August 17th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
6 years ago

Crowley: McCain on his greatest moral failing

LAKE FOREST, California (CNN) – Pretty compelling moment when John McCain was asked about his greatest moral failing and very quietly replied: "the failure of my first marriage." You could have heard a pin drop.

As an aside: McCain was put in a "cone of silence" while Barack Obama was on stage, because he was getting the same questions.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Cupper

    The only reason he stopped there is because the rest of the story is so shameful.

    That he turned his back on his wife after she was seriously injured in a car accident, committed adultery, and left the mother of his children when he found a much younger, wealthier woman. IAll public record not induendo)

    Hmmm...these are nice family values. I can see why all the Christians seem to like him so well. Standing O for the Adulterer!

    Worse, McCain didn¹t tell the truth about this in his own memoir. McCain insisted that he was separated from his first wife before he began dating his second wife. That¹s simply not true.

    McCain also insisted he¹d been divorced for months before remarrying. That wasn¹t true, either. (In fact, the LAT reported, ³McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.²)

    Shameful.

    But McCain doesn't want you to know that. So he is silent.

    SO silent, you can hear a pin drop.

    Amazing.

    -Cupper

    August 16, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Keating Five

    Remember the Keating Five! McCain started his career as a liar, cheat, and puppet of the lobbyist. Where is that on his list of moral failures!?

    August 16, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. Robert Fairey

    Specifically, what was McCain's moral failure re his first marriage? I don't recall any media discussion of this. Could it possibly relate to extra-marital sex? I have no idea.

    August 16, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  4. aware

    McCain has gravitas and authenticity! No equivocating or parsing words form this candidate!

    McCain 08! :)

    August 16, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. Vgirl1

    McCain's greatest moral failure was indeed his first marriage. As an adulterer I despise the man. I do not believe he should be allowed to represent us as President of the United States. I also do not want his cohort as our First Lady. This man is a moral disgrace. For him to now try to be holier than thou about moral questions just by saying his first marriage was his greatest moral falure is not enough. Why was he not drilled more on this.

    How do we trust a man with our country when he could not be trusted to his vows before God and his wife?

    I am tired of this man's anecdotes and attempt to fool us with his ploy at moral superiority when he could not even keep a vow as basic as his marriage promise before God. How do we believe him when he talks about the sanctity of life when he could not keep or hold dear the sanctity of marriage? I guess McCain thinks what he wants to hold sacred is all he should be judged on, regardless of what God thinks are those things that should be held in sacred bond.

    I say McCain's disregard for his marriage vows are more a danger to the sanctity of marriage than any implications caused by other people such as those who only ask to be recognized for loving someone regardless of sex.

    McCain is a disgrace and an adulterer who should not be allowed to hold the highest office of the United States. No to adulterers!

    August 16, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  6. tedious898

    I don't believe McCain was in a "cone of silence" or maybe he already had the questions. I've never know a 70 year old who could answer questions before they were even asked...given he couldn't even hear the question yesterday about the Corsi book.

    Please...does anybody think the fix was in on the questions?

    August 16, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Kate/MA

    He ought to be ashamed of his greatest moral failing. He had a wife who had been in a serious accident and had gone through a long rehabilitation while he was a POW. During all of this terrible hardship, she was raising their three children (her two boys that McCain had adopted and their one daughter). His actions were anything but honorable in my book. Once again, it shows his priorities. Me and only me.

    August 17, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  8. knowwhyubelieve

    In response to one persons comment that McCain looked like he was campaigning...ah yes and actually they both were. The purpose here was so that people would get a better idea of who they were and what they stood for so that they would vote for them...that's called campaigning. As far as the forum goes I thought it was very fair, the audience was good to both candidates and the questions of course where the same so very even.

    In my opinion McCain got the gold tonight. History has shown that people want strong decisive presidents and McCain showed that more that Obama. I am so very interested to see the new round of polls, I think McCain definitely solidified the religious right to him and that could make an interesting difference. nevadapundit dot com

    August 17, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  9. lovable liberal

    For a Democrat, this statement would put the story in play. For McCain, this will end the media's curiosity about McCain's apparent adultery.

    August 17, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  10. Timothy

    I was very surprised that that was all McCain could come up with for his greatest moral failing. I think it shows a lack of depth of thinking, if not a very shallow and selfish view of the world.

    August 17, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  11. rose

    How different is he Candy, from say, John Edwards? They both cheated on their wives except that Edwards did not divirce his. Also, Mccain's wife was crippled when he left her; Edwards' wif has cancer but he is still with her. If Edwards has fallen out of grace with the American people, why is Mccain still running when his rap sheet is no different?

    August 17, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  12. Jesse

    It would have been much more truthful if he just said "when i cheated on my first wife". Also his "cone" must have been waffle because it quite obvious he knew what was going to be asked.

    August 17, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  13. Ben Martin

    McCain's first marriage didn't fail, he destoryed it with his cheating on his first wife and his affair with his current wife. It is dishonest to make it sound like it failed due to circumstances between two people. His first wife was in a disabling car accident and he dumped her and his 3 children.

    August 17, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  14. Michael, Port Hueneme

    It is amazing the press hasn't pressed him more on this how he cheated on his first wife and left her after she had waited while he was a POW. He was already dating his next wife while still married to his first one. Way to be an officer and a gentleman. He should have had his commission taken away, I knew plenty of non-commissioned officers that were busted in rank for doing the same thing. I guess it helps having daddy and grandpa be admirals.

