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. Chris

    LOL!!!! J/M should know a lot about this subject given how old he is...lol

    July 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Chryssa

    Typical.

    July 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Ken

    Carly Fiorina, why are you supporting a man that has consistently voted against this? Don't you know where he stands on the issue.

    CNN...why don't you tell the rest of the story. McCain said he could not recall his votes on this matter. Yet, he's voted against it every time.

    July 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. JS

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

    July 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. simplyhuman, Ft. Myers

    Frankly...he isn't helping his case any by having staffers who are up on women's issues–but showing he's incapable of drawing the same comparisons.

    I don't know who I'm most frightened of: a hawk centrist w/ senility or the leftist centrist chicken.

    Option 3: Barr/Root 2008, Libertarian Party for "real change" and returning government to the people.

    Got liberty?

    July 10, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Down with Obama

    LMAO Does Alexander Mooney avoid Viagra questions?????
    LMAO Does Wolf avoid Viagra questions?????
    LMAO Does Bill Schneider avoid Viagra questions?????

    July 10, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Darius

    I don't even think Viagra would help McCain at this point in his life. He cant even manage to raise his arms, let alone his.....

    July 10, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. George

    That's funny. does he use it ? I guess so.

    July 10, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Brad

    Well, at least that kind of impotence can be remedied with a pill. His political and intellectual impotence, however...

    July 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Paul

    McCain was for Viagra before he was against it.

    July 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. norb

    Maybe he needs to talk to Bob Dole first? He's more preocupied as to whether Enbev will take over Budwieser.

    July 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Bill in San Jose

    And I don't want to hear what he might have had to say about it either! Finally, a good call on McCain's part..

    July 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. BROOKLYN

    Well... Honestly... You don't see him crying and saying "why are the attacking me"...

    We do NOT need a big baby as the commander and chief. You have to take the punches both good & bad ... So Obama... STOP BEING SUCH A WUSS...

    July 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Marcus Allen

    There is such a thing as a stupid question.
    Asking someone if they use Viagra is a stupid question on every level.

    July 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Carl, Atlanta

    Whether or not Sen. McCain uses Viagra is not of our business!

    "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."

    There's a reason for this. Viagra treats a disease, birth control does not treat a disease and so should not be covered by insurance unless it is used to treat a hromonal imbalance or other pathology. Pregnancy prevention is 100% optional. Erectile dysfunction is not.

    July 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Tim Verpoorten

    I cannot believe the headlines, McCain dodges Viagra question! With all the political statements being made, Social security comments, the War comments that McCain made, you headline that he dodges Viagra question? Talk about political bias, you make Rush Limbaugh look like a middle of the road newsman. Try to move a little bit toward the center of the field from your far left wing bias, please.

    July 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I hope McCain does take viagra and does his work at home, this way if he does become president (I hope not) he won't have the urge to do to do it to the citizens of this country.

    July 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Wilmoth Nichols

    I would like to think that the Republican Party cares for children after they are born, but their refusal to provide health care for those children whose parents cannot afford health insurance , makes me think otherwise. Life DOES NOT END AFTER BIRTH!

    July 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    McCain is anti-choice, anti-women's reproductive rights, wants Roe v. Wade repealed, and has made it clear that he will appoint Supreme Court judges who will do just that. Women of America, you have a very clear choice to make in this election. A vote for Obama is a choice to preserve choice. It is really that simple.

    July 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Nix

    We are nothing more than a bunch of nasty minded Americans if we are so concerned about another man's sexual prowess, or interested in other's bedroom activities. Its is none of anyone's business! I wouldn't want to know if you're constipated, got the runs, or sick in any way. I would be concerned and insist that medical attention be sought, but I don't need to know the details of what's wrong... or right with you!

    As far as it being a health issue, let all things be done in decency and in order. There is a correct way to ask a question to get an answer to a query: however, tabloid journalists will still have an excuse to get into some one else's business!

    July 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Bendo

    I can see the ad 's after the campaign....JM teams up with Bob
    Dole on a Viagra commercial.......too funny.....come on people...can you really vote for this guy????

    July 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Darlene, VA

    Typical of a selfish person who left his sick wife to "hang out" with Cindy Lou. What does he care about women's issues, just like he doesn't care about he economy–his wife's loaded.

    Obama 08

    July 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Sacto Joe

    Ms Fiona is backing the wrong horse if she wants women's reproductive rights. McCain has already sworn to pack the Supreme Court with the anti-rights judges.

    July 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Susan PA

    Carly, did you not realize you were trying to help elect one of the most anti-choice presidential candidates ever?

    McCain wants nothing more than to ensure that old men continue to have jurisdiction over women's reproductive decisions.

    July 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. HG

    He is as old as dirt. In a few years he will be doing the same ads for Viagra as Bob Dole.

    July 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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