steven sohriakoff | Report as abusive

I understand that Pastor Warren is a Republican, and
he undoubtedly favored John McCain. I wanted to know
whether McCain had advanced notice of the questions. I did not see the segment with McCain, but it showed that he had prior notice of the questions, or there was no sound proof room. Poor Obama he went from Hawaii to rallies and did not allow himself time for preparation, but he still did well. He was sincere.
On the subject of abortion. The positions of both
parties are well known. So what was the purpose of questioning Obama and McCain if not to give points to McCain. Obama is right, no one knows the exact time when
life begins.

Posted by Fairmind | Report as abusive

this is not rocket science.



so there you go, i dont know how any clearer anyone has to be . it was a dumb question to ask in the first place.

Posted by sandy | Report as abusive

If I am to vote for Obama he must as a professed Christian support his belief. Not even the theologians know when the Spirit of God is bestowed upon us… When you do not know then a Christian must support the sacred aspects of his faith. To believe a doctor about human rights is like believing a lawyer about where to start brain surgery.

Posted by Norris Buchmeyer | Report as abusive

Wow – this has nothing to do with whether or not he’s pro-life or pro-choice. This has everything to do with him not willing to make a decision and stick to it, regardless of what some people might think of him. Sorry Mr. Obama, but REAL LEADERSHIP means that you actually have to MAKE A DECISION and stick with it. And you sir, obviously don’t have the ability to do so. Is this the kind of ‘answer’ we’ll get from you as President when you get that 3 a.m. call? Will that decision be above your pay grade as well?

Posted by shazbot21 | Report as abusive

Now it’s CLEAR why Obama’s ONLY noteworthy accomplishment is setting the record for voting “PRESENT” as an Illinois state legislator and US Senator.

Now, that’s the greatest mark of a much needed leader Ever, setting the record for voting “PRESENT” on important, consequential Congressional watershed legislation. SUCH LEADERSHIP!

When “President” Obama has minutes to decide how to repond to incoming North Korea Missiles, so glad he’s be able to do the executive equivalent of voting “PRESENT.” Our adversaries will be so impressed, and cower in fear!!

Posted by WhitemoonG | Report as abusive

I find it interesting that the moderator controls thought here… If there is truth in what I say then you know the truth and suppress it… I find this deeply disturbing but not surprising…

Posted by Norris Buchmeyer | Report as abusive

0bama’s answer shows why he’s the candidate of “hope”… he gives very few specifics, so you can only “hope” his views and policies are good for you. Vote for someone who has the courage to answer the questions and state his positions, a real American hero like John McCain.

Posted by 0bama Fatigue | Report as abusive

Obama’s answer regarding abortion reveals that his only concern about the issue is that a significant plurality of his supporters favor the right to have one. He was unable to give a substantive answer on the merits. But this is not just Obama’s problem. Anyone who has had a child and has seen the sonogram of the fetus whose heart is already beating within six weeks of conception knows that abortion means taking a life. The political argument centers on whether women should be forced to deal with reality that they have created life. Most would prefer not to and politicans want their votes.

Posted by Jedsil | Report as abusive

OBAMA IS A DISGRACE!!!!! Besides saying that unborn children have no rights, he also does not believe that babies accidently born alive after a failed abortion deserve the right to life. Look at his voting record while he was in the Illinois Senate. Obama’s articulate words cannot cover his very cold heart!!!! Don’t let the smiles fool you!

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

You Christian spiritualists make me puke. You are proof that there was no intelligent design because if you had been designed it was as fools. Obama referred to God as above his paygrade and as usual subtleties are as lost on you as is grammar. Spiritually speaking, life begins when a man and a woman decide to have a baby. The embryo is relevant only to their desire. Embryos are interchangeable and disposable but the will to responsibly reproduce is immutable.

Posted by Marty Kay Zee | Report as abusive

The “above my pay grade” line will be used in countless Republican ads to come I am sure

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

My question is this…if abortion is made illegal via constitutional amendment what happen next. No one in the anti-abortion movement seems to talk about the consequences of success. There are thousands of kids that need a home right now. We have millions of Christian families that could take them in but they don’t. What happens when through legislation we drastically increase the amount of kids that need homes. I never seem to hear Christians talk about the criminalization of abortion. If you outlaw it there must be some consequence to having or performing an abortion. What will the penalty become. Nobody seems to be talking about the obvious need to increase public assistance to mothers should abortion be banned. Nor do I ever hear from Christian sources the need to reduce these pregnancies through contraception. The pro-life movement should really discuss these issues in public to better explain their position. Just saying that we want to save life is not enough. You really need to have a solid well thought out plan.

Posted by Concerned Christian | Report as abusive

any pollsters out there?
you can mark one “undecided” to “McCain”

Posted by William | Report as abusive

Asking when human rights begins is indeed a trick question to the non=Christian. In the world of human rights when does being a human begin? At what point does man become man and not a dog or a cat?

View the candidates answers….was their answer as a view that the question was a trick?

Posted by Norris Buchmeyer | Report as abusive

“Wow – this has nothing to do with whether or not he’s pro-life or pro-choice. This has everything to do with him not willing to make a decision and stick to it, regardless of what some people might think of him.”

Again, nonsense.
He’s been quite clear in his thoughts about action (legislation).
He begged off on a question, choosing to take it in its philosophical question. He probably hoped that that would save him some grief from certain quarters.
Little did he know that some would try to make a fuss over his not getting philosophical.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

The fact that so many people do not understand what Obama implies with a phrase like “above my pay grade” is the reason why men like Bush get elected. The complete and utter ignorance of Americans makes me ashamed. Perhaps McCain and Obama should be interviewing with top educators and discussing their views on the dismal state of our public schools? Maybe a discourse on the growing legions of moronic adults in our great (sic) nation would point a true light into why so many Americans are finding themselves in enormous debit. Perhaps basic math should become the focus of the Presidential race, and not complex moral and religious issues that provide for excellent TV ratings but will in no way improve the strength of our country or the quality of our citizens. Tell me how banning abortions or same-sex unions will improve America? How will that increase our GDP? How will that end poverty? How will that fix our Healthcare system or our schools? How will forcing the government to pass laws to regular our nation’s “moral compass” end drug use or insure we all have enough money to retire?

Time’s up. It won’t. So, please stop filling blogs with mindless drivel about Obama skirting the question. People in other countries can read these comments. You’re making us appear like bumbling idiots.