    August 17, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  15. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    It was very obvious that McCain knew what the questions were going to be and he gave rehearsed answers. He even answered two questions before the questions were fully asked and referred to one question regarding the 'justices' before the question was asked!
    It was rigged!

    August 17, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  16. Webster

    I think McCain's biggest moral failure was knowing the questions in advance on tonites forum. Now that is pretty immoral to me. Shame on you John McCain.

    August 17, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  17. Joe

    Infidelity, dishonesty, lust, gluttony...all good features of a president.

    August 17, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  18. renee

    I think McCain forgot to give the details of the divorce. Why didn't he tell what happen and how it was a moral failure.

    August 17, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  19. Karen

    I agree that McCain seemed to be unusually in charge tonite. Almost seems like he had advance knowledge of the questions that were going to be asked of him. I do not care for his forceful manner either. Neither did he say anything new. In contrast however, I thought Senator Obama was so intense and thoughtful with his answers. It shows good judgement to me. Mr. Warren's demeanor with Senator Obama was not as friendly as the way he spoke with McCain.

    August 17, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  20. David Sereda

    I think we should pay the President $1 billion for completing a term without accepting a single financial bribe or contribution from any corporation. It is well worth the money. The reason our presidents get corrupt is because they take the back seat to the real power in America, the billionaire club. If these billionaires cannot bribe our presidents, then we are truly free of that corruption. Then our presidents will truly represent our needs.

    August 17, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  21. O.C.CA.

    Tonight solidified my choice to cast my vote for Sen. Obama. He replied to the questions asked forthrightly, thoughtfully and sensibly. Sen. McCain gave his stump speech to most of the questions.

    Sen. McCain seemed to tell alot of stories about this life, but he was not clear about the story of his vision for America's future.

    I live in Orange County, CA where I pay $4.07 per gallon for gas, $4.00 per gallon for milk, I have two children in college and there tuition is $165,000 for four years combined, I pay $1,265.00 per month for health insurance for my family of five, my house is worth less than my mortgage. I'm just not interested in "HARD TALK" this election. I need thoughtful strategies to help correct our nations course. Sen. Obama seems to understand this, so he gets my vote.

    August 17, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  22. suspicious voter

    I am truly taken aback that all three cable network news shows are busy singing Mr McCain's praises tonight. Not only am I not buying that McCain didn't listen in on Obama, or at least get the questions in advance, but the man never answered the questions directly put to him and instead rattled off his stump speech talking points! Rev. Warren never once warned McCain not to give such answers as he repeatedly asked of Mr Obama and his tone and body language was noticeably different when questioning Mr Obama than the more indulgent stance he took with McCain. I felt Mr Obama was clearly giving thoughtful unrehearsed answers to the pastor, while McCain basically ignored his host and went into autopilot campaign mode spewing out sound bites to please his evangelical audience.

    August 17, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  23. clarity

    Hypocrisy at its finest. The evangelicals are willing to overlook John McCain's infidelity. He cheated on his first wife and the woman who helped him commit adultery stand proudly at his side.

    John Edwards is getting grilled due to his more current infidelity but all you could hear was a pin drop when Mac spoke about his "failed" marriage. The marriage didn't fail, he failed his wife and no one should trust him standing at the helm of the American family.

    August 17, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  24. Jo Ann Dohe

    Well, McCain has run away with the show. Warren
    has lost control, and McCain is making he stump speeches.
    GET CONTROL

    August 17, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  25. Kizz

    On the question about their greatest failures, Mccain replied :
    "I think after 9/11, my friends, we should have told Americans to join the Peace Corps, expand the military, serve a cause greater than your self-interest," he said.

    WITH ALL RESPECT McCAIN HOW DARE YOU MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT CONSIDERING HOW MANY AMERICAN SOLDIERS HAVE SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES TO SERVE A CAUSE "GREATER THAN THEIRS"?
    NOT EVEN TO MENTION THE FACT THAT MANY OF OUR AMERICAN SOLDIERS...(.YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAD A LIFE BEFORE THEM), DIED IN A WAR BASED ON LIES?::::REMEMBER THE WAR AGAINST "AL QAIDA IN IRAQ" WHICH YOU AND YOUR FRIEND BUSH PROMOTED AND ARE STILL PROMOTING? AND YOU STILL HAVE THE NERVES TO STAND INFRONT OF A GROUP OF CHRISTIANS AND TALK ABOUT HOW AMERICAN WERE SELFISH AND FAILED TO SERVE A CAUSE GREATER THAN THEIRS?
    SHOULD THE AMERICAN MOMS AND DADS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR BRAVE SELF-SACRIFICING KIDS IN IRAQ APPLAUD YOU FOR THIS THOUGHTLESS STATEMENT?

    WHATS EVEN MORE SCARY IS THAT SOME PEOPLE APPLAUDED HIM FOR SAYING THAT!!!!!!!...........WAIT A MINUTE... ISN´T AMERICA THE COUNTRY THAT VOTED GEORGE W. BUSH FOR A 2nd TERM?
    I WAS BEGINNING TO LIKE McCAIN BUT IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT WATCHING AND LISTENING TO HIM. HE IS NOT A VERY THOUGHTFUL AND INTELIGENT PERSON IS HE?

    HE HAS A VERY SUPERFICIAL WAY OF ANSWERING COMPLEX QUESTIONS.

    August 17, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
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