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. Hooligan

    Umm . . . yeah . . . I'm not even going to touch this one. I bet he is an Enzyte guy!

    July 10, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. karen-phoenix

    Toooo old and out of touch!!!

    July 10, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Liz, Atlanta

    You should print the whole quote. He was not only refused to talk about the absurdity of insurance policies covering Viagra and not birth control medications but he also went on to say he had no real idea of the issue and would.....get back to us later.

    There have been too many times now where McCain has ducked an issue by feigning – or admitting to – ignorance of the topic.

    July 10, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Waaaiit a minute

    hahahhahahahhahahahahha

    July 10, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. No intelligent woman should vote for McCain

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

    Need I say more ladies?

    July 10, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Jerry, Florida

    I have heard media people ask idiotic and personal questions of the presidential candidates before, but this one takes top price.

    I really wonder if this same media person would pose the same or a similar question to Senator Obama. The media person would immediately be accused of racism and probably fired by his/her employer.

    Also, Jesse Jackson has not said anything that has not at least been considered by many the Black community. He should stop apologizing and feeling guilty. He was brave enough to state a fact. Even if he was unaware of the live microphone. Many voters, both Black and white are just hesitant to voice their opinions for fear of being branded anti Obama or worst, racists. My respect for Mr. Jackson has grown considerably.

    July 10, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Tired of W, OH

    LOL! I've gotta hand it to you, CNN. I was expecting a completely different story after reading the headline. I'll bet McCain's government health insurance covers Viagra. I'm sure he knows the answer to that one from personal experience.

    July 10, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Lorna, NY

    McCain gets Viagra free through his insurance....

    July 10, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Kristin

    McCain does not care about female rights. He could care less about equal pay for women or for our right to choose. Why would he care that birth control is not covered by insurance. He isn’t even for universal health care. This man is only for those people like him.

    Lets all Barack the Vote in 2008!!!

    July 10, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. sarah

    McCain does not care about women. This makes it clear.

    You don't want to give women the right to choose, but you also don't want to help them with family panning. I spend $60 a month on birth control, and he's getting his Viagra for free. Ridiculous.

    July 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Bob

    Why is it that the Neo Cons are so gung ho for the "right to life" Then they don't mind killing them later in needless wars ?

    July 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Mike

    Presidential candidate or not the press has no business asking anything about the Senators sex life. I am not a McCain supporter, but the press goes too far with their idiotic. Maybe they should try and stick to political issues.

    July 10, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. KRC, CA

    What a horribly misleading title!! he is avoiding a question about birth control because he doesn't want to anger the religious right, and you cast it to be some kind of bob dole tabloid oddity. This isnt about viagra, this is about the "straight talk express" being derailed because he doesn't know his own record on the issue

    July 10, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Matt

    What a leader!

    July 10, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. EDW

    He doesn't care about women's issues.

    July 10, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. M.B.

    I have had insurnace all of my life (4 different companies and policies). All of the had coverage for birth control. I know personally some one who is prescribed ED meds and none of them are covered by the plan. I think it is ridiculous to be presumptive that ED drugs are covered but BC is not. If you do not have insurance or low coverage, Planned Parenthood offers options to women.

    Copays do apply to my BC but they apply to all my medications, so it is fair that BC had the same copay as my all of the other medications (inhalers, allergy meds, etc and when needed antibiotics). Copay is based on generic vs namebrand for most companies. I am tired of hearing about BC is not covered. Petition your employer for coverage. If you purchase your own, choose a policy that covers it. Not all women take BC nor should all plans have to cover it thus causing a rise in premium.
    America is about choice. You can choose.

    July 10, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Paula Hussein Mack

    Note picture above..Cindy is secretly slipping some salt Peter into John's cup of coffee.. I mean eeewwww... who wants to even think about it!

    July 10, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. not important

    McCain should do a commercial with Bob Dole.

    July 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Hello!!!

    For heaven sakes, leave him alone.

    July 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Matt: honestly

    He is against healthcare covering birth control. He is against abortion. How can any Democrat vote for this guy? He stands against everything you are for! He wants to take away key womens rights! I love how if an old man wants to have sex he can get it covered by healthcare, but if a woman wants birth control (perhaps to control her menstral cycle, it is not always used to not get pregnant) it is not covered. Amazing.....

    July 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Megan

    Looks like both Carly and Phil Gramm will be the next McCain advisors to go. What a mess!

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Brian

    John McCain has No right to talk about family values after what he did to his own family.

    He makes me Sick !

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. urbantexan

    John MCCain couldn't spell Viagra or Vagina !!! He'd probably get those two confused like he did the Sunni's and the Shias, or need Liebermann there to whisper in his ear on what to do with it. !!
    Cindy probably takes the pills in the family for both of them...

    July 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. McViagra 3 times removed G. Pa

    There are many Health insurance plans that will cover viagra but won't cover birth control medication.
    McSane doesn't want to discuss the Viagra issue
    McSane voted AGAINST Senate measures that sought to require insurance companies to cover birth control medication ."

    Here you have it straight from the horses mouth .

    McSane never cared about his ill wife "that waited for him to come home " when he came home he was out cheating having an affair with druggie Cindy is this what he calls saving lives? honest?
    McSane has been a short stemmed bully all his life.
    Vote Omama he is the winner will be the best President in the history of this land.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Tyler in Raleigh

    THERE YOU GO CLINTON SUPPORTERS..

    There is your man, vote for him to spite Obama because he didn't "resuce" Hillary when the big bad media was "womanizing her". Not that she did much to stop racist comments from the media or her own supporters (WIlly).

    He wants women off birth control and no abortions.... what next, take women out of the workforce to leave more high paying jobs for men? Lets make sure women go back to being home and pregnant like the 1800's McCain remembers.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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