June 13th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: Treat our wives with respect

CNN

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.”

soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Susan

    Hypocrite, just like all Republicans. As for town hall meetings, i can see @ or 3 but 10? I was sick of all the dabates after 4 of them. You want to debate the isuue Sen McBush, thats fine, but your format is BORING. As far as a civil campaign goes. the Repugnantkins just cat's keep from getting themselves dirty. We will be watching!

    June 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Jake

    Cindy McCain was his former mistress. I HOPE this gets out! Republicans are the party of morality? Yeah, right.

    June 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    It is unlikely either the Democrat or GOP minions will be quite as gentlemanly as Obama and McCain might be themselves.

    Frankly–it's time for real change. Libertarians 2008.
    Visit, donate, get real action–and a real return to American's first attitutdes by elected officials.

    We need your help to get on all state ballots in the GE.

    Bob Barr 2008
    Got liberty?

    June 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

    JAN
    have you never made a mistake talking? yes you have in your recent blog
    you are not perfect so shut the hell up and get over it. you are jelious because you are not baracks wife. also you lost all chances of being hillarys call girl
    so just shut up

    June 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. That's Reality

    Hey Chris, How do you know he left his wife? Maybe she left him while he was sitting in the POW camp as a result of his decision to protect ungrateful Americans like you. Comments like yours are disgraceful. Where are the CNN moderators?

    June 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. What if?

    TO.....leapfrog June 13th, 2008 3:09 pm ET
    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.
    ==================================================
    I agree. But it sound like McBush should have explain this at home to his wife, maybe then those who have tried to portray Michelle as a hater of our country, and of other races, when she is probably more loving and have more patriotism then most who submit comments on this blog. But I guess then they would have to use their minds to come up with another LAME excuse to say hatful and lying things about her, and they don‘t even know her..

    President Obama 08

    June 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Beverly, NYC

    Respect begins at home Mr. McCain. I don't think you qualify to lecture anyone after calling your wife the C word.

    Why don't you call out your pal Sean Hannity and your Friends at "Faux News" and tell them to lay off.

    And Ben @ 3:12pm we will lay off Cindy if the Repug and their minnions lay off Michelle. Don't dish it, if you can't take it.

    June 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. That's Reality

    john, did she treat him with respect?

    June 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Stella

    Jan from Boca, Michelle never said she wasn't proud of her country. Funny how people "hear" what they want to hear. If you don't respect her, just say you don't respect her. You hate her anyway because she is a proud, strong, smart, African-America woman and that scares folks like you, so hate on. She won't be any worse for it.

    Stella in CT

    June 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT

    NEWS ALERT // SAD GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY

    TIM RUSSER JUST DIED THIS MORNING (MEET THE PRESS ANCHOR)

    NOW THAT IS HEART BREAKING NEWS

    June 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Fani

    Then why did you call her a trollop and c**t in public in front of others ?
    Why are you married so many times ?

    June 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Steph

    PLEASE CONSIDER ROMNEY FOR VP.

    YOU'RE AWESOME, MCCAIN. WE LOVE YOU.

    SURE HOPE THE OBAMA STAFF STOPS SKEWING THE CNN MESSAGE BOARDS LIKE THIS.

    -STEPHANIE

    June 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. NickNas

    OK OK OK who is going to be the first to metion it....C'mon!! C'Mon!!!

    After cheating on his sick wife then deserting her for Cindy $$$ He refers to his NEW wife Cindy as a Trollop and a C**T In front of many members of the Press.

    What does he know about respecting a Woman??

    June 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. ber6964

    McCain respects no woman, didn't he call Cindy the C word in front of other people. Never mind how he treated his first wife.

    June 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Disappointed

    If Mccain is ready on day one to be Commander and Chief and that candidates wives should be treated with respect then he should be able to control the RNC and "Fix" News. If not I question his ability to be Commander and Chief. Oh how silly of me – next week he will say that he didn't say that candidate's wives should be treated with respect....

    June 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Sound like McCain delivering a "hidden message,".........lay off my wife also.........but which one?...current or ex?

    June 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Russell Hammond

    Makes you wonder why McSplit didn't treat his FIRST wife with respect.

    June 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. KM

    I agree, I am not voting for a presidential candidate because of who he/she is married too, I vote for them because of their ideas and views. The spouse of the president of this country has no authority, she only has to be diplomatic.

    June 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Hurley

    What a hypocrite. He has his surrogates attack Michelle, using the nastiest kind of smears, and then he pretends to be above all that by decrying it. This is getting to be an old – and patently false – pattern with Mr. McCain. He's trying to have it both ways, having his people make nasty attacks and then trying to rake in good-guy points by pretending he's got nothing to do with it. Pathetic liar.

    June 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. fairandstraight

    FEDUP, you don't know Sen. Obama at all. The only questions he had problems answering was the questions regarding other people in which he didn't have the answer to. Sen. Obama has never had problems debating or answering questions on issues that concerns or affects the American people.

    The only reason Sen. McCain wants small town hall debates is because he is afraid of a platform. He is scared of looking ignorant as he did the night Sen. Obama officially won the nomination. McCain is trying to play with the minds of the american people be requesting those town hall debates. I pray that Obama does accept his invitation. Let the GOP run their campaign while the DNC run theirs.

    Mccain is the biggest hypocrit of all. If he really wants Michelle Obama to be respected, he will start by rejecting that Fox News group who have their own personal agenda.

    June 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. GOP IS A FRAUD

    hypocrite

    June 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    McCain, then explain this quote you made in 1992 towards your wife; "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c#$t"

    Does this fall under treating your wife with respect?

    June 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Not sleeping at the switch

    FEDUP June 13th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

    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

    HEY FEDUP

    We know you are a paid Blogger but if you want that .50 cent Bonus you better read where you post your posts and make sure they have at least SOMETHING to do with the topic mmmKAY?

    I am waiting to see if CNN Posts THIS like they have been Posting this guys crap everywhere.

    June 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. WILLIS, Texas

    MCMOLE DID NOT TREAT HIS FIRST WIFE WITH RESPECT!

    ALSO, THE CURRENT WIFE IS A DRUG ADDICT AND HE DID NOT WANT THAT COMING OUT JUST YET.

    I ALMOST LAUGHED MYSELF SILLY LAST NIGHT WHILE WATCHING CNN AND ONE OF THE GUEST CONTRIBUTORS MENTIONED IT! THEY QUICKLY COVERED IT OVER WITHOUT SAYING ANOTHER WORD!!!

    BOO YAH!

    June 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Sylvia johnsen

    I am one of those Clinton supporters who are thinking real hard. McCharacter is looking very good after the travesty of hypocricy the Obama showed in this election. If 352 superdelegates had chosen differently, it would be easy to choose. She'll be back! I think the Dream Team is much needed. All is said and done. We are all Democrates :-)

    June 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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