Watch portions of Dana Bash's interview with John McCain Friday.
(CNN) – John McCain said Friday that every candidates' wife "should be treated with respect and if there's any disrespectful conduct on the part of anyone, those people should be rejected.”
“I have the greatest respect for both Senator [Barack] and Michelle Obama. … I've never met her, Mrs. Obama, she's a talented and a very effective person. And I admire both of them. We have stark differences in views,” he told CNN's Dana Bash in a one-on-one interview.
Earlier: Obama expects Michelle to take heat
“Americans want a us to have a much more respectful campaign than the kinds they've been seeing recently.”
The comment comes a day after Obama’s campaign launched a new Web site, Fightthesmears.com, which aims to debunk rumors against the Illinois senator and his wife.
McCain also touched on his own vice presidential vetting process - and whether he's considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate.
"Not yet," he said.
Romney, who had clashed with the Arizona senator during the Republican primaries over economic issues , has campaigned for McCain since suspending his campaign.
McCain, however, sought Friday to downplay the negativity between the two during the hard-fought primary.
“There were specific comments and times that are made in primaries, but overall, I'm proud of the kind of primary that all of us waged. It was - with a few exceptions - a very honorable primary, which allowed us all to come together," he said. "And as I have gotten to know Mitt better, and his wonderful wife, Anne, we have become quite friendly.”
The presumptive GOP nominee also said that it’s important for the vice presidential vetting process to play out.
“One of the things about this is that sometimes, if you aren't careful, we've seen in history, that it's harmful to the ticket. And that's one of your first criteria, to make sure that there's nothing out there - the people who you are really considering that they would not have a harmful effect on the ticket, or some - so that is one of the reasons why you look very carefully early on at just about everything and try to get some help in doing it.”
McCain also touched on his proposal for joint town hall meetings with Obama, saying “I think Americans, one of the reasons I wanted so badly to have the town hall meetings, so they have a chance to look at us and respond to them, rather than the soundbites and the spin and the Web sites and the 527s.”
He has called for a total of 10 unmoderated town halls between now and August. The Obama campaign, however, rejected the proposal.
McCain’s campaign recently sent a letter to the Obama campaign urging the debates after receiving invitations by the Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Libraries to hold joint town halls meetings.
In a statement Friday, Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe responded to the letter saying the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate offered to meet McCain at five joint appearances between “now and Election Day” – which would include three traditional debate “plus a joint town hall on the economy in July and an in-depth debate on foreign policy in August.”
“That package of five engagement would have been the most of any Presidential campaign in the modern era – offering a broad range of formats – and representing a historic commitment to openness and transparency.”
I'm tired of hearing politicians say they want to have a good, honest debate on the issues....................where is it?
Just one word: HYPOCRITE!!!!!!
Wow Romney..guess you need to kiss butt a little harder...you aren't even being considered for VP right now...
I am glad to see McCain say that about the wives..now let's see how his party responds!!!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Cindy McCain jump right in during the flap over Michelle Obama's comment about pride with the quip, "I've ALWAYS been proud of being an American." Keep spouses out of it only if the spouses stay out of it. If they enter the public forum, they should expect to be analyzed and discussed by any and all pertinent parties.
To late McCain plus who can ever believe you..
You should be telling the GOP this Mr. McCain.
What a hypocrite. How about his own wife? I mean the one he left for this current one. The way he treated his past wife is a disgrace to women in general.
Why does Michelle Obama deserve respect from the American
people when she is not proud of our country????
I wonder if all the O people (on this site) that were bagging on Mccain's wife are going to stop? To those I say you are two faced to cry about someone is treated and then make comments about a wife.
There are good people on boths side but sad to say there are also mean filled people on both too.
Try telling: Rush, Culter, Hannity, O'really, Gretta, and the rest of the Fixed News organization this. (Boycott Fixed News)
Obama is not very good with questions he has not prepared for in advance, so I don't see him debating anymore then is required.
Mcbush, did you treat your first wife with respect?
Iraq War Began March 19, 2003
# of days since war began 1,913
McCain 100 years in Iraq February 23, 2103
Day left till we leave Iraq, per McCain 34,587
Years left till we leave Iraq, per McCain 94.8
Everytime he says "My Friends..." I think of Mr. Burns!
No doubt John wants the women off limits...Cindy probably has as much baggage as HRC does. Wouldn't want all that out there....not that it should be.
Hey I agree.
But on the other hand its funny coming from him.
What about your first wife John? How did you treat her?
And where do you stand on women's rights. I hear you don't think its a good idea that women have rights.
But yeah. We shouldn't go after their wives.
SURE LIKE THE FIRST ONE MCSHAME LEFT, BECAUSE
SHE WASN'T YOUNG ENOUGH & RICH ENOUGH. AND
AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HAVE NO RIGHTS TO THEIR
OWN BODIES THAT WILL WORK FOR SLEAZO.
McCain is trying to play the honorable guy as usual. However charity should start with home and McCain needs to tell his wife Cindy not to spill dirt on Michelle. Remember the dirt slinging on wives was started by Cindy and Michelle was the honorable one to not match dirt with dirt.
Whatever...he says that out of one side of his mouth, and then out of the other side, tells Fox News to keep calling Michele Obama's Baby Momma, and to keep up with the whitey thing.
Can we say good cop bad cop?
Obama in 2008!
Thank you Chris. There are sooo many female Clinton supporters that want to vote for McCain now. He cheated on his first wife for Cindy and he voted against Roe vs Wade. What do you women stand for????????
But what will he say tomorrow?
He's so full of ish he's about to burst.
Maybe McCain should have started by telling his wife to apologise for mocking Michelle for her gaffe.
McCain is from the same old same polictise where playing dirty and all cost to win is more important than principle. At least I am young enough to see through McCain and his wife antics.
Let's be wise this time. Vote for Obama, Vote for Our future and childrens future, Vote for women's right. Vote to end the ego edifying war in Iraq, Vote for a better economic policy.
That's all good and well, but when the GOP starts to actually attack her, he will be silent. If he wants to show that he can lead the country, he needs to show that he can at least lead his own party.
And what do you know about that topic? You left your loyal wife of decades for this current botox queen.