August 17th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
10 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. Vera /AB. Canada

    Of course McSame would bring his divorce out but you notice he did not say he was having a affair while his wife was in hospital after an accident and she was in a wheel chair ,how come he did not come out with that and that he sniffed money .He is for himself and only himself. How come cnn you have not brought this out, it is out there .

    Obama 08/12

    August 17, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Chicago Architect

    Please remember the lasttime America elected a president they would feel great having a beer with…8 years of despair and decline, not to mention 7 years of war.

    McCain makes it sound so great, how he "suffered" in Vietnam, even if other supporting facts say otherwise (Google Songbird McCain).

    Ms. Crowley, please get over Hillary's loss and be OBJECTIVE in your reporting.

    The only hit Obama has in my opinion is his pro-choice stance, which is mainly party based. McCain recently said that he would be open to a VP who is pro-choice. So this essentially makes them the same in this issue. All the other issues are clearly in Obama's favor so please see McCain for what he really is, an extension of Bush's current administration.

    America, please don't buy into whatever McCain's selling, or else Its Bush all over again.

    August 17, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. TJ Williams

    I don't believe for one moment that John McCain heard those questions for the first time when he was on stage. That being said...I think the ACLU should be able to hold the same kind of "forum" with an audience full of Democrats and Independents. But that will NEVER happen because the MSM is in the pocket of corporations and it is to their best interest to keep Republicans in power. Let's See if CNN post this thought.

    August 17, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Tim

    CNN you keep deleting my comments. But that doesn't change the fact that McCain is an adulterer and will not get the Christian vote. Even Partor Warren when asked about the Edwards affair said it was an issue of trust and he would have a problem with voting for an adulterer. I agree with Pastor Warren.

    August 17, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Greg FL.

    Well we all knew he was going to say his first marriage, but what I want to know is the why. He answered questions with a yes or no and then jumped into a story. Then he swayed back to the stump. He gave no reasons or explanations to any answer. Almost like the only thing we need to know is what he says and that's it. He is very Bush like in many ways and that scares me.

    Oh and Cindy, there was nothing compelling about an answer everyone knew was coming. And your bias rivals some of the Fox Anchors.

    August 17, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Pat

    McShame is so full of it I don't know how he managed to sit for the so called Forum! His greates failing as he stated on the Forum ("the failure of my first marriage") was not his greatest failing until it made Headlines! If it was his greatest failing how come he doesn't even remember that he and his mother initiated a law suit against his former wife Carol? How great can his pain of his greatest failure be when he doesn't remember something so dominant?

    His questions were pre-read and his answers were pre-programmed. Do you take all viewers as fools? He was answering questions even before the Rev. could ask them! He is the biggest joke in Politics!

    August 17, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Amy, Boston Ma.

    What was McCain going to say? This was clearly a political move. He knows this is going to come out sooner than later so now by bringing this up he tries to make himself a hero. All of his responses were clearly rehearsed and all political. Obama was from his heart and spontaneous. I made up my mind last night it will be Obama getting my vote. I am against abortion however i will also defend a woman's decision to have the freedom to make her own choice. I also agree with Obama that determination of when life begins is beyond all of us and is left to higher being but of course McCain seems to think he is the "Almighty" as does George Bush!
    By the way it appears Candy with all of your articles on McCain you too along with evangelicals are in McCain's camp. I use to think you were an objective reporter. I do enjoy watching you so please get back to equal time for Obama as well.

    August 17, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. rentamob

    Maybe someone can explain why the enemy offered to send McCain home. Are we to believe he was so well liked . Ever man at the Hanoi Hilton didn't have a breaking point as he claimed in his book. Leave it to The Idiot Tube show us a picture, tell us what we see. When he was making the video shown around the world , speaking out against the war . Was he putting his country first , or trying to save himself. Surely his father and grandfather weren't pleased . Yet he came home to a Hero's welcome. He has never apologized for writing that lie . Does he even know of a fellow POW by the name of Fred V. Cherry. Name ,Rank , Serial # where have you heard that before.Even his mother said you will have to hold you nose to vote for this guy.

    August 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Paul from Texas

    The first true statement I have heard from McCain.

    August 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Ron L

    NEWS FLASH...not a big deal...50% of Americans marriages end in divorce..What would have made it news is if he would have said...I CHEATED ON MY FIRST WIFE AND GOT CAUGHT.

    August 17, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Montana is Obama Country

    Sorry John but could you elabroate more please.. Answer the question fully and in understanding..

    August 17, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Edith Arkansas

    Also McCain needs to clear up how the recent rumor got strated on the fact that he supposed to have had another affair with a woman worked for him he denied in a weak denial. Will the news media asked if he was telling the truth or in denial about the affair. The suspicion is that McCain will lie sa long as he can get away with it. ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATER.