Posted by Carl Corbitt | Report as abusive

“Above my pay grade?!” Are you kidding me? This guy is “the anointed one” and yet he states that he isn’t smart enough or wise enough to make a decision that he finds difficult. It seems to me that he is ALWAYS deferring the tough decisions to others. The United Nations. Ahmadinejad. Castro, just to name a few. We don’t need a president incapable of LEADING this Nation!

I want a President who is willing to state an opinion and follow up on it. Not some wishy-washy, touchy-feely, limp-wristed, spaghetti-spined politician who is incapable of stating an opinion for fear of being disliked by half of his audience, and unwilling to back up his opinion. Instead, we have a former community-activist who has not just a thin-resume, but basically a blank sheet. Ask the citizens of Chicago about the Utopia that Obama created there!

I’m just utterly astonished at the swooning masses that follow this guy! We haven’t seen a crowd of blind sheeple since the Third Reich. Sieg heil!

.. and let’s see if Reuters deletes THIS post, my second attempt!

Posted by DJ | Report as abusive

answer’ we’ll get from you as President when you get that 3 a.m. call? Will that decision be above your pay grade as well?

– Posted by shazbot21

======================================== =================

You comparing a 3am clear cut decision of we are under a attack, to where and what is conception and what choice a woman have in her right to give life or dont.

you are as nutty and delusional as so many outhere.

So many EXPERTS in the world beyond Obama haven’t come up with something, whats next!! you expect Barack to find a CURE for CANCER; and if he CAN’T he is not FIT to LEAD.

Posted by marla | Report as abusive

this debate was great. it showed how miserable barak obama is in real life. he couldn’t make a decision if it hit him in the head. mccain was very decisive in his decisions. barak has never reached across the isle to the republicans so what change will he bring? seems just more liberal hoopla to the detriment of americans.

Posted by spinelli | Report as abusive

For those of you that have used my response in your responses –

I’m well aware of what Mr. Obama meant when he said ‘above my pay grade’ – he meant that it’s a decision that’s left to a ‘higher power’ than himself.


Everyone has an opinion on this issue, and I took his response to mean that he was unwilling to take a position at that time during that forum. I take his ‘non-response’ as a sign of a lack of leadership – i.e. being unwilling to take a stand or make a decision. A true leader is willing to make the tough calls, and he did not make the tough call.

I’m no fan of McCain, but he made the call on the same question, even though he knew that about 1/2 of the folks viewing would agree, and 1/2 would not. He made the call anyway.

Mr. Obama, with his response, was trying to have it both ways. You can’t do that and be a true leader.

Posted by shazbot21 | Report as abusive

I’m leaving a blank coment, because thats what Obama is.

Posted by al | Report as abusive

“You comparing a 3am clear cut decision of we are under a attack, to where and what is conception and what choice a woman have in her right to give life or dont.”

Posted by Marla

Um, Marla – do you really think a 3 a.m. call would be clear cut? How to respond to an attack/threat is clear cut? Really? I’ll bet I could fill this forum with scenarios that would not be clear cut. It takes someone with leadership skills to make those tough decisions, knowing that some people will agree and some will not, and you have to deal with the arm chair quarterbacking you’re inevitably going to get.

Again, Mr. Obama’s repsonse showed me that he’s trying to have it both ways, and he just can’t.

Posted by shazbot21 | Report as abusive

If this issue is at the top of someone’s “To Elect” check-off list, then people obviously have yet to learn what problems we’re running into nationally. This is a “soft” issue, or simply put a social issue. I still can’t fathom why anyone cares so much about this. The government doesn’t FORCE anyone to have an abortion; in the event the procedure is deemed absolutely necessary, its done by ones own free will. I know people who have had it done, and its a life lesson that creates great amounts of guilt and emotional turmoil. No one coasts through it with a big smirk and filled with glee to hurt Evangelicals ideals. Some people rather just not give birth till they’re ready, or at all- and if it occurs regrettably, should not someone have the freedom to this choice? Just as everyone should have the choice to own a gun (and all the consequences that come with it), the right to not give birth at a pre-determined threshold should also be a choice (with indeed the likewise consequences of it). Just my two cents, sorry if you see otherwise. Maybe to persuade some, an absolute fact: McCain will not be able to overturn Roe V. Wade even if he is elected President. Consider how the present Supreme Court has ruled, even with Bush-nominated & approved judges on the bench.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

i would like for Obama to provide a list of all questions that are above his pay grade so that i can make an informed choice for president.

Posted by Dave W | Report as abusive

Do you notice how Obama never actually answered a single question?

When it came to the “when life begins” question, he never, never answered it. Did anyone actually hear an answer to the question? I didn’t.

Obama = same old politician. Barak “TheSame” Obama.

Posted by ster | Report as abusive

Obama couldn’t take a stance in a standing contest. How he can bloviate and say nothing , and still have any sort of base , is beyond me.
It shows you that his constituents are not even listening to him. If they were, they would become Republicans.

Posted by Vinceman | Report as abusive

Here’s how it went: Warren invited both candidates to come and talk with him. Each candidate received one hour with Warren where he asked them some interview questions. It sounded like he (Warren) provided the questions to the candidates before hand. (Obama commented that he “cheated” and researched one of the questions Warren posed to him, so that is where I’m getting that assumption.)

Posted by danny bloom | Report as abusive

How soon, how SOON we forget 2000 when it was Bush and Kerry. These exact same conversations were taking place – Bush was a quick decider and therefore “smart” (GAG ME), and Kerry would want to “discuss” things first, which made him weak.

Flash forward six, seven, eight years to the lessons we have learned, and listen to our top generals tell us that this is a war that can’t be won militarily, it has to be won with negotiation.

Who’s dumb now? Who squandered our nation’s wealth and lives of thousands of young men and women now? For the love of God and all that’s holy, LEARN SOMETHING FROM THE PAST EIGHT YEARS and don’t be fooled by an old egotist who thought the Rick Warren discussion was really a child’s game of whoever answers first and shortest is the winner. We have LIVES at stake.

Besides, Rick Warren is CFR. Google it.

Posted by Obama ’08 | Report as abusive

I’m a Republican and a Christian, but there is a whole lot about McCain I don’t like. However, McCain showed with his direct and brutally honest answers that he is a man of character, experience, and substance. Obama showed a serous lack of substance and that he is a weasel when facing tough questions. The most important question was “who would you NOT have nominated for the Supreme Court?” The two candidates’ answers reveal all any Christian needs to know to make a choice in this election. This event confirms my theory that Obama will have big trouble showing real substance during the final debate season from now until the election. Bottom line: McCain has now earned my vote. Finally, hats off to Pastor Rick Warren and others for a wonderfully done forum. This forum was a hundred times superior to the ridiculous primary debates, which were designed and manipulated by the dinosaur media.

