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. JD

    McCain cannot afford to take viagra right now or he's risking a heart-attact/failure to his already fragile heart.

    Cindy will have to do without.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. ET from OMAHA

    OF course he has to dodge that question. He is more concern with viagra being the number one client to the Viagra drug company than our daughters contraceptive pills.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Lester P. (California)

    The reporter that asked that question should get back to the job of journalism. Who cares if someone takes viagra? Does that reporter or the media think that we the people, are so dumb that the campaign issues are of little consequences?

    We are all trying to make decisions here on who will take our country down the road during the next four years. I want to know more about what really matters and what candidate makes the most sense!.

    Our country is going to Hell. So those in the media, please just cut out the crap! Report what IS important out so we can all get back to work restoring our country to what it once was.

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. rick

    the simple fact is that republicans don't deserve a third term. they have failed at taking care of their own nation. it's disgusting how they have abandoned New Orleans, DISGUSTING and UNAMERICAN. Cheney and Rumsfield did succeed at what their true agenda was to invade Iraq and cut taxes for the rich. vote for John McCain at your own peril, just disgusting.

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Joan Baily

    McCain just a dam looser on every issue

    July 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Tom - Cary, NC

    If Jesse Jackson gets his wish, than Obama will need Viagra! Perhaps he get can get a recommendation on a health plan from McCain.

    July 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Generation X

    This is just too easy. LMAO

    July 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Bud InTexas

    Viagra! Vaigra! What's the matter with you people, don't you know I was a Prisoner of War.

    July 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. MD FOR OBAMA

    CNN . Whats the hold up? Post some messages before I go to lunch please.

    July 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Keith Keilman

    "Carly Fiorina, who had said earlier women often express frustration over the fact many health insurance plans cover Viagra but not birth control medication."

    What health insurance plan covers Viagra? I do not know of any in
    California. If there is one, I want to change my health plan. From
    what I can see from health coverage in California., Women get all the
    benefits and men get none! I am fustrated with the lack of concern for
    man's health care in California and an over concern for womens. This
    sounds like a bunch of campaign political correctiness to me.

    July 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Not fooled by distractions

    You know, too bad you don't want to discuss it – but the rest of us want to know where you stand on the viagra/birth control issue – why one is covered and one isn't. The narrative I've seen on this issue regarding McCain – he said he'd have to check to see where he stands. You have to check??? Why doesn't he know how he voted on issues?

    What a shame. McCain is such a weak candidate – it scares me to think of what type of president he would be. Bush was a disaster, but McCain could even be so much worse!

    July 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Cindy

    So true–insurance companies are dominated by men who understand only Viagra. No appreciation of how birth control pills are used for reasons other than birth control such as to control pain from endometriosis. Please get some female health perspective here.

    July 10, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Republicans are out of touch

    Another slap against women. Thanks Mccain for showing us once more how much or rather how little you care about women and their issues. I hope those puma/pac babes are listening.

    July 10, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Maria

    Thank heavens this story wasn't about what I thought it was going to be about. Thought I'd have to forego lunch.

    July 10, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Nanc, MN

    Good grief, what a tacky headline.

    July 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Rick FL

    Does anyone else find it not surprising that Viagra is covered by insurance for men but birth control is not covered for women? Nonsense.

    If men were the ones that got pregnant, does anyone think for a second that birth control would not be covered, OR their privacy rights regarding reproduction would even be an issue? I highly doubt it but would love for McCain & the GOP to answer that question.

    Finally, many conservatives do not understand that you can be pro-life and pro-choice. These do not have to be mutually exclusive, since the choice has been a legal precedence of privacy for over three decades.

    July 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Clinton Fringer

    While you are at it ask why Viagra can be covered but nothing having to do with weight loss ,or fitness is covered? Being overweight can certianly lead to oher diseases that will need to be treated, but somehow erecticle disfunction is top priority. hahahahahahaha

    July 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. Natasha/Supporter of Democrats/Obama

    This is not anyone of your business, CNN. I guess you have run out of things to talk about with us blogger.

    July 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. tj

    That question has nothing to do with whther or not he is fit to run this country for the next four years.What McCain does in his bedroom is HIS and HIS WIFE'S business. One's presidential candidacy has nothing to do with one's virilty in the bedroom.

    July 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. wycliffe, NJ

    Straight talk Express bumps on Viagra. I am concerned and I need to know your stand on this issue before I vote for you.

    July 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. maria

    mcidiot is soo dam old he needs to retire. He doesnt even look presidental he looks like he about to die soon. He doesnt look like he has good health. Also cindy is so old and wrinkly. yuck yuck yuck that want I thank when i look at them. he probly is on viagra!!!! ya ya ya

    July 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Deena

    That's none of her business.

    July 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Janey

    I love how all these dems cut up older people! Where were you guys found–under a rock? You were probably spoiled and given too much and now despise the parents that raised you!

    July 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Mickie in PA

    As most men believe, they should have the right to their sexual gratifications but it's up to the women to take care of the consequences.

    July 10, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. saga4obama

    (CNN) – John McCain is known for his frequent chats with reporters and his willingness to discuss nearly any issue...
    nice fluff piece for McCain. Is he willing to discuss why he will not release his Military records or the events that took place July 29, 1967 or why he has some 59 lobbyist running his campaign or the GI Bill and MLK Holiday he voted NO on or his FLIP FLOPS on every major issue from off shore drilling to immigration or the McCain Bill which makes it nearly impossible for families too get info on POWs or his relationships with Hagee and Pastor Parsley or the lies he told RE. his trip to Iraq or why this, one of the RICHEST of Senators knows NOTHING about the Economy or the loop hole in Public Finance McCain criticized Obama for or....the list of or's is so extensive with McCain, the last thing i want to know is if he can get it up.

    July 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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