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. David Peter

    Of course McBush uses viagra! He's 72!!! OLD!

    July 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Jeff in Hampshire, IL

    CNN_ I'd like to know why you post peoples hateful and racist remarks on the ticker. It serves no purpose but to divide the country. Today I have read comments that your moderator approved for the ticker that called Michelle Obama a "skank", and another reffering to the Obama children as "monkeys that should be chained to a porch". Absolutely sickening. What is the moderator function- to protect CNN from slams, or to protect the integrity of your news? Wonder if this will get posted.

    July 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. James Hussein, SC

    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 .....

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
    We're helping them to die sooner.
    We will stay in Iraq until we win.

    How can anyone be pro life and pro war at the same time?
    Well, when you think about this view it all makes sense.
    Ensure that the babies are born so that he can send them to their deaths later on in life to support his ego.

    Yes, Mr. Senator you deserve a standing ovation for such a brilliant plan.

    Anyone who is pro life is dumb for supporting this war monger.

    July 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Tony, Miami

    McCain just don't want to talk about the pile of viagra in his night stand's drawer.

    July 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. some guy in New Hampshire

    Does McCain's call to respect life "both born and unborn" mean that he opposes the death penalty in all cases?

    July 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. L Reynolds

    Caine needs to come into this century. Women do have the vote now.

    July 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Ryan Wing

    Why does this matter? This is about as unimportant as news gets. Why don't we have more tickers about the actual issues and less about topics that make us blush and giggle.

    July 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. McCain=the draft

    McCain has voted against ALL women's issues. So it's no surpise where where he stands on this.
    He's a male chauvinist pig!

    July 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Hans

    Well, I understand every person has his or her personal opinion, especially about moral subjects, but isn't it a virtue to be able to grant one's wish, being it abortion of viagra? Let's leave each other some space, everyone should be able to make their own choice (Of course, only if that wish doesn't mean someone else is physically hurt). But who is McCain to think that because he doesn't believe in abortion, no one else can? Being a good president means giving your residents the room to live the way they want.

    July 10, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. California Gold

    Well then let's ask Mrs. McCain. Isn't she the drug expert of the family?

    July 10, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Samir

    Okay, why does CNN not cover stuff objectively and stop writing about these worthless stories with cheesy headlines???

    Talk truth to power, stop the propaganda!!!

    July 10, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. American

    Hm.. maybe if we call it an "erection security issue".. he'll be better suited to answer the question..

    July 10, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Ed

    Hmmm.....poor Cindy !!

    July 10, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Jason

    All of you Hillary supporters who say you are switching to McCain really should do your research. He has traditionally gone against things women fight for...

    July 10, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. JH

    His conflicting positions just prove that so many conservative men believe that an unwanted pregnancy is a punishment women should endure for the sin of being sexual beings. It's hypocritical in the worst possible way to profess respect for (and presumably want to protect) the unborn and not do everything in your power to make affordable, safe contraceptives available. And not addressing the obvious inequality in a system that supports men's rights to a healthy sexual life–brushing it off in a statement of "the Senator supports competition" is icing on the cake. Bravo, Sen. McCain. You're officially a walking, talking, running-for-office cliche.

    July 10, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Neal

    Free Market as a means to correct things is so stupid.
    Those insurance companies are headed by businessmen who work too much, exercise too little, and are all stressed and therefore have erectile dysfunction. So covering Viagra makes sense to them, but birth control does not.

    July 10, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Pick me!! Pick me!!

    I started observing McCain about twenty years ago when he was ranking minority member of the POW/MIA committee chaired by John Kerry. I don’t have time to go into details other than to say I was shocked at his hostility toward any witness who provided evidence that there might still be POWs alive in SE Asia. He was even arrogant and rude toward POW family witnesses. His behavior on that committee is well known to anyone familiar with those hearings. He did everything he could to discredit and squash any evidence that POWs might still be in Vietnam. That was his goal, not to learn if there might still be some there.

    All I’ve observed in twenty years of McCain as a public figure makes it impossible for me to believe he ever acted heroically. McCain is out for McCain the maverick, period.

    You won’t change my opinion of him. I’ve observed too much that are out-in-the-open facts, not conjecture concerning what happened during the Vietnam war.

    To me, he’s a survivor and to be admired for that. But I find it impossible to ascribe any noble intentions to him, now or in the past.

    It's ONLY the voices of us old farts who refuse to believe the bull@#@# of ambitious and greedy politicians that MUST keep up the pressure.....
    That is the LEAST we owe those we didn't bring home...

    July 10, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Dave

    I think we all as Americans, need to know what our President (or future President) stands for on all the issues. You cannot dodge a question like that. This stands for Barack Obama as well on certain issues. You have to answer and should keep a knowledge on all the issues.

    July 10, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Jon

    This is a good question. So, McClain running for President and can't give an answer to Health care problems that this country (USA) face all across the board (races). Unfair to women.
    Vote Obama.

    July 10, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    McIdiot strikes again.

    July 10, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. STILL VOTING FOR HILARY!

    VIAGRA SHOULD NOT BE COVERERD PERIOD! TOO MANY YOUNG KIDS ARE TAKING IT LIKE CANDY AND MEN IN THEIR 30S , 40S AND 50S RIDICULOUS. ITS PART OF AGING, YOU MAY NOT LIKE IT BUT LIVE WITH IT. I DONT WANT TO PAY FOR YOUR GOOD TIME! NO BODYS GONNA PAY FOR MY BOOB JOB ARE THEY? GET OVER YOURSELFS

    July 10, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. 'whiner'

    why would anyone want him to be on viagra.this should be a crime

    July 10, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Ilona,PA

    McCain voted against the bill requiring insurence companies to cover birth control medication? It prooves one more time that he disrespects women and is sexist. Remember he voted against women's equal pay? All women that are going to vote for him should get their head examined. And older women should think about their daughters and granddaughters future before voting for a man who left his sick wife for a beauty heiress. GOP family values are screaming here aren't they :)

    July 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    And this is the Straight Talk Express??!! What are we? Back in the 50s when noone talked about sex? Get with the times, McCain.

    July 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. ANGIE

    he doesnt care abot woman he is the one that opposed birth control for woman on most insurances go look it up look up john mccains voting record see for yourselves this man is a pathetic pandering fool dont belive his lies 7 years of his senate voted with bush 98 percent of time aint no stopping him now he will continue the bush policies!!!

    July 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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