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. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    McCain's "don't let the government have any say in how insurance companies do business" is the typical laissez faire approach to the economy whill all free traders love and which has tilted this economy against the average working American. But what do you expect from an economic Bush clone who claims he needs to "brush up on the economy"? As far as Viagra goes, McCain's buddy Joe Lieberman could definitely use some! These two are pathetic.

    July 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Charlotte

    Yes, Ms. Forinia, We women would like a choice. Unfortunately your candidate doesn't think it's necessary that my health insurance cover birth control. Someone should educate McCain on the fact that many women have to take birth control for other reasons besides preventing pregnancy.

    July 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Benjamin

    Uh, that's not a "Viagra" question. He wasn't afraid to talk about "Viagra." That was a birth control question, and he was afraid to talk about birth control. Why are you afraid to write that in the headline, CNN?

    July 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. JJ

    This shows once again that McCain is not for women's rights. He doesn't want to discuss it because he knows if he addresses it, many women will realiize his stance on women's rights and will turn away from him. If he wants the slogan "Straight Talk", then he needs to be straight and tell everyone how he really feels.

    July 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Eric

    What you should do is mandate sterilization of everyone once they've had two kids.

    July 10, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Pat Riot

    Well, erectile disfunction is a medical problem that limits you from using a part of your body. I'm pretty sure that most insurance should provide coverage for Viagra. Birth control isn't a cure for anything. Getting pregnant is perventable and not typically a medical problem. How do you not understand that?

    July 10, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Woman for Obama

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

    Ladies, you all know how much of a pain that the cost of birth control is. DO NOT VOTE FOR MCCAIN!

    July 10, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. SAY WHAT!!!!!

    Cnn...McCAIN--.willingness to discuss nearly any issue.But at least one is off-limits, the Republican presidential nominee suggested Wednesday: Viagra......(EVEN Viagra Can't help McCain)
    McCain has voted against Senate measures that sought to require insurancecompanies to cover birth control medication
    McCain---my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”AGAIN DO YOU SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY?

    July 10, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Another old white woman for Obama

    Not only birth control pills but voluntary tubal ligations and vasectomies should be offered and covered. This would eliminate some of the need for abortions. Why just pay for pills to help impotent old men procreate? Bad idea unless medically necessary.
    The planets resources cannot continue to support unlimited breeding.

    July 10, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Jay

    Why would McCain care about the double standard? He's not a woman. And he obviously isn't the type of person to try to see something from a woman's perspective.

    Maybe if a company made an anti viagra, we wouldn't need to worry about faith based abstinence only programs and abortion. Put the responsibility squarely on the man's shoulders for once.

    July 10, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Bulldog

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

    McCain receives a standing ovation because they hand select who attends his events. They kick out anyone who appears they may not be a supporter. They have also begun a new policy for reporters to have to earn their right to have access to McCain. In other words, only those who report positive messages and suck up to the McCain camp are given preferential access. This is what many people call the "good ole boy system". This exact good ole boy system is what discriminates against anyone who objects to policies and puts a muzzle on checks and balances. It's exactly what the Bush administration, and even the Justice Department have been ridiculed over. And McCain clearly is violating the "good ole boy system" with his current policies.

    July 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Matt in NC

    Isn't the best way to stop abortion avoiding unwanted pregnancies? If you're pro-life and anti-birth control (Catholic Church anyone?) you either believe that people shouldn't have sex or women are merely baby machines. Come off it. Not everyone can be the pope.

    And doesn't Viagra necessitate more birth control?

    July 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. JS

    McCain.. Viagara.. Does any more need to be said for this to be funny.. how can you take this guy seriosly

    July 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Carmon, Minneapolis

    LOL this is too funny.

    July 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. ben

    We respect all life, both the unborn anf the born. McCain said that.
    He should have added,"Of course the lives of our enemies and potential enemies do not count"

    July 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. ProundToBeDemocrat

    Mccain is in favor of Viragra he needs it himself to satisy his young wife what do you expect double standard.

    July 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Ha, HA

    HA, HA......McCain: "Come on Cindy, You dont have the 100 MG with you"...LOL

    July 10, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    ICK!!!! can we PLEASE not go there??!?!??! that is DISGUSTING, and let's keep it as cindy's problem, not ours!!!

    "one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”

    ummm, mcCON, it's time for you to walk the walk, we already know you'll talk (aka LIE) all day long. you have voted AGAINST our troops, or not bothered to even show up-how dare you turn your back on your fellow soldiers. your political career over our troops--NICE, mcCON!!!!

    you have NO respect for the LIVING americans or the constitution of this country-shame on you, mcCON!!!

    July 10, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. MD

    No birth control and no abortion?

    I'm trying to understand this, and someone please help me: McCain does not support insuring birth control, which means women who can't afford it are more likely to get pregnant, even if they don't want to, and then he does not support abortion, which means these parents (who, by the way, may be a perfectly moral, married couple, permitted by even the most far right to have sex) are forced to have a child they don't want. I think he said in his speech the other day that there are enough homes that every child should be born and will be taken care of, but that's not really true – look at our country's orphanage/foster care and you'll see that's not the case. An unwanted child, at the wrong time, can cause a family to suffer tremendously, socially, financially, psychologically, and whether the child is kept or given away, it could still suffer.

    So, my question is, how can McCain not support insured birth control and also be anti-abortion?

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Sarah, 23, FL

    McCain doesn't care about issues concerning women....his only agenda is BOMB BOMB BOMB!!!

    He doesn't care about the issues of the American people.

    Obama cares.

    Obama '08

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. NotFallingInLine.org

    I wonder if Michelle kicks Barry to the couch if he fails to please her.

    Come on.

    CNN, is this really a story? Why not just focus on the issue of the bad coverage in health insurance plans in this country?

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. RM

    He wasn't dogding Viagra; he was dodging the birth control issue.

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain's an idiot. This question will come up again but I suppose he will probably fire Carly Florina for asking. McCain is Bush all over and this is just one of many examples of how McCain feels he doesn't have to answer to anyone just like Bush. McCain is not interested in the American peoples opinion about anything, his only interest is to become President and dictator.

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Jack Jett

    Viagra is God's way of telling someone they are too old to have sex..and in this case to be President.

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Texan

    CNN you should be ashamed of yourself. This article and specifically YOUR headline is completely tasteless. This is why Fox News continues to destroy you in ratings. Can you even pretend to be journalists?

    p.s. You don't have the courage or the character to post this.

    July 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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