Posted by Jim Lee | Report as abusive

First, denying a woman an abortion is not “forcing” that woman to give birth. That choice was made (unless, of course, she was raped) by the woman when she and the father had intercourse. I don’t think the state forces women to have intercourse.

With freedom comes responsibility, and without responsibility, true freedom does not exist; the two are inseparable. A couple who chooses to have intercourse, and thus a child, should not be given the inhumane “out” of abortion; this out only fosters a continuation of the dangerous

Second, it was the intent of the founders for the government to serve protect three interests of its individual citizens, those being life, liberty, and property (which they do poorly, especially because they confiscate property all of the time). Abortion is a selfish, barbaric, and cruel procedure that kills life. It may be cliche, but abortion truly stops a beating heart. If there is one interest the government should protect, it is the life of an innocent child.

It is logically inconceivable that governments can protect the interests of dogs via animal cruelty statutes better than it can human fetuses.

Finally, as a Catholic, I am ashamed that

Posted by Philip | Report as abusive

Bravo to Obama for refusing to rise to Warren’s bait. Unfortunately, intelligent answers aren’t what the vast majority of simple-minded American dolts want. I’m sure Hannity and Limbaugh will have a field day with this, as they’re always able to skillfully hone in on what their brain-dead followers want to hear.

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

How soon, how SOON we forget 2000 when it was Bush and Kerry. These exact same conversations were taking place – Bush was a quick decider and therefore “smart” (GAG ME), and Kerry would want to “discuss” things first, which made him weak.

Flash forward six, seven, eight years to the lessons we have learned, and listen to our top generals tell us that this is a war that can’t be won militarily, it has to be won with negotiation.

Who’s dumb now? Who squandered our nation’s wealth and lives of thousands of young men and women now? For the love of God and all that’s holy, LEARN SOMETHING FROM THE PAST EIGHT YEARS and don’t be fooled by an old egotist who thought the Rick Warren discussion was really a child’s game of whoever answers first and shortest is the winner. We have LIVES at stake.

Besides, Rick Warren is CFR – using war and religion to accomplish one world order since …..

Posted by Obama ’08 | Report as abusive

(Sorry…to finsish my thought)

As a Catholic, I am ashamed that so many can support a candidate like Barack Obama. This is a non-negotiable issue, and to hold otherwise separates the person from the Church. On the other hand, studies have shown Catholics who regularly attend Mass hold beliefs consistent with the Church.

Posted by Philip | Report as abusive

“I take his ‘non-response’ as a sign of a lack of leadership”

Right – because REAL LEADERS pretend to know the answers when they don’t!

Listen man, it’s OK to say you don’t know the answer to a question. It really is. Bush and Rove have you brainwashed into believing it’s better to pretend to know the answers than to admit that you don’t. We need to put that way of “thinking” behind us.

I think it is to his credit that Obama gave thoughtful answers to the questions, instead of canned sound-bites and rehashed chunks from his stump speech. It shows that he took the questions seriously, and respected the intelligence of his audience. McCain’s cartoonish pandering should be called out for being such, not applauded.

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

For crying out loud, it is clear that “above my pay grade” is a (yes slightly smarmy) allusion to the fact that some existential questions are simply beyond the capacity for *any* human being (yes even presidential candidates) to answer with true authority, so let’s acknowledge that fact and still concentrate on the common ground… *minimize* through prevention unwanted pregnancies going forward.

Posted by theguy | Report as abusive

Reading these responses, one thing is clear. Far too many Republicans believe that the President is God.

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

“When does life begin?” Attn Liberals: Take a course in biology! Do you think the sperm and the egg are in some way “non-living?” Your thinking is stuck in 19th century scientific ignorance, OR… maybe you do not want to know the truth because in a moment of sheer terror when you were younger you were persuaded to have an abortion. If so, forgive yourself and try to prevent other women from making the same mistake.

Posted by DAK | Report as abusive

Obama 08 —

The problem with your theory is that Bush ran against Kerry in 2004, not 2000. What’s happened since 2004? Well, the Democrats took control in 2006 when the economy was fairly robust, and gas prices were at $2.25 a gallon. Remember, Pelosi announced that her regime would be “open,” and above reproach. She also ran on the agenda of “Change,” and promised she would “do something” about high gas prices.

Well .. she sure did SOMETHING about gas prices, and the bottom fell out of the economy for the first time in 5 years! So much for “CHANGE!”

Blame Bush all you want for the failed first two or three years of post-war Iraq, but you aren’t capable of making an intelligent decision regarding our future President if you are unwilling to spread the blame around to Congress, not just Bush!

Posted by DJ | Report as abusive

http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/08  /16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-a bove-his-pay-grade/#comment-370408
Er: Question about Catholics & BHO (abortionists):
I, as a practicing Catholic, regret that as with many “types” of humans (even including my fellow Catholics) a certain percentage will prove unintelligent beyond belief. How one can be a Christin of ANY type & vote for undefined CHANGE (to Marxism); for a trickster refusing to answer fundamental questions with a SIMPLE Yes or No, is beyond me. I understand smart people but do not understand stupid, or willfully ignorant people.
Vote FREEDOM, vote GOP!
James T. Gordon – Catholic Christian!

PS – I do not believe it will be overwhelming for BHO. I pray Catholics will send a surprisingly large majority to JSM; real, tangible CHANGE you can live with.

August 16th, 2008 10:41 pm GMT

How the Catholics can overwhelmingly vote for Democrat pro-choice candidates is perplexing. I thought Catholics were pro-life.
– Posted by Jack Allen

Actually, no Catholics support abortion.
In Roman Catholic Canon Law, Canon No.915 provides for automatic and immediate excommunication of anyone obtaining an abortion, assisting in that regard and/or supporting the policy or those who affect that policy.
Therefore, if you support a pro-abortion candidate, you are automatically excommunicated and are no longer a Catholic.
As a result, 0% of Catholics support abortion. But there are a bunch who CALL or think of themselves as Catholics who subscribe to this wholly immoral practice and an ignorant media lets them continue to record them as Catholics.
So if you think you’re Catholic and vote for Obama, better get to confession and contact your bishop about remedying the excommunication, or your vote will have cost you eternity. Good luck…and goodbye.

