July 10th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain avoids Viagra question

CNN

Watch McCain field a question about Viagra and health insurance.

(CNN) – John McCain is known for his frequent chats with reporters and his willingness to discuss nearly any issue.

But at least one is off-limits, the Republican presidential nominee suggested Wednesday: Viagra.

"I certainly do not want to discuss that issue," the Arizona senator said aboard his "Straight Talk Express" bus in Ohio when asked about his views on health insurance covering the medication.

But the off-message topic was raised from a member of McCain’s own team: national co-chairwoman Carly Fiorina, who had said earlier women often express frustration over the fact many health insurance plans cover Viagra but not birth control medication.

"Let me give you a real, live example, which I've been hearing a lot about from women. There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice," she said Monday.

A McCain spokesman later said the Arizona senator supported competition in the healthcare industry, presumably allowing women to nix policies that cover Viagra but not their specific needs.

Election Center: Where McCain stands on healthcare

McCain has voted against Senate measures that sought to require insurance companies to cover birth control medication.

The exchange also followed a town-hall event during which McCain touched upon 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.”

The comments led to a standing ovation - his first at that event.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. 'whiner'

    sounds like a personal problem

    July 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. flavoter

    Even viagra can't help the walking dead.. Go away McCain

    One real point for the candidates why can men get viagra covered on most medical insurances. And women can't get birth control pills covered even if it's for theraputic reasons?

    Lets talk about issues..

    July 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Jayson

    Viagra would in no way be comparable to birth control since it doesn't treat a problem. The proper comparison would be to compare it to condums and health insurance doesn't cover condums....

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Brian, Pittsburgh

    McCain's Double-Talk Express! He doesn't want to upset pro-life voters, and he doesn't want to lose women voters. Walking a thin line, it's hard for the life-long politician to just be honest. That's why we need new blood in the White House.

    Obama '08!

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Now that's funny! Now McCain knows how women in the 1960's felt when someone would have asked them if they were on the pill. A delicate question at that time.

    So, fess up, Johnnie boy, do ya or don't ya benefit from modern chemistry? (Psst...somebody go ask Cindy!)

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. carolflowery

    maybe he doesnt take it, or he doesnt want to run around with sex on his mind all the time, he is running for President, heck, would you want to risk having a hard on for 4 hours if you were in his position

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. The Surly Scholar

    Okay, first of all, seeing "McCain" and "Viagra" in the same sentence makes me want to throw up a little.

    Second, once again we see McCain, faced with an uncomfortable question brought up by his voting record, simply refusing to comment, because he can't possibly give an answer that is both honest and politically viable. He doesn't care about women or birth control. But can he go out on the campaign trail and simply say "I think the only valuable contribution a woman can make to society is her uterus?" Doubtful (though I would absolutely love watching his campaign implode if he did).

    But there you have it. Another demographic being alienated by McCain. Ladies, time to rethink your vote.

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. mitchell martin

    sounds too personal

    July 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Daunel

    Does he at least know that his "no comments" could cost him women votes?

    July 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. boo McCain

    1. McCain doesn't care about women's rights!

    2. "praising President Bush’s efforts to expand faith-based programs" – what in world happened to separation of church and state!?!?!?

    3. Cindy looks rather scary in that picture!

    July 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. mitchell hussein martin

    Obama is full of it and we need to let him know it. In the primary, Obama supported pulling out of Iraq within 16 months, called the D.C. gun ban constitutional, backed the subjection of telecom companies to expensive lawsuits for cooperating in the terror surveillance program, opposed welfare reform, pledged to renegotiate Nafta, disavowed free trade and was strongly against the death penalty in all cases. But in the past few weeks, Obama has reversed course on all of these, discarding fringe liberal views for relentlessly centrist positions. He also flip-flopped on accepting public financing and condemning negative ads from third party groups, like unions.

    July 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Dave, Illinois

    Uh, Isaac, I think you are confusing McCain with Obama. McCain does have enough guts to hold many townhall meetings. He regularly holds a lot of them and gets asked tough questions. Watch CSPAN sometime.
    Obama, on the other hand, seems to be allergic to any venue other than grandstanding speeches and interviews with carefully selected, friendly, interviewers. He's an empty suit.
    Hateful comments from Obamites to follow 5,4,3,2,1.....

    July 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Larry in TX

    Is talking about Viagra on the "Straight Talk Express" a contradiction?

    July 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. VitoF

    Some great advisers McCain has. Just this week - McCain said he'd balance the budget in 4 years, and his budget adviser said he actually meant 8 years. Then co-chair (and possible Veep) Carly Fiorina says it's not right that birth control isn't covered, and McCain "ummm"s his way out of answering. And now his economic adviser Phil Gramm says we are a nation of whiners, and the economic problems are all just in our mind. John McCain's campaign is a mess. And that's just in the last 3 days. McCain can't manage his way out of a paper bag.

    July 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. mitchell martin

    too funny!

    July 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. John, Catholic

    The government may not legislate on the morality of abortions. Meaning the government has no right to say if abortions are right or wrong. That is a burden that is to be carried by the individuals that seek to practice it or refuse to practice it. Those that practice are not necessarily wrong to do so and those that refuse to practice it are not necessarily right in their refusal. The right and wrong of the matter is very case specific as the issues of right and wrong or moral issues.

    However government if they so chose may legislate the ethicality of abortion. Meaning the rules by which abortion is practiced. That is not to say that they may put the rules in such a way that abortion becomes illegal to practice for that is an unjust law and hence an unethical law. They can however specify that the consent of the woman involved must be given for such is an ethical matter. They really cannot prohibit abortion in anyway for to do so is not ethical. Remember it is not that you have rights it is that others do not have rights over you. You do not have the right to happiness it is that no one else has the right to take happiness from you unless you yourself give them that right. You do not have the right to freedom, rather it is that no one has the right to imprison you unless you grant them that right.

    Finally you do not have the right to life, again it is that unless you give some one the right no one has the right to take life from you. With that said it is the condition of a child that their happiness, freedom, and very life is in the hands of at minimum the mother at best both their parents. The rights of the child are given to at least the mother by chance, fate, happen stance, or God for better or for worse. As heaven grants many gifts to mankind we must recognize that what humanity does with the gifts granted to them is not regulated by the heavens. The heavens do not stop humanity from doing what they will even if the heavens chastise humanity for what they will do. So the gift of child is given by heaven and it falls upon the will of man what they will do with that gift. To either keep and cherish it or cast it aside and destroy it. Such is the blessing and the sadness of heavens greatest gift of free will.

    July 10, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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