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. Alanna

    He doesn't care about women.

    Also he can't rememeber his own voting record.

    July 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Cathy

    Another reason why Clinton supporters, especially the women, should think twice about voting for McCain. McCain has a history of not caring about women issues or equality of women and men.

    July 10, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Why so touchy about Viagra?

    July 10, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. New Day

    Wow, glad we moved on to important topics such as Sen. McCain's penis. Thanks for the mental image, CNN.

    July 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Isaac

    I have an idea, McCain is so keen on being the straight talker, he should go sit in a town hall & answer all question people have not just from reporters who tend to sensor their questions so they can hitch a ride with him.

    Straight talk my foot.

    July 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Peter

    Very deft Sen. McCain, when asked about a question that impacts a substantial number of women... you essentially say "no comment."

    More importantly, you campaign against abortion, and yet do not support the single most effective way to prevent abortion (birth control). Nice.

    July 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. theKing

    Viva....., Viagra!!

    July 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Don

    He does not want his supply cut off.

    July 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Robert

    Good old McCain – running true to form. There are lots of questions he avoids answering. Just ask the Vietnam Vet who questioned his voting record at his townhall meeting this week.

    July 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. R.I.F.

    The headline here is the Carly has constantly lied on the campaign trail and the media says nothing about it. I've been screeming about this for the past twp weeks and just today two newspapers actually decided to finally call her on it. Let's see if it get's some national tv attention. I doubt it since you guys are McCain's base.

    July 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Robert in Seattle

    Respect for human life, exept US soldiers, Iraqi's and don't forget to Bomb Iran and send them Cigarettes to kill them.

    What a vile man you are Mcshame

    July 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. The Truth

    He probably has a wing of Viaga named after him.

    He would be a great spokesperson for Viagra.

    July 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. HC

    That's private!!! And nobody wants to know that detaill anyway.

    July 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. randy

    Funny because he use viagra lol.

    July 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Swift

    McFlacid needs viagra? Seems he hates women so much that I wonder what he uses it for?

    Well, he couldn't keep his jet UP in the war, his 2000 campaign was a FLOP, his support of Bush's economic policies made our economy IMPOTENT, his support of Bush's war has made our Military STERILE to defend the nation...on and on

    Seems McShame needs more than viagra- he needs a clue.

    July 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Johnny Mac is bad cheese gone worse

    Doesn't he avoid or deflect every question? Or at best, give an incoherent or completely off-the-subject with little substance answer?

    July 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. jen

    CNN the issue was birth control not viagra. Here is your guy PUMAS if you want womens rights to return to the dark ages. He also lies, for example now stating he supported the new GI Bill which he didn't. Of course CNN is still to obbsessed with Hillary to ever report that....

    July 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Melissa

    So....let's give out medication that can cause more unwanted pregnancies...but not cover medication that will help prevent unwanted pregnancies. yeah...that makes sense. McCain's voting record has always been against women, period. So why should women vote for him?

    July 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    What was the question? The article tells us that he didn't want to talk about it and goes on to talk about health care plans. Was the question about health care. I bet the question was do you take Viagra .

    just more spin from CNN

    July 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Janey for McCain

    Good for McCain. We should all take responsibility for our own birth control, which is widely available and safer and cheaper than abortion. There is also the morning after pill. This should be a no-brainer. Abortion, except in rare circumstances is a part of the "dark ages". Young people are more "savvy" then to take unnecessary risks with lasting mental and physical damage. We did not have a choice in the past. Women in the 21st century do!

    July 10, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Seamus

    So McCain's surrogates are complaining about policies McCain voted for? This campaign is a disaster. Fiorina ran HP into the ground, why is McCain putting her front and center in his campaign? I guess he needed at least one non-lobbyist, might as well make it a multi-millionaire CEO. By the way, when will the press ask McCain if he agrees with his economic adviser Phil Gramm that there is no recession and Americans are just a "bunch of whiners."?

    July 10, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. Ryan

    Um.. what?!?!

    His own co-chairwomen brings up the point that insurance sometimes covers viagra and doesn't cover birth control is "I don't want to discuss that issue"???

    That is insane.. it wasn't even really about viagra, the title of the article is very misleading. There is no reason he shouldn't talk about insurance and birth control.

    July 10, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. RGiles

    I just thought I would share something of interest. I have been reading the book WHAT HAPPENED, Inside the Bush White House by Scott McClellan and Scott takes some time to describe how George W Bush regularly convinces himself that lies he tells are true. Scott writes, after he describes one occasion, “I know Bush and I know he genuinely believes what he says” and Scott then goes on to call it “self-deceit”. Now I have a degree in Psychology, have read probably over 50 books on the subject, and have thought for some time that George W Bush vividly displays a sociopathic personality (as I feel Karl Rove and Hillary Clinton do) and, whether Scott McClellan realizes it or not, that is likely what he is describing. The sociopathic personality has no conscience, is totally self-indulgent and will go to great lengths, without ever experiencing any guilt, to achieve what they want. As Martha Stout, in her book THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR, put it “their only goal is to win” and they will go to any length, without ever experiencing any guilt, just to win. They simply think it is their entitlement. She adds that they are quite good at “faking most anything”. It seems to me an interesting confirmation of what I suspected, which then goes a long way to explain things.

    July 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Bill

    Support Our Troops and Fetuses!

    July 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Janey for McCain

    Good for McCain. We should all take responsibility for our own birth control, which is widely available and safer and cheaper than abortion. There is also the morning after pill. This should be a no-brainer. Abortions are for the dark ages.

    July 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11