The Times May 16, 2008

PS – From James Gordon to dolceluce, a “former Catholic”:
You sir are not a Catholic!
I doubt you are even a member of the GOP & you certainly are committing sin by claiming to be Catholic. You disowned the Church when you committed the sin of sponsoring abortion promoters. YOU need to understand that BHO does not care & BHO actually “voted” to empower the state with authority to murder human babies that survive abortion! So NO you are NOT Catholic & are no mor ethan a “pretend” (R), like a KBG or an Islamic spy.
James Gordon, Catholic Christian
PS – I assume you are also a “closet” MoveOn.org type.
PPS: regarding your ignorant statement of: “pay for that decision is the mother because it will be on her when it is her time to be judged in the eyes of God.” So read this carefully dolceluce, if you dare: Evil is: “the absence of empathy” and “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
AND maybe you should read this: http://www.intellectualconservative.com/ article3474.html about CANON 915 or this: http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/articles  /primerc915.htm

August 17th, 2008
5:52 pm GMT

I am a catholic, a republican, and am pro-choice. I personally believe that abortion is wrong, however it is not for me to make that decision for ever other woman. Forcing someone else to conform to your morality is also (to me) wrong, because having a baby is something that is the most personal decision you can ever make. In the end the only person who has to pay for that decision is the mother because it will be on her when it is her time to be judged in the eyes of God.
– Posted by dolceluce

Posted by james gordon | Report as abusive


Posted by L.Shock | Report as abusive

If the Messiah Mccain “knows” life begins at conception why would he make a statement like this “certainly in the short term, or even-the long-term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” Of course, the “pro-life president” now wants to overturn it.

Or why would he say he is against the nomination of Ginsberg, etc. after having voted for them. Who is the real panderer?

Posted by Theincumbent | Report as abusive

[…] — Senator Obama Dodges Question on the Unborn Reuters: Obama says pointed abortion query “above his pay grade” U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama side-stepped a pointed query about abortion on […]

Posted by Surprise — Senator Obama Dodges Question on the Unborn « The Sisyphus Files | Report as abusive


Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Let’s break this down to the real brass tacks. Most folks are aware of Mr. Obama’s track record on abortion and abortion rights, and can we agree that they lean to the pro-choice side? That’s no secret, and he’s provided much more definitive answers to abortion questions in the past.

Why couldn’t he provide that same kind of response in this situation? Again – I take it back to being unwilling to make the call, because the members of that particular audience would be disagreeing with his response. That’s not what a leader does.

I think Hiliary would have given a more definitive response, even when she knew it’d be unpopular with the audience. She did it during the campaign, and held her head high while doing it.

And, just for the record, I’m not a fan of McCain, Clinton, OR Obama. Or Bush or Cheney for that matter.

I believe this country deserves better than these people.

Posted by shazbot21 | Report as abusive

Mccain was awful all Mccain did was talk about the war Mccain vision for ths country is go to war killing many sons and daughters and husbands and wives with no questions ask. I agree with Senator Obama. Obama is not saying abortion should be but is pro life because he is saying the Judgement, the decision of having an abortion lies with the individual one must trust in one’s faith to make the choice that is right before God, We can not have our governments making that choice for us. Legislation can not deter a choice of free will.

Posted by Maxine | Report as abusive

Obviously nobody knows when “life” begins. If we were to rule that zygotes get full human rights, then it could create serious legal issues for mothers. Obama was right to dodge this question – it was a trap from the fundies to get him to commit to pro life legislation. Obama should have never agreed to that debate – religion and politics don’t mix.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

The ‘above my pay grade” comment may in fact refer to a higher power as ‘shazbot21′ has remarked. That higher power though may be one which Sen. Obama in a more complex and differential answer would be very well-capable to explain, considering his background as a Constitutional professor and lawyer, as having more to do with the Supreme Court and the legal system of the U.S.
After all, the precedents and arguments of U.S. courts are a power alone that the President of the U.S. cannot in some degree of his powers control. Hence, he can’t overturn Roe v. Wade either way he chooses or concocts to do so. These institutions of democracy, such as the Supreme Court, are hypothetically why Sen. Obama gave such a gray answer- its not within the purview of his position. Consider this, if he were elected with the promise to overturn Roe v. Wade, even if he were to put to nomination the most possibly conservative candidates to the Supreme Court, these people would have to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is presently a majority liberal Democratic and moderate Republican Senate committee. Four more years of Bush policies just so the SJC can maybe appoint one ultra-conservative judge? Not worth it.
Further think about the “conservative” Bush-nominated and approved judges we have on today’s Supreme Court. They decided to keep Roe v. Wade, because it’d go against the same grain decisions as ‘gun rights’ and ‘voting rights’ went by, therefore leaving those rights to be overturned.

I recommend people worry about the three E’s: the economy, the environment, and endeavors abroad (taking more of our military to countries we alone should not be involved in! right??)

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Seriously, you transparent bozos… Nobody in this blog, or the people in that “church” were going to vote for Obama no matter how he answered the question. Had he said, I’m pro-choice, and believe that abortion should be a women’s choice, you’d be all tearing him apart for that answer just as much. Get off it, and stop pretending that this was a defining moment in you deciding to vote Republican. I can see right through you.

Posted by Anti-Idiot | Report as abusive

McCain had both arms and shoulders broken and had to set them himself. He never broke. Obama still can’t quit smoking. Obama says abortion decisions are “above his pay grade.” What doe he mean? Does it mean he is not smart enough to figure out an answer. Obama is a wimp!

Posted by George | Report as abusive

If the comment – above my pay grade – means it’s up to God – then I’m pretty sure God has sent his word about abortion out loud and clear – thou shalt not commit murder! If the government agencies wouldn’t make people jump through such hoops to adopt – forcing them to go to other countries – the so-called unwanted pregnancies could provide a loving family with a baby and an ‘unwanted’ child with a loving home!

Posted by Liz | Report as abusive

Senator Obama is a typical Democrat politician. Answering the questions of Pastor Warren allegoricaly. In other words not really answering them. I am a farmer. I live and work in Nature. We plant a seed it germinates we call it life. A flower on a fruit tree is pollinated we have the creation of something that is alive and it grows and matures. A chicken lays a fertile egg it is life. A bull mounts a a cow life begins. Is there any question when human life begins physiologically or otherwise? Maybe Senater Obama needs to step down to my pay grade and learn something about LIFE.

Peter Van Dyke
Gilroy, Ca.

Posted by Peter Van Dyke | Report as abusive

“Is above my pay grade.” Sounds like Pontus Pilate washing his hands all over again!

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

I read all these responses waiting for someone to recount what Obama said, and so far no one has gotten it. When he said “Above my pay grade” he was saying that the decision on when life started was one for God to make, not Obama.

I am amazed that none of the so-called “Christians” out there figured that one out.

