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. Michael

    So this constitutes news now?

    July 10, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Scott Alexander

    John McCain – hypocrite. Most politicians are when it comes to the stance of abortion vs. male enhancements. Its okay to force women what to do with their bodies – that's been the Republican slogan for many years now and McCain is now believing it for himself. Either he's been brainwashed, or he's really pandering for the conservative "males are always in charge" crowd.

    July 10, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. RC

    TMI
    That is obscene. Last thing I wanted to read before lunch.

    July 10, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. david

    hahaha he's probably avoiding it because he uses it...he's like 100 years old. THIS MAN SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT!

    July 10, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Belle2

    Well CNN, it didn't matter that McCain refused to comment. You still managed to post a headline that contained both words: McCain and Viagra. Objective media at its finest!

    July 10, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Keeping Tabs

    I think as far as women's issues are concerned, Obama has better policies in mind. McCain doesn't even bother to address the problems that most women are concerned about. His plans laid out on his campaign site are broad and general minded. Obama has specific plans for helping today's mother's; educating our children, health care for women, and equal pay.

    July 10, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Ree

    I think insurance should cover both Viagra and birth control pills. Maybe if more women were able to get birth control bills then they would not have to consider abortion.

    Right now women have to make a choice, pay for birth control pills, gas or food.

    If John McCain uses Virgra that's his business. My son who is 30 has to take them. they are not just for old people.

    July 10, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Concerned Citizen, IN

    Well you know, those abstinence programs in our schools are so effective we should not need birth control right?

    July 10, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Mary in CT

    If you look at this issue from a pure GOP ideology stance, it makes sense to be against birth control and have no opinion on Viagra....I would think that many religions would have the same opinion.

    July 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL

    OLD JOHN McCAIN HAS BEEN ON VIAGRA FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS-WHAT USED TO BE HIS SEX APPEAL IS NOW IS WATER SPOUT.

    July 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. kim

    unreal! Viagra covered, and birth control not. Tells you who is in charge of the country huh, old white guys that dont care about anyone but themselves! This needs to be addressed ASAP, this country needs to remember the whole church and state part of the constitution. This is unreal, and I can not even BELIEVE this is the case, how sick is this?

    July 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Chimp

    Good...I'm glad he dodged it. Can we focus on actual policy issues?

    His stance on healthcare is relevant...whether he uses viagra is not.

    July 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Jeff Steele

    On the contrary, I have experienced quite the opposite of what Carly Fiorina stated. I think she has it backwards, birth control is covered and Viagra is not.

    July 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. The Old Guard

    "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.”

    ###

    Pandering to the base. Choice is freedom. McBush will say anything to get elected.

    July 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Midge from Ohio

    Did I read this right? McCain actually voted AGAINST a bill to require insurance companies to pay for birth control? Are you all just stupid? How many problems are caused by women getting pregnant who don't want to be pregnant? How many abortions? Women who don't care about their kids and don't care about raising them, except for the welfare check and ADC. Our future criminals. But insurance companies pay billions for Viagra? I can't begin to say how MORONIC this is. McCain just lost my vote.

    July 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Beverly

    Cindy doesn't look hard & crazy for nothing.

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

    This headline is totally misleading. Personally, I'm glad. In the respect that some "reporter" wasn't asking the man about his sex life.
    BTW, nobodies business but his and Cindy's anyway. Same goes for all politicians.

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Will, NJ

    Is a functional peep a requirement for president?

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Marie

    Just the thought of this subject pertaining to McBush, makes me want to vomit. Vulgar image.

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. S.M

    It figures that McCain would not comment on this issue. Many men who are probably getting viagra dont need the medicine. This goes to show the American public how McCain really feels about women and equal rights. If the insurance companies can cover payment for Viagra, than insurances should cover women's birth control pills.

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Michelle

    What stupid headline, CNN.

    By the way, did I miss an important Headline?
    "Obama votes 'Yes' on FISA"

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. He's No Fool

    Wouldn't you avoid this subject if you had an age issue, while running against someone 25 years younger? Wouldn't you avoid this issue if you were trying to get the women's vote and you knew you secretly agreed with the bias practices of insurance companies? John's no fool. He won't get my vote, but he's not fool.

    July 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. alicia

    No McCain didnt touch the subject of birth control.. CNN stop the phony headlines.

    July 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Charles

    I didn't know McCain uses Viagra...lol

    July 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. fleur de Lys

    Hummm. How surprising...Men get to eat their cake but women end up with the bun in the oven. that's what you get when the country is run by chauvinists.

    July 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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