Both candidates appear separately at “Compassion Forum” on CNN, airing live from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.
Two candidates share brisk, perfunctory on-stage handshake between sessions.
Asked immediately about “bitter” controversy, and calls the comments “elitist, out of touch, and frankly patronizing.”
Draws laughs when asked why God allows good people to suffer: “I don’t know… I can’t wait to ask him.”
Also asked first about “bitter” comments. Acknowledges phrasing was “clumsy,” but suggests he meant “clinging” in a positive sense. Dismisses idea he condescends on religion, noting he’s worked with churches since leaving college.
Asked about the Rev. Wright:
“The most recent loop that’s been playing– Rev. Wright’s greatest hits, so to speak– are I think both a distortion of who he is and what the church has been about, but also express some comments that I think are deeply offensive and contrary to what I believe.”