July 9th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain takes on abortion issue in Ohio

McCain does not stress the abortion issue on the trail.
McCain does not stress the abortion issue on the trail.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (CNN) – John McCain broached his pet topic of pork barrel spending about five separate times during his Ohio town hall Wednesday, but the GOP nominee-in-waiting didn’t get a standing ovation during question time until he mentioned an issue he typically avoids - abortion.

A female voter asked the senator about the country’s divorce rate, which offered McCain a chance to praise “the two parent family organization that shares our values” as “the strongest unit in America.”

But McCain also saw an opening to discuss the abortion issue, a matter that traditionally hasn’t animated him on the stump.

After praising President Bush’s efforts to expand faith-based programs, McCain pivoted: “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”

Here, the audience leapt to their feet, eagerly applauding McCain. It’s the second time in two weeks the senator has been roundly applauded while discussing abortion in Ohio.

At a fundraiser in suburban Cincinnati on June 26, several hundred donors gave McCain only polite applause throughout his remarks. But when McCain mentioned his support for “the sanctity of human life,” the small audience roared with approval.

At the town hall Wednesday, he also drew a distinction between himself and Barack Obama on abortion, calling it “a big difference” between them.

McCain said that while in the Illinois state legislature, Obama “voted against a ban on partial birth abortion, one of the most odious things that I have ever heard of.”

He concluded his answer by calling for more adoptions.

“I want us to understand that every life is precious, and that there is family in America for every child,” he said.


Filed under: John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. not important

    Pro-choice is way better. McCain just wants the votes in the bible belt. Same people who voted for Bush will vote for McCain.

    July 9, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Lynn E

    Abortion doesn't go away when it is made illegal, it just becomes more unsafe and dangerous for all involved. Women should have the right to be safe and honest, and our doctors should have that right also.

    July 9, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Ben

    Asking a divorcee about the divorce rate....what a no brainer!!..And abortion..he'll tell you what you want to hear.

    July 9, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Bulldog

    "it was the second time he has been applauded". No crap, he hand selects his audience and even removes little old ladies for carrying signs around his events that say McCain = Bush. Why does McCain's campaign find a sign like that so disparaging?

    July 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. It's a done deal

    “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”

    So the hypocrit is against the death penalty ... right?

    July 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Lars Larson

    How can McCain talk about divorce in a negative way when he himself is divorced? Or did he forget he divorced his first wife for one he was having an affair with and had oodles more money?

    July 9, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. white people for obama

    age does matter, look how fast Obama works and he's flying all over the country, making tons of speeches, making quick replies, checking his emails, phones, etc. McCain doesn't even know how to operate a computer but he could fly a plane into Vietnam?? this is weird.

    July 9, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. ANA G. LOS ANGELES. CA

    My body my choice

    July 9, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. BUSHEDll!!!!

    McCain pivoted: “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”........You didn't RESPECT your 1ST sick wife ......her Life was precious......LIAR!!!!

    July 9, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. white people for obama

    I guess it's okay to kill brown people though, right? Even the innocent bystanders living in Iraq, the children there don't matter.

    July 9, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. obama will win georgia

    Are u listening PUMA?

    July 9, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Kay

    Let me as an adult make my own decisions, and you as an adult make yours.

    July 9, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Independent Colorado

    McCain is so insance. How could he make that comment yet he intends to appoint justices who will overturn Roe vs Wade.
    I guess this is pandering at its best.

    Obama 08'

    July 9, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. BOOTSTOMPER

    Like i said before,elect this clown and were back in the 5th century.

    July 9, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Ray

    Protect born and unborn life UNLESS it's life in the Middle East, then just shoot no need to talk about it.

    July 9, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Andre' of Maryland

    Try to explain this position to a room full of woman voters and the supreme court.

    July 9, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. Ardnuas

    McBush is full of anger, and he lacks judgement..... He WILL start a war in IRAN next year..... you have been WARNED!!!

    July 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    i honestly don't see how anyone can be pro-choice. i dont see how you can make an argument that is pro-choice at all. i'm sorry. good for john mccain.

    July 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. Mary May King

    Maybe if fetuses had to be registered as Democrat or Republican, John would be more likely to be pro-Choice.

    July 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Amusing...

    And once again, those people applauding don't realize that abortion will never be outlawed... because it is such a good issue to talk about, and overshadows their own self interests in order to push a morally hypocritical view.

    Keep in mind that god allowed Christians free will to sin or choose the path of virtue. So why do they then seek to enforce their will on a pregnant woman? By doing so, they thwart the divine will of choice.

    July 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Johnny Mac is bad cheese gone worse

    Well, the "a" word is one thing over which he can get people to stand and applaud. Now, let's work on the "sanctity' of the lives in IRAQ (American and civilian) for a lie well told and supported by this jerk.

    July 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Matthew, Missouri

    This is one of the biggest hang-ups I have with Obama and it may prevent me from voting for him in November. When it comes to abortion he is as liberal as they come. I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the abortion issue, but I do have a problem with partial birth abortions. Also, as a senator, Obama voted against protection for babies who survived late-term abortions. I'm sorry, but that's just wrong.

    July 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. MC- Atlanta,GA

    Two parent family that share our values. Right, and same sex parents don't have values?

    I am so sick and tired of the right from same sex couples and families from being happy. We don't keep straight families from leading a happy life do we?

    How happy would a straight couple be if the rest of the country said 'you are free to live your life, just not free to marry'?

    Just wish I could be there when Jesus slaps these folks and says 'thats not what I meant!'

    July 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. Louis

    So McCain praises "the two parent family organization that shares our values"–what a comment from a man who cheated on his wife and then divorced her.

    July 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Typical White Person

    Barack Obama last year: I "unequivocally oppose giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect."

    Barack Obama today voted FOR immunity for telecom companies that gave information without a court order as the law requires.

    July 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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