Posted by William Hopper | Report as abusive

Obama thinks science doesn’t EASILY know when life begins? The answer to this is not above any 5th grade biology student’s “pay grade” — human life begins at conception. What does he think happens when human sperm and human egg meet? Fish life? Dog life? Duh… it’s HUMAN LIFE and it happens at conception. C’mon guys this is not the debatable part of the issue here!

Posted by David Sutherland | Report as abusive

I have read some of the posts above, and come away with the feeling that the majority of commenters are not willing to sacrifice any more babies to this cruel abortion scenario that we have today.

How could any of you be for killing babies out of convenience as a problem for you that some common sense and a small portion of prudence could prevent.

Baraq Osamma Husein Nobama does not deserve the pay grade of POTUS, much less USCIC. He will not win. Tough cookies liberal commies and socialists.

Posted by Marc Boyd | Report as abusive

If Obama, takes a stance on something like this, he will sound terrible. He knows what is in his heart. He knows that he voted to have a baby that survived an abortion, to still be killed.
He knows if he admits he is a marxist or believes in the philosophy he will not be voted in. That is why he claims it to be name calling? To me, if you believe in something strong enough you should stand by it. But too back door his marxist tendencies and his abortion beliefs is a huge lapse in character.
For those that don’t know what is a marxist belief, here is an example, taking the profits of a corporation and redistributing it to the masses. So, not only does the government, under Obama tax corporations, but they will take their profits as well. Or at least he will actually tr to pass such a resolution. Thus giving all the power to the US government to do as they see fit. If they think you make too much money, they will take it from you and give it to someone else they feel is more deserving. If that does not scare anybody then either you are a marxist or you don’t have any sense of history.
Change for changes sake is never a good thing. People are so enamored with his ability to speak off of a teleprompter, that they take that as a sign of intelligence. Take him off the teleprompter and have him “Freestyle,” and you will see the real Obama. However, the media is very reluctant to show that side of him.
Remember, this is a man who is still in his first term in the senate. A man who voted 92 times on issues by saying “Present.” That may not seem like a big deal, but to me it shows a real lack of focus. And with this lack of focus and this lack of experience, he is inches away from being the President of the United States. I don’t care if you are black, white, green or yellow, judge this man on his experience, not just because he is a mulatto, presenting himself as a black man. Color is not even an issue. The issues are the issues. The color of his skin is moot, yet he is the one bringing it up. That is another story in-of-itself….

Posted by Pete Comita | Report as abusive

In reading over the above I was struck, as I so often am when reading blogs surrounding the issue of abortion, the absolutely hateful language used by many of the pro choice folks, name calling, put downs etc.; ironic, they insist on the importance of “choice” but when people disagree with their point of view they resort to personal attacks. What gives?

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

Jack Sheet and all the others who noticed this side-step answer are absolutely right. How can a topic of this magnitude be above any presidential candidate’s paygrade?

When he is asked questions about raising taxes or the economy will those be above his pay grade as well?

He wasn’t asked to give an explanation on a Hawking universe theory, he was asked to state his opinion on something which is very important to many of the people who might have considered voting for him.

Add this one to his list of “worst possible answers” and find another candidate, perhaps one with an opinion.

Posted by Jeff Cutter | Report as abusive

Obama is trully an intellectual. Mcain is an actor. The question of when life trully begins looks simple to a non thinker.But it is not. It is a theological question as obama trully noted, and even at that, theologians are disagreed on when life begins. If you say conception , what makes you say that? Even before conception, the sperm alone has life which enables it to swim around. In this case even wet dream is abortion, not to talk of withdrawal method of birth control. By this standard, a woman who cleans up after sex is cleaning out millions of babies.
On the other hand after conception, the foetus is not much different than the difference before and after a car accident. So long as we do not think, but rely on emotions, ignorant men and groups will continue to rule us by exploiting our emotions instead of our brain

Posted by Emmy | Report as abusive

“then I’m pretty sure God has sent his word about abortion out loud and clear – thou shalt not commit murder!”

Hopefully then you really mean what you say, and are also anti-war and anti-capital punishment. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

Did anyone notice how McCain finished answering all of the same questions Obama had in only 35 minutes and took an addition 20 minutes of additional questions? The MSM describe Obama’s answers as “Thoughtful” but I however am not soliciting Obama’s millions for airtime. Obama was so careful not to say anything that would offend anyone that he really did not say anything at all. This may please some, however the POTUS will need to make unpopular tough decisions and do so because they are the correct thing to do whether they please everyone or not.
Is abortion one of these tough decisions? Maybe, however if Obama wants to be President, he is going to need to serve some substance with the parsley he’s been selling. No ammount of MSM rehab or damage control comments here will be able to cover his shortcomings.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

[…] …..also, I really want to know what intelligence he had, that informed him to make this “gut wrenching” decision…..did all state senators across the country get in-depth intelligence regarding the Iraq war?…..I don’t think so…..I mean I don’t know….answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade… […]

Posted by SADDLEBACK DEBATE: SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISONS « Chicagoans Against Obama | Report as abusive

LIZ_- So McCain is prolife and pro war. So how can you say one is right and the other is wrong. Murder is Murder right?

But that is a tough subject to say where life begins, my grandmother feels that once a man engages in any form of sex and produces semen then thats the point where life begins. And it is a sin to waste semen when not in the act of reproduction or even to use birth control is a sin. I have a friend that feels at the beginning of the pregnancy thats when life begins, and then I have another friend that feels its not wrong to have an abortion after the first month because the brain doesn’t start to develop until the 2nd month. Who are we to condemn someone and say that its a moral sin because life begins and the point of conception and it is wrong to have an abortion. Everything is not so black and white, there are a few gray areas and that happens to be one, we do not have the power to say the exact moment where life begins, but we should let a woman make this difficult decision for herself and let God handle the judgment.

Posted by L.Shock | Report as abusive

Jeff – again


Posted by L.Shock | Report as abusive

To say “it doesn’t matter when life begins” is another avoidance of the question. Americans do NOT want anyone to tell them to take personal responsibility for their actions. Americans have become weak, irresponsible, etc. We don’t want children because they get in our way, they cost too much, and they cause too much stress in our lives. So what do we do? We marginalize life. We argue over a ridiculous question…When does life begin? It’s been settled, folks. Even leaders of the feminist movement have publicly admitted that life starts at conception. Trivialize life within the womb, now… and in the future you WILL trivialize life outside of the womb. There are numerous examples of this throughout history. Do a little research and see how close your views on abortion match up with some of the “monsters” scattered across history. I dare you. Oh, while I’m on a rant… Do you know why Planned Parenthood was started? Can you complete the title of this book: Darwin’s “Origin of the Species….” ?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

OK to send a man to die for a pointless war
OK to force unwilling women into motherhood

Yeah those make PLENTY of sense.


Posted by Fred | Report as abusive

McCain is a horrible candidate. He is neither conservative nor Republican. The fact that he would team with domestic enemy and short distance swimming champion; Ted Kennedy, should tell you all you need to know about John McCain.

Horrible candidate though he might be, while we cannot want him to win, Obama must lose. Obama could and would do irreparable harm to the Constitution. Just ask Michelle.

Posted by kuwaze mufumee | Report as abusive

So Andrew Austin, When does it matter. No state requires women to have babies. Don’t get pregnant. We have wonderful birth control methods today. Haven’t you heard about them? The tyranny we have today is the forced abortions that are taking place, many by sicko fathers who impregnate their own daughters. Obama doesn’t even care if the baby is born and out of the mother, if the mother chooses to kill the baby its ok with him. You call it a fetus, but you cannot tell me when it has rights. You don’t have a clue.

Posted by Gary Evans | Report as abusive

Shocking that anti-choice nutbags can’t read…Obama’s made his stance on abortion. His comments here are entirely different. It’s NO man’s right to decide on when a fetus (a fetus, not a human being) has “human rights.”

Good job by Obama avoiding this joke of a “question” from a plant who’s likely living a hypocritical life like the rest of the scumbag mega-pastors before him, from Bakker to Haglund.

Posted by JR | Report as abusive

To answer a poster…

GOD > President of the United States

My previous post was moderated? It disappeared. LOL

Mr. Obama is pro abortion and has repeatedly said so and voted so. I wonder why he failed to have the courage of his albeit misguided convictions?

Maxine said:

“…the decision of having an abortion lies with the individual one must trust in one’s faith to make the choice that is right before God, We can not have our governments making that choice for us. Legislation can not deter a choice of free will.”

Do we give people the Choice or free will to run red lights, lie under oath or rape children without fear of government intrusion nor sanction? No we do not.

Shall we protect an unborn person from death at the hands of an abortionist at the behest of the mother?

Does motherhood imbue a person with immunity from prosecution for acts of violence that deprive life
simply because that life is inconvenient?

I think not.

Obama has a opinion regarding abortion and the killing of millions of children annually. Some posters say he is deferring to God by his answer. His votes did not defer to God. His words of the past did not defer to God.

God does have an opinion. Perhaps BO should seek that opinion and champion that opinion rather than feign ignorance and false humility.

I wonder if this post will be moderated like the mind of Barack Obama.

I suggest that every pro-choice person is not standing with God but in opposition to God. Any attempt to be neutral fails. Have courage. Stand up and protect those who need protection, the unborn.

Posted by Burt Horstmann | Report as abusive

In response to Andrew Austin’s first comment about “forced” abortions. In the total number of pregnancies, an incredibly small percent of them are caused by rape. So what would be refreshing in our society would be the concept that people would behave responsibly and not get pregnant in the first place. This would end abortion all together. If environmentalists have the right to be angry at people who drive SUV’s, then pro lifer’s should at least have the right to want people to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Somehow we’ve rationalized that the environmentalist are just, while pro lifer’s are bigoted, neanderthal tyrants. But the human cost of abortion is a tangible number 40,000,000, compared to environmentalist junk science that they’ve yet to prove.

Posted by chuckster | Report as abusive

Hey fred, nobody is forcing a woman to be a mother. If she doesn’t want to be one there is a surefire prevention method for it. It’s called celibacy. Anything beyond that makes her a willing participant, with the exception of rape.

Posted by Bill R. | Report as abusive

Again Fred, It is 99.99% of the time, the couple’s own behavior that got her into that “unwanted pregnancy” We need to grow up and be responsible in our behaviors. Accept consequences for our own mistakes. If you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be….Why? You didn’t take precautions!!!!! YOU BLEW IT, NOT THE BABY!!!!!

Posted by chuckster | Report as abusive

BTW Peter Van Dyke, You are 100% right. My pay grade is retired (=0$) and much smarter than 40 years ago. Also, I was for Thompson earlier, and was not a McCain supporter, but I just sent McCain my $100. I pray that he wins. I can never vote for an abortion supporter

Posted by Marc Boyd | Report as abusive

I have not read previous posts. I only read the article. I am not going to read what ever may follow what I have to say.

I remember being 18 and so sure of myself. While I would never have an abortion, I would never judge another for whatever choice her what was best for her.

At 22, I was on the pill. I was pregnant. At 23, I was a mom. At 24, I was in the Navy (I WAS NOT going to raise my child on welfare!) At 43, my son (21) asked me why I “gave him to his dad to raise.”

I had to explain to my child that his grandmother had more money that an E-3 in the USN and that the judge thought that my position was “not a stable situation” for a child.

I put myself in debt to have a place for him and me. Over the next 5 years I lived off $20.00 a week to pay off the lawyer and paying double child support (child support that I NEVER minded paying!! )

I will NEVER judge another for the choice made. It is NOT my place to do so. NOR is it YOURS!!!!

WE must all live by the decisions we have made.

I die a bit each day because I was not brave enough to battle homelessness and poverty to raise my son.

I live a bit each day because my decisions have brought me to a husband who loves me, a daughter who thinks I am wonderful and the best thing in her world, best of all a son who loves me and understands that as a mom I did the best for him I could at the time no matter how much it kills me now.

Posted by ARW | Report as abusive

My hope is in JC not BO who seems to think he’s JC or something!
Fred…obviously the the vast majority of unwilling women were willing to do something to get into an unwanted pregnancy!

Posted by Gidget | Report as abusive

Alot of you people seem to be really stuck on stupid. Nobody who has ever been in war is pro war. Secondly, there is a BIG differencebetween killing someone who wants to kill you and murdering your own flesh and blood. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by Bill R. | Report as abusive

You say that Obama was making light of the abortion issues with his ‘above my pay grade’ joke, was it really a joke? I mean people may have laughed because in the past it was used in a humorous situation and we are all familiar with that so we respond accordingly. But what did he really mean and more importantly, what did his answer mean to me?
To me he means that to decide when life begins isn’t something he is able to do… and he isn’t. Neither is John McCain, Elizabeth Dole, Ronald Reagan, George Washington, Pat Robertson, Robert SCHuler or whatever reigning Pope currently in power. For any man or woman to stand and say ‘life begins at this moment’ is in fact being very arrogant. Whether or not it begins at conception, or when the brain begins to develop, or when the head begins to crown, only God can say. What if perhaps life begins when the body acquires a soul, truly only God the Father Himself can know when that happens? What if you don’t believe in souls, then when does life begin?
No human being, no mere mortal man can ever declare when life begins, only God knows that. To do so is encroachment on God’s domain, to usurp His authority to grant ‘life’. They only thing we can argue is whether or not a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body, her life, and her future. As far as I know, we still abide by the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and wrapped up in all those rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is jane doe’s right to choose, as well it should be.

