September 10th, 2008
06:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Graham calls on Obama to denounce 'abortion' comment

Sen. Graham, center, has been one of Sen. McCain's most ardent supporters and outspoken surrogates throughout the election season.
Sen. Graham, center, has been one of Sen. McCain's most ardent supporters and outspoken surrogates throughout the election season.

(CNN) - South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham – a major McCain surrogate – called on Barack Obama to condemn a comment by the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party that suggested Sarah Palin’s decision not to have an abortion led to her selection as the Republican VP nominee.

Earlier in the day, Carol Fowler told a Politico reporter that Palin’s addition to the ticket would not help John McCain attract women voters, and that he had picked a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Graham told reporters on a campaign conference call organized by the new “Palin Truth Squad” that only “only blinded partisan people” could fail to appreciate Palin’s qualifications, and said Obama needed to denounce Fowler’s remark.

Listen: Graham holds conference call with reporters

"I hope he will take this opportunity to step out and get this campaign back on track and reject this really outrageous, demeaning statement of someone who’s accomplished a lot in her life," said Graham.

The Obama campaign quickly moved to distance itself from Fowler’s comment. "Carol Fowler was speaking for herself. Her comments do not reflect our views in any way," said spokesman Hari Sevugan.

Fowler herself apologized late Wednesday, and said her remark had been misinterpreted. "I personally admire and respect the difficult choices that women make everyday, and I apologize to anyone who finds my comment offensive. I clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue. Whether it’s the environment, the economy, the war or a woman’s right to choose, there are people who will cast their vote based on a single issue. That was the only point I was attempting to make."

The conference call was part of a sustained McCain campaign effort to paint Palin as the victim of attacks connected to the Obama campaign. Earlier in the day, they released a Web ad that repeated their claim that Barack Obama’s lipstick comment had been aimed at the Alaska governor, even though he used it in reference to John McCain’s policies, not Palin.

But the campaign was forced to pull the ad from YouTube after CBS objected to its use of a clip of Katie Couric commenting on Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. That distinction was not made in the ad, which implied that Couric was criticizing attacks aimed at Sarah Palin.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (478 Responses)
  1. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    No! No apology!

    The GOP Smear machine is a two-headed beast, snarling and spewing lies with one head and sniveling and demanding apologies with the other.

    No apology!

    PARTY OF WHINERS!

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. TonyinKentucky

    No one cares what "Light in the loafers" Lindsay has to say.

    How about this, Republicans should announce that they repudiate the way they've mismanaged our country for the past eight years and we'll think about it.

    September 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Rebecca

    SILLY....SILLY SEASON!!!
    NEW FACTCHECK.ORG .....

    McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding
    September 10, 2008
    Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn't come from Obama.
    Summary
    A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama's attacks on Palin "absolutely false" and "misleading." That's what we said, but it wasn't about Obama.

    Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

    The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background." The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to "dig dirt."

    September 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. Mrs. Rivers

    The Republican party is flaunting Sarah Palin around like a showpiece that nobody can touch but them. I hope she knows she's being played like a puppet. They didnt pick her for her brains - they picked her to be a distraction. No matter what any politician says (even if its correct) it will always be used as 'picking on', victimizing, and being sexist towards Ms. Palin. quite pathetic when you think about it.

    September 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Eleanor

    who cares what suck up Lindsay graham thinks
    Hes just another lap pup for McWar like Lieberman

    For Gods sake america focus on the real presidential candidate!!!
    So pathetic MCWar is not even popular enough on his own to draw crowds he has to depend on a woman who is inexperienced and
    not all she is cracked up to be
    If your not terrified this woman will be a heart beat away from the presidency you SHOULD be

    September 10, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Arizonan for Obama

    It seems that the Rethuglicans are getting what they long deserved and they don't like it. But oh its okay to call a Democrat every name in the book. I guess they(Rethuglicans) can dish it but not take. They are such whiny crybabies

    September 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. James

    NO! This is America, we have the first amendment, AND we can say whatever we want and share our opinions any way we want (as long as it does not put people in harms way)

    I am really starting to hate this election. NOT ONCE have i heard any real polices or plans from either canidate! PLUS i thought our forfathers sought a country that was not oppressed by religious persecution. WHAT HAS THIS COUNTRY BECOME!

    HOW STUPID ARE YOU PEOPLE!!!????!!!

    the truth is right infront of you. CHNAGE is not coming from either one of these canidates. They are just pretty words (FROM BOTH!) and niether one of these men will SAVE US!

    NIETHER ONE IS TELLING ME HOW THEY ARE GOING TO HELP MY FAMILY OR LOWER GAS OR HELP ME PAY FOR COLLEGE!

    THIS GREAT COUNTRY THAT IS FALLING APART!!!!

    VOTE WITH YOUR HEARTