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. sue calgary

    I didn't hear McCain accept responsibility for the failure of his marriage! The forum was meant to be about values. His story telling was all well and good but I don't think anyone came away from that discussion knowing much more about McCains "personal" values as opposed to his "personal" stories...What a missed opportunity!

    August 17, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. eyecon2all

    I am almost sure he had the questions in advance!!! I do commend him for admitting the failure of his first marriage as one of his greatest moral failures. But in all honesty it seemed like Mccain was speaking directly to American public as opposed to Obama's intimate conversation with Pastor Warren. The Republican brand are champions of playing to the emotions & hearts of the American electorate,(Gay marriage is a prime example of this) while the Democrats state the facts, and let the public decide, thats a bad strategy for the Dems!!!!

    August 17, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Phyllis/ PA

    I am one of the Hillary supporters who was trying to decide if I would stay home or vote for McCain. Well, after last night I have decided that I could vote for McCain. In fact, I decided that I must vote for McCain. Why? Many reason but #1 is that Obama just lacks the experience to guide us through our difficult times. Interesting point. When asked why he would not have put Thomas on the supreme court, Obma said: because he lacked the experience ! This is a quote from the man who has zero experience !

    August 17, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Obama's response was NOTmeandering, to this question, if you listen to what he said, and deeper than McCain's. He named drugs and drink and the human reason, "selfishness".
    McCain admitted he divorced his wife, we all know that, but how does that now innoculate him politically from life long philandering? He never got into his moral faults on the question, like Obama did. What imperfections led him to cheat on a crippled wife and throw her over for a wealthy heiress? (Both his wives had political footings he built his career upon).
    Obama answered that question more deeply and completely.

    August 17, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. CW4Barack

    That was a lie, McBush was not in any cone of silence....he clearly had very prerehearsed answers and were rushing to get them out of his head before he forgot them.....this was such a Republican set up! This pastor should be ashamed!

    August 17, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. 57 yr old woman

    I admire McCain for mentioning that. He is a leader who needs to be elected.

    August 17, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Christian

    McCain didn't answer many of the question. However, that's a side issue for the media to argue. But the bigger point is that he cheated on his wife and I agree with Pastor Warren and will not vote for an adulterer.

    August 17, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Peachy Keen

    I think John McCain slid by that one pretty well.. 'The failure of my marriage' really candy coated what really happened to that marriage. He should have said 'the fact I'm a gigilo and cheated on, then dumped my severely injured wife for a blond chick with money so her father could support my first campaign, despite the fact she waited five years for me and raised our kids by herself'.

    That's what he should of said. The man is a snake. His fan club in that church slobbered over anything he said. McCain treated the whole thing like a stand up comedy routine. It also appeared he knew what the questions were going to be.

    August 17, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. maggie from L.A.

    Why isn't anyone calling him on that political dodge? He did the same thing that Edwards did, minus the baby.

    McCain had numerous affairs while his first wife was very sick. But the media seem to avoid this story as deftly McCain himself did last night.

    August 17, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Iowa Voter

    For those who thought McCain was given the questions ahead of time, please take a chill pill. You are not only bad mouthing McCain but also a man of God. It was known before hand that McCain was not going to be able to hear the questions or Obama's answers. Are you perhaps angry because your "savior" did such a poor showing? It just shows that Obama's groupies are very young and inexperieced. Oh one more thing – they are very angry and hateful. Just look at all of their postings.

    August 17, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Daki

    It is funny how Candy Crowley says Obama danced around Questions when he was very revealing,but John McCain says my marriage failed and neglects to say his biggest moral failing was his infedelity,cheating on his crippled wife.McCain keeps touting his military career,it would sure be nice for the media to look into this .Give me some answers about songbird McCain or that he graduated 454 out of 459 students in the navy academy.Google"Songbird McCain".

    August 17, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Crowley your Clinton heart is showing

    Candy..I have always noticed how you sway away from Obama at any chance you have. I find your reporting bias and it seems like since Hillary lost you are holding your personal feelings about that close relationship you share with the Clintons in the way of your reporting. That is my opinion only.

    "John McCain was on game"..the man had memorized every response which in itself was a miracle.. but he was the same old ,same old ....well we could always use him as a WMD and send him to the country du jour he wants to blow up.. he can BORE them to death with his war tales..YAWN!

    August 17, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Captliz

    I had to comment on John McCain. Eight year ago I was a McCain fan, but in the last few years he has gone into say anything mood and last night was no exception, He rushed to answer questions with a short answers, and then went right into his politcal stump speach. I will agree that Sen McCain more outgoing and we got a chance to hear his sea stories, But there was no real depth to his answers.

    With Sen Obama he may not have the sea stories, but he answered the questions. And he seemed honest, insightful and as he said people may not agree with him but he seemed to be more truthful.
    and afterall is that not what we want in our commander and chief.
    Someone who think.s not just carries a big stick.

    August 17, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. A CANUCK

    That was a disingenuous answer to say the least.....in other words he is an old liar !!!!!

    August 17, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. pb

    How amazing that McCain did not tell all of the truth regarding his moral deficiency with his failed marriage with Carol McCain. What he did not say was that he committed adultery with Cindy McCain while still married to a wife who was physically impaired from an accident. So much for integrity, character and moral values!. Let's get all of the in regards to Obama, but WILL NOT elaborate on McCain's shortcomings. CNN...this is not responsible and balanced journalisism! SHAME ON YOU!

    August 17, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Marie-Lynn

    Well well well... what is that mean????. Meaby bleaming his ex wife is a good strategy...

    August 17, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Mike, Vancouver BC

    Sounds like Hillary when she found her voice. John probably lost track of all the belongings that he and his wife sued each other over and then mama McCain sued the ex to get what she got from John. No wonder this was his greates failure. His mama had the last say........

    August 17, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Matt

    Mccain did well, very direct and concise and came across as a regular person who has lived. Obama hesitated too much and takes the grey position on many issues. As a leader, decisions has to be made and decisive moves has to be owned...how can obama leads if he has not decided on what he stands for...as he obviously showed last night.

    August 17, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Sherry, Atlanta

    MCCAIN SHOULD HAVE ADDED HIS INVOLVEMENT OF 'SAVINGS AND LOAN'. IT RESULTED IN MANY ELDERLY AMERICAN'S COMMITTING SUCIDE!

    August 17, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. nancy

    YOU MEAN 'HIS FAILURE' TO STAND BY HIS WIFE WHEN SHE BECAME DISABLED – EVEN AFTER SHE STOOD BY HIM WHEN HE BECAME A DISBALED VET.

    YEAH – FOR BETTER OR WORSE, JOHN. BUT SHE DIDN'T HAVE MONEY, EITHER.

    August 17, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. I Don't Believe This

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

    There are three distincts questions/comments that lets me know either (1) Sen. McCain listened to the questions during Sen. Obama's session or (2) Sen. McCain already had the questions.

    Go back and view/listen:
    1. When he jumped ahead and mentioned something about the supreme court justices he would not have appointed;
    2. When he jumped ahead to answer re: Georgia; and
    3. When Rick Warren pointedly told him – "This is a question I did not get to ask Sen. Obama." Notice how Sen. McCain stammered at that question because it was one he had not heard before.

    August 17, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. McCain=the draft

    And that was all McCain said about his moral failing...six words! He didn't elaborate or wasn't asked to. He got off easy, once again!

    Obama, on the other hand, elaborated on his moral failing and gave an honest, indepth answer.

    Why was it Obama was asked NOT to give his stump speech by Warren, but he allowed McCain to... ad nauseum?

    It's so obvious Rick Warren and Candy Crowley are big fans of McCain!

    August 17, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Indra in FL

    I wonder if the "pin drop" effect was related to what Roland Martin said yesterday on CNN about people wanting to hear if he'd admit to having an affair with Cindy.

    I've read little about it. His first wife respects his privacy and they're still friends, I think. It is my understanding that John McCain denies having an affair, but I've also heard the timing of his divorce compared to when he says he met Cindy and started the relationship indicate that there was infidelity. It's a sad story and my heart went out to his first wife.

    August 17, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. MM

    Yes you could hear a pin drop. But then he moved on and didn't go into any depth which was very disappointing.

    McCain didn't have to be put into a "cone of silence" because he really didn't go into depth with any of his answers, and then would keep on talking about what he wanted to talk about.

    August 17, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. L

    who cares. it was 24 years ago, after spending 5 years as a pow, things change and i dont think many can make their marriage work after this long break. he is now happily married with 4 children. its a non-issue and i laugh when the libs try to bring it up like the media should be jumping all over it

    August 17, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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