Posted by M. Wolf Garcia | Report as abusive

Dear L. Shock, I appreciate your passion for the subject. I need to point out to you though, that people of faith do know when life begins. The Scriptures in Psalm 139:13-16 tell us specifically that God knits us together in our mother’s womb, that His eyes see our unformed body while we are made in the secret place, and that all of our days are ordained before one of them comes to be. I understand that it may seem irrelevant in our modern, increasingly faithless society, but that has not always been so, and our own attempts to reject God do not effect the truth of His existence. It is better to know God than to believe in Him and people of true faith know, rather than believe, and that is how they can be so confident about their convictions. Not to condemn and judge but to proclaim the loving thing; that it’s best to control ourselves and not be put in the position of having to end a baby’s life.

Posted by chuckster | Report as abusive

Reuters has apparently decided that the liberals who love to see babies die will get maximum exposure here. Thus, the preponderance of liberal responses justifying killing babies. Reuters has also decided to supress those of us who oppose killing babies. They have censored most of the pro-life posts while publishing most of the pro-death posts. Isn’t it fortunate, however, for the pro-death crowd that the mothers of the current liberal Reuters editors did not choose to abort their children?

Posted by Patrick C. | Report as abusive

Obama again demonstrates his inability to make a firm, clear position. Typical of most Democrats and all liberals, it is the lack of substantive beliefs of the individual that causes this. Dems and libs tend to exist as such, more for the sake of being against the conservatives (who stand by specific princicples and beliefs of their individual own), than for their own specific ideals. Ask a lib and you’ll see what I mean. The debate will quickly turn to an anti-conservative stance with no points other than to be anti-conservative, or fall all the way down to name calling.

It is not hard to see why so many liberals and so-called centrists (read folks that don’t have ideals or commitment) are for Barry Hussein. He panders and flip flops to try and get the message staright fro whatever audience he has, while never taking a stand on his ideals or platform (by the way, what does he actually stand for?).

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

Obama’s answer actually displayed his level of intelligence and nuanced thinking as opposed to McCain. Asking when we get “human rights” is a pretty poor question to begin with without defining further what he means. What are the rights we’re talking about, and where is it that these “human” rights come from? What defines human? What role does self consciousness and identity have in the existence of these rights?

This is a pretty complex question that theologians, legal philosophers and scientists regularly debate over. It is above his pay grade. The funny thing is only the Bible beating pro-lifers in these comments have such a fierce and bright line answer based on their understanding of God’s word as interpreted by a particular religion. That this answer is founded on Religious belief should give significant pause to anyone who takes the Establishment Clause seriously and who recognizes that reasonable minds could disagree. If your justification for your policy position is based on your Religious belief alone, it was probably not meant to be a law universally applicable to all under the Constitution.

Posted by LAK | Report as abusive

re: jeff cutter
“…he was asked to state his opinion on something which is very important to many of the people who might have considered voting for him.”

Why is his personal opinion so important?
Consider that Lincoln, the President championed as the ‘Great Emancipator’ had opinions that differed from the majority of the nation. He may have written the ‘Emanicaption Proclamation when he was President, however, when he was still back in Indiana, when the state was debating whether to be a free state or keep their slaves Lincoln wrote ‘…[that if these laws be passed], I fear a black hand will be on the plowhandle where a white man’s used to be.” So when Lincoln was in office, he didn’t vote to support his opinion, to further his fears, he voted to defend the rights put forth in the Constitution. Personally, I wouldn’t want someone who votes his opinion, but someone who supports out Constitution.

Posted by M. Wolf Garcia | Report as abusive

setting aside all the LEFT/RIGHT arguments concerning abortion and aknowledging that this issue is very important to the american people…why then have we not been given the our constitutional right to vote on it?

roe v. wade is nothing more than edict handed down by 9 judges who are not accountable to the people…all it does is deny the man any rights before the birth of a child…IT IS B.S.



Posted by ExT | Report as abusive

Obama a Christian?

Is Obama a Christian? The Bible says that disciples of Christ were called Christians. (Acts 11:26) Is Obama a disciple of Christ? Jesus said: If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15) If a disciple of Christ, does Obama keep the commandments? Look at what he was taught by his mentor and spiritual leader Rev. Wright.

The Bible teaches “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex 20:3) Looking at Rev. Wrights teachings you would think that Black theology has more to do about Africa than god.

And again, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;” (Ex 20:7) Rev Wright taught Obama that it is OK to take the Lords name in vain as he repeatedly said GD America in front of men, women and children, and he also taught it is OK to do it on the Sabbath in the house of God.

Rev. Wright does not teach, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Ex 20:8) On the Sabbath Rev. Wright takes the Lords name in vain, bears false witness and serves two masters.

And again the Bible says, “Honour thy father and thy mother:” (Ex 20:12) And we know that Obama would rather throw his mother under the bus than turn on his mentor and spiritual leader Rev. Wright.

It is written, “Thou shalt not kill.” (Ex 20:13) How can Obama keep this commandment and approve of 115,000 abortions a day, he is approving the killing of over 42 million innocent human babies a year. With that on Obama’s conscience how will stand before Christ at the judgment day and say “I did as you ask, I followed you and loved you by keeping your commandments”.

Again it is written, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex 20:14) And again Obama’s mentor and teacher desecrates the Sabbath and acts out an act of adultery in front of men, women and children.

It is written, “Thou shalt not steal.” (Ex 20:15) Obama said that he made over a million dollars last year and gave less that 2%, $22,000 to his church. It is bad enough to steal from man, but will a man rob God? (Mal 3:8) It is not enough to make over a million dollars and only give 2% to the poor, but it is the goal of Obama as President to steal from those that work hard for a living and give it to those that will not put in a days hard work.

It is written, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Ex 20:16) Again Obama’s spiritual leader sets the example for him by showing Obama that it is OK to lie on the Sabbath in front of people that should not approve of Rev. Wright bearing false witness against the government, telling them things that any Christian, in a God fearing country, would know is not true.

