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. Adam Habib Dallas, TX

    Sounds like he is a viagra fan to me. Nothing wrong with it. Why is it a campaign issue? Go Obama 2008.

    July 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Ron L

    CNN could you PLEASE discuss the REAL issues and not the fluff.
    I saw yesterday ( on another News Station) at a town hall meeting Senator McCain was challenged by a Vietnam Veteran on his voting record supporting veteran benefits. It appears ONCE AGAIN the media is allowing Senator McCain to get away with misquoting his record.

    CNN I would like you to turn your vast resources on this and find out the TRUTH when it comes to Senator McCains support on this issue. The veteran stated that Senator McCains record is horrendous in this area and he has voted AGAINST many of the bills that would increase veteran benefits. Of course the Senator told the person he was incorrect. IF the Veteran was correct...the PUBLIC needs to know this since he tends to portray himself as a champion of those who have served this country.

    CNN....PLEASE....BE EQUALLY TOUGH on both candidates...This election is VERY important and there are plenty of REAL ISSUES that need to be addressed objectively.

    July 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    So Does He Have E D And Not Want To Talk About It? I Think He And Bob Dole Are About The Same Age But Bob Has The Courage To Talk About It! I Loose More Respect For You Everyday Mccain!

    July 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. CanEhDian

    McCane will need more than Viagra to bring "up" his ratings.

    July 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. JB

    They are not the same. One enables you to have a child, thus propagating the species, the other, pleasure.

    The argument is invaid.

    July 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Brian

    One has to wonder if Birth Control is not covered due to encourage abstinence in women, why would McCain want to use Viagra? It must be for fun with his Male Staffers!

    July 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. Griff

    It takes a Nut, to ask a Nut question... Reporter's must struggling at home, as well as on the job....

    July 10, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Doris,Memphis,TN

    I will never vote for John McCain.
    A woman has the right to do what she wants
    with her body. He is not God! If I were raped
    and would not want to be forced to carry
    a criminal's baby.

    July 10, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. eugenewest7373

    we know one place where john mccain isn't a "maverick" anymore..LOLOLOLOL...his wife looked much better in 2004 as well

    July 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    That's about the only sensible thing that he has done! If I were as old as he, I would most definitely avoid that question!!!

    July 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Susan

    Typical McBush non answer about issues!

    July 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    wow, so hes all for viagra, but not birth control. UNBELIEVABLE! Shame on him. He needs viagra I am sure, but to think hes against birth control being covered, what a JOKE, but just another reason this man will NEVER be president. What an ARSE!

    July 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Lesley

    I would like to see the Obama campaign highlight the women's issues that John McCain is turning down, like voting against the bill that would have given women equal pay, promising to put a conservative justice on the Supreme Court who presumably would overturn the landmark women's rights decision of choice, and now not supporting insurance coverage of birth control. That might wake up the Clinton supporters to the real world they'll be facing if McCain gets elected.

    July 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. Nevada Independant

    The better story that I do not see here is how McCain completely avoided answering a question from a Vietnam vet at one of his town hall meetings.
    The vet asked McCain to explain some of his votes that were not in support of benefits for troops in the past few years. McCain answered that many vet groups support him, but never actually answered the man's questions.
    The man did not give up, however. He persisted and argued that McCain does not have a perfect record when voting for rights and benefits for our soldiers.
    At that, McCain became agitated and made some snarky remark about how the vet groups that have endorsed him must not know something that the man knows.
    It was ridiculous. McCain could not even hold his own with a fellow veteran.
    So, the better headline would be:
    McCain dodges questions about his voting record from a fellow Vietnam veteran.
    Much more significant. Much more determinant of his true character than some silly viagra story.

    July 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. dan

    cant say too much or you lose that lobbiest money.

    July 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. STAND UP Women!!!!

    McCain.......McCain didn't want to touch the subject of Viagra.(even Vigra Can't help McCain) The TRUTH IS..........
    There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. ..............Those women would
    like a CHOICE!!!-McCain has voted against Senate measures that sought to require insurance companies to cover birth control medication.(I wonder WHY SIR!)*****************************************
    Cain 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.”AGAIN SIR WHAT IS STANCE ON THE DEATH PENALTY ???

    July 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Ian

    Touchy subject for McCain?

    July 10, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Rise America Rise

    He didn't avoid the viagra question, he was very clear about it ... when he said "I certainly do not want to discuss that issue,", that translates to ... yes, I use it but I am so old even that doesn't help. He needs to thank that dunderhead Carly Fiorina for putting viagra in the forefront of the news today. Did he not check her resume before he brought her in?????

    July 10, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. carry

    i know you not going to post my comment ,mccain avoid viagra question because he is on viagra, he vote for viagra and againt birth control medcation mccain can't come up.

    July 10, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Chris

    All the flip-flopping and outright lies this man has told, and you run an article about a non-issue like viagra?! Are there no more actual reporters working anymore?

    July 10, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Maybe after he loses the election, McSame can join old Bob Dole and do some Viagra commercials...

    July 10, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Realistic

    There is a reason why many Hillary supporters now favor McCain - they lust for a younger man.

    July 10, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Nancy Corner (Mrs. Sheldon)

    As a native Washingtonian and the granddaughter of a member of the Gridiron Club, I salute John McCain for NOT venturing into personal questions such as the one about viagra.My husband Sheldon is a retired Navy captain and I was a professional actress who had her own weather show in Columbus Ohio. I attended many Gridiron parties with my grandfathger, Thomas W. Brahany so I was exposed to many political situations! The essential questions are the economy, jobs, and the tragic housing foreclosures plus the war in Iraq which most American resent and blame for their struggle with gas prices and food escalations, etc. My husand and I are both Mccain fans!

    July 10, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. JenNYC

    EW....

    July 10, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Franky

    LOL!!! Senator!!! What kind of "Straight Talk" is going on in the bus, huh? LOL!!! Party at the Senators house! LOL!!

    July 10, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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