    August 17, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Copperfield

    I was excited. I thought he was actually going to admit to his adultery in a conservative church!

    August 17, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Chipster

    Compelling? I would have called it "deceptive." Was the failure of his first marriage his greatest moral failing? He returned from the war to discover his beautiful tall wife had been disfigured in a terrible accident. Instead of being grateful that she was alive, he decided to find solace in the arms of other women. When he divorced his wife, he married Cindy (beautiful AND rich!) before the ink was dry on the divorce papers!

    Divorce wasn't his moral failure – callous disregard for his wife, adultery, shallowness, deceit...those come to mind.

    Has he changed? Maybe he doesn't chase women anymore but the fella who calls himself a "maverick" sure did a complete 180 with Bush. He's become a Bush lapdog and changed his positions on so many issues, I don't know if he can keep up.

    No, compelling isn't what I'd call it. I call it sugar-coating the truth or just plain deceit.

    August 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    mcCHEAT,whose fault was it?Can you tell the world more? Is any of the ten commandment less imperative? mcPRO:LIVE INDEED!

    August 17, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Tay

    What's funny to me is that McCain seems to be getting plenty of credit for talking about his failed marriage but if you think about it, it didn't come up prior to this whole John Edwards thing. And when he talked about it he didn't actually say how he failed his marriage. Most people now know that he cheated on his wife but I didn't even know that until this whole Edwards thing came out so it makes me wonder if he would have had the same answer for that question had people not start pointing the fingers at McCain the way they do Edwards. Although I do give McCain credit for not trying to lie about it and make excuses, I still don't think it would have come up if we didn't find out about John Edwards. Gotta admit that McCain has become a pro at playing the media. Congrats

    August 17, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Miriam

    McCain is a hipocrite. When he answered the question "What is his greatest moral failing". He committed adultery and left his wife when she needed. What a jerk

    August 17, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Mc same Straight?

    He simply admitted what we already knew. He has no morals when something he wants is in his sights.
    He will say and do whatever he thinks it takes to get what he wants...including the presidency.

    If he thinks the majority of his constituents want ham today.. then he is ordering ham & eggs. If he thinks that bacon is more popular next year.. then he is ordering bacon this time while critical of ham eaters.

    Whatever is best for John at that time is the direction he takes. When in doubt he goes Republikin. Which has been 90+% of his 26 years.

    A "maverick" less than 10% of the time..

    What a Myth..

    August 17, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    When a politician answers a question honestly, it is newsworthy, and a compelling moment? Are you in the media that far removed from everyday life?

    August 17, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. whotoo

    That was right. McCain greatest failure was his past marriage. Involving in adultery and then devoicing his wife who was involved in an accident to marry a wealthy woman. Pro-life!!! Ya right. Another failure is saying that Christains want to hear not need to hear.

    August 17, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Cognative Resonance

    I found this question particularly insughtful, moreso for John McCains answer that the question itself.

    I expected McCain to say that his statements to his North VIetnamese captors was his greatist moran failing. For Senator McCain to not atone for his, some would say, treason, by making statements and signing propaganda documents, in violation of the UCMJ, is more indicative of what I can expect from Him, then anything else that came out of this session.

    August 17, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Alice in Florida

    Aww, poor Bam Bam – when push came to shove, he lost again

    "Um, uh, duh," just doesn't cut it when running for the highest office in the land...

    No doubt, his stupidity was due to RACISM

    OF COURSE!!!! Why ELSE would this "highly educated" person appear to be a stumbling, bumbling IDIOT???????????

    Oh, well, according to the Obamabots, he was – LOL – "formulating" his answers

    He's a stumbling, bumblimg "um, uh, duh" RACIST SEXIST IDIOT

    I am SO GLAD that he can no longer play his "Ace in the Hole" – the RACE CARD

    It won't work against McCain

    Poor Bam Bam.......

    August 17, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. RJ, CA

    One thing was clear: Obama just doesn't like to COMMIT on any issue. That works for a college lecturer who wants to "challenge" his students to think for themselves — in a safe academic environment. But it is NOT the sign of a good leader — who must make decisions quickly and decisively — in the not-so-safe REAL world.

    And, yes, of course this audience was a pro-McCain audience — just as a union audience is ALWAYS pro-Obama.

    If Obama had agreed to joint townhall meetings with McCain, we would have had a more equitable picture — but he refused to do that. So quit your whining, Libs.

    August 17, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. sharcow

    If McCain was really in a "cone of silence" why did he answer one of the questions "yes...yes...and no" before the moderator had even asked the question, as soon as he heard the topic?

    August 17, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Bulldog

    How about not being a good father only being home on the weekends his entire life? Cindy was basically a single parent because John cared more about his political career than his own family. Cindy had two miscarriages by herself because John was too busy to be there with her. John was a schmuck and still is. I wouldn't trust him to watch my dog.

    August 17, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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