And again it is written, “Thou shalt not covet” (Ex 20:17) Not only does Obama covet his neighbor property but he has a crook buy the property and then sell him the part he covets for below market price. And it is not enough to covet only his close neighbors property, Obama covets the property of all the wealthy Americans and it is his ambition to steal it and give to those that he is unwilling to give his own money too.

Ten Commandments and Obama’s teacher and mentor did not teach him to keep one of them! Christ said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27) If the disciples of Christ are called Christians, (Acts 11:26) and as disciples they follow Him and love Him, how can Obama claim to be a Christian and not keep any of the commandments?

You say, is Obama a good example of a Christian? Is Obama a good Christian? Was he taught to be a Christian by Rev. Wright? Is Obama a disciple of Christ?

Posted by Mavin | Report as abusive

Its very funny to read these conservative replies.
they are against Obama and are hallucinating things about what he said.

Its pretty obvious to smart liberals AND smart conservatives, that by paygrade he means, its only GOD who can decide when life really begins.

stop comparing to a few cells as babies, you make it sound like liberals are baby killers, which is what is being used here. Everyone is so gunho about being against abortion, does everyone remember what the options for teenagers was before then? not telling your parents and getting a abortion from some noncertified person in a shady place. Abortion may not be moral, but the option is your conservatives daughters getting backalley abortions and dying from that. So the choice is would you rather have your daughters not a get sex education in early high school, and have a back alley abortion, or have the choice should she need one if the family cant afford a baby cause of monetary or other reasons (like she is going to college and cant raise the baby herself)?

I do think the liberal stance is a compromise, reducing abortions EVERYONE wants. but not teaching safe-sex and banning abortions is a backwards solutions going back to those days in the 1940s. It really isnt a Marxist/crazy idea as many here seem to say.
Come on conservatives, why cant this be a compromise, it would reduce abortions (aka your ‘baby deaths’)?

And many people conservatives and liberals, arent religious, we cant force the view that God is against abortion, since that would violate the principles our country was founded upon.

Posted by Ari | Report as abusive

Can we please have a consistent view of human life? I am proudly pro-life, but that doesn’t just mean pro-birth. If someone wants to talk about how abortion is wrong, then be willing to come along side young, scared mothers, and be there for them in whatever they need.

Then, care about the life of humans after birth. This means the person under the bridge, the person from a broken home, and the Iraqi civilian.

I cannot understand how these views get separated.

Posted by Adam Steverson | Report as abusive


He has been above his pay grade for quite some time now. Thankfully I can be one of the Americans that decide Obama’s pay grade. I can help keep him a senator. It is then up to the good people of Illinois to drop his pay grade back to community organizer. Is that abortion community organizer?

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Obama’s comment “above my pay scale” will help sink him. He’s starting to seem like Kerry–“just so much smarter than the rest of us.” McCain was direct and gave clear answers. I never thought I’d say this but the Republican was better. I don’t agree with McCain but I know who he is. I still don’t know who Obama is and I don’t think he wants us to know. Why? And the gray hair suddenly? It says he and his campaign think the American people are so dumb we fall for stuff like that which tells us what they really think about us. McCain will win. I won’t vote for either but I give McCain credit–he had the guts to let us know who he is. Obama didn’t. I still want Ron Paul to be President.

Posted by PS | Report as abusive

If Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t know at what point a baby becomes a human life, shouldn’t he give the benefit of the doubt to the child?

Posted by Whomper | Report as abusive

How have Democrat presidential candidates changed? You can see it so simply:
HARRY S. TRUMAN: “The Buck Stops Here.”
BARAK H. OBAMA: “That’s above my pay grade.”

Putting aside the moral issue of abortion (as Obama did, of course, too) let’s look closer: Every time this guy tries to be clever and scoot around a straight answer, all of his claims of being anything like a “new” kind of pol and of bringing “change” to the system just plain vaporize.

He’s the same-old same-old shifty political animal. The fact that he’s also okay with baby-killing is an issue, but on his OWN TERMS as a “new” politician for “change”–he’s got NO change at all. Bankrupt. Kaput.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

“Choice” comes when a man and a women engage in sex.The individuals involved know that getting pregnant is a natural consequence of that choice. Abortion (with few exceptions) is a selfish attempt to avoid the consequences of ones actions.
Many of the policies pursued by liberal democrats come from the same line of thinking – do all I can to avoid taking responsibility for my actions. Those policies and the irresponsible people who push them are destroying this country from within.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Its pathetic that we care about abortion over the military spending budget, we are pathetic as americans for making our politicians swear to “god” before they swear to you or I for the prosperity of our lives.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Being President is above Obama’s pay grade. This format demonstrates how pusillanimous he is.

Posted by radtop | Report as abusive

“Obama thinks science doesn’t EASILY know when life begins? The answer to this is not above any 5th grade biology student’s “pay grade” — human life begins at conception. ”

That wasn’t the question asked.

Posted by Pantagruel | Report as abusive

I find it curious that people like Andrew Austin use the curious phrase of the “the state to force women to have babies”. Ahhh….now we get to the crux of why Abortion is so loved by liberals…responsibility. No state is forcing the woman to have sex…it is the woman who CHOOSES herself to procreate and that is the primary issue isn’t it? Like a child who doesn’t want to face the responsibility of his actions, so too we see that so many woman have been duped into believing that murdering innocent children is simply a “reproductive right” vs an abomination of willfully killing a child…just to avoid the consequences of their action. Yes, even the irresponsible men who participate in this are just as guilty.

Wake up people. Sex is for procreation…the pleasure is a byproduct of the act…NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. You play…you pay…not the child for your stupidity.

Posted by bc | Report as abusive

Organisms are classified by the chromosomes they contain. The complete set of human chromosomes is present from conception. Even atheists believe that.

Further, if you are still in doubt as to whether the fetus is human, it is not moral to extinguish its life since it may, according to yourself, be human.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

Possibly we can somehow never really judge the personal guilt of another, as only God can really know all the forces that drove the person’s action. We should be as merciful as possible when confronted with wrongdoing. But a lawmaker must be able to decide on matters of moral right or wrong in order to legislate. If he couldn’t make up his mind, he should have refrained from voting on life issues. Instead, he voted pro-choice, and then disowned his own position when confronted with it during this forum. The next president is going to have to go toe-to-toe with China, Russia, and Iran- that requires firmness and courage.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

I’m glad to see so many of you are willing to adopt all of the babies from forced pregnancies. Thanks for that great kindness.

Posted by David Sonders | Report as abusive

I am a pro-choice Republican. I know where I stand. A president must make tough choices and if Obama is NOT ready to make tough choice, he is NOT ready to be President.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive