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. Matt in Cleveland

    oh....my....god....

    sometimes things are so hilarious they dont really need to be commented on

    July 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Sue

    I am sure the Senator McCain has no idea what women have to do to get health care. When we are young it is more expensive because we might get pregnate. When we are older, it's more expensive due to menopause. Why is it always more expensive for women who make less money, then it is for the men, and, will he work to do anything about either of those issues????? I don't think so. He has voted against equal pay for equal work and I do not see him caring about any womens rights.

    Go Obama

    July 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Mike

    Is his Viagra covered?

    July 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. FLORIDA Voter for Obama

    L.O.L. @ Viagra & McCain

    wow

    July 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Puma is Operation Chaos, Pt 2

    Why is McCain avoiding talking about his Viagra issue?

    July 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Chris from NY

    He doesn't want to talk about viagra because it will remind people of his age.

    July 10, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. duh

    "the Arizona senator supported competition in the healthcare industry". People's health is not something someone should be making profits off of.

    July 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Saad from NJ

    First "Obama almost forgets Cliton" and now "this"..... it's too funny... I love you CNN, you are on a roll... Keep it coming.. we need some lighter stuff in the otherwise so serious, bizarre, and sad political news coming out lately.

    July 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. ERD in NC

    I think Fiorina was making a good point and I think McCain is a nut, but I am not sure if this story is really newsworthy except for its crudeness

    July 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. American

    Too funny...of course McWalking Cain uses viagra..lol...

    And I hope all 500 members of PUCKA PAC use what limited brain cells they have and see that McFlip Flop will try to take a womens right to choose away for good.

    Americans are saying no to McFlip Flop....

    OBAMA '08!

    July 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    CNN is sooooooooooo BIASED in their reporting; they will spin the story as a positive for McShame!

    I read the whole dialogue on the viagra issue; McSame sounded lost, confused, couldn't recall how he voted on the issue, paused a long while without any response...sounded like he lost his "bearings" or just like using VIAGRA but not comfortable talking about it!

    America knows that McBush no longer have sex with cindy "botox face" mcshame; but if he does, Viagra must come to the rescue.

    If McSame veto VIAGRA, just as he promised to veto "BEER", that will be his last best hope in having sex!!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. It will happen

    If McBush is elected, say goodbye to Roe v. Wade ladies. PUMA that.

    July 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Wal

    If you call yourself “straight talk” your response shouldn’t be base on calculation.
    You should always use your “Principe” to answer question not the calculated position back you took previously to answer present question. We understand that the vote in the senate is not basing on Principe but on lobbies position.
    Change is coming…

    July 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. lather me up

    Don't most men need it after age 30

    July 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. hussein

    the only standing ovation was radical,right-wingers, wanting to force everyone else to live by THEIR rules.the reason they will lose is that most americans dont want some americans making personal decisions for them.individual rights to privacy used to be a standard trump card for republicans.those who want to impose their values on everyone else,have taken over the republican party and driven it into the ground,trying to force their views on others through violence,smears and fear of reprisal.they would have fit in well with folks like stalin,hitler,and mussolini.

    July 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    Pandering to whomever he thinks he might be able to fool. John McCain is against anything that would help working people. He voted against women's request to have birth control covered but won't comment on the fact that viagra is covered. He used to support a woman's right to choose and now panders to those who would destroy the Constitutional rights of women. If its good for weapons manufacturers, corporations, insurance and drug companies, then he is for it. If it s good for American workers, women, immigrants, he is against it.

    He is too old and too set in his ways, a misogynist, and a war monger. He wants to kill the Iranians with cigarettes. He seems to enjoy anything that has to do with killing- his so called jokes reveal the sickness he has – a blood thirst and revenge from the Vietnam War.

    July 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Carl Justus

    That is because we have dirty old "conservative" men making the rules for our insurance coverage.
    When we get the so called "conservatives" and "good ole boys" out of power and get someone who does is trying to increase his power or bank account, we may have a decent government.

    July 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Robert NYC & Miami

    How pathetic that he could survive the Vietnamese but cannot survive his base.

    July 10, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Tori, Oregon

    McCain is so anti-female it is funny. So he is prolife but does not support birth control for females so that way we can also stop abortion from happening. What a joke!

    July 10, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Frank

    This is certainly not an issue of national proportion. How about dealing with issues surrounding endless war, escalating debt, federal reserve's monetary policy, loss of civil liberites (fisa).
    Viagra? Is this what the country is losing sleep about every night.
    Why no coverage on the Impeachment proceedings??

    July 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. David, Silver Spring, MD

    So what was the "issue" that McCain didn't want to discuss? Was it the issue of whether insurance companies that cover Viagra should have to cover birth control? Or was it the issue of whether McCain takes Viagra?

    I can understand him not wanting to say whether he uses Viagra, but why would he dodge a question about equity in health insurance coverage?

    As it stands, McCain supports insurance companies paying for Viagra but not birth control, and doesn't support abortion rights. So everything is slanted toward increasing the population regardless of the impact on women.

    Vote for that, PUMA!

    July 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. dlwillson

    How about he and his financial spokesperson Gramm today...

    saying the economy issues are "psychological"...and "we have become a nation of whiners"

    So my neighbor who just got laid off with 1000's of co-workers is all "psychological" and his wife and kids are just a "bunch of whiners".

    disgusting.

    no more silver spoon frat boys running our government and handling our economy.

    July 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. woman for Obama

    McCain has voted against many women's issues in his stay in the Senate. People need to wake up and read the issues and his voting record.

    July 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. MD FOR OBAMA

    I couldn't read the article. I was too busy staring in disbelief at how scary and botoxed Cindy looks. Very Scary!

    I'll go back now and read the article.

    July 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. Mary

    Unbelieveable that a reporter would even ask that question. What age is the reporter – a 20 something who doesn't realize that people are sexual all their lives? Does the reporter think that if you are over the age of 70 you can't get it on without help? What a twit – and how out of line to even ask a question like that. If you asked my husband that question, you'd be quickly picking yourself off the floor and nursing a swollen jaw.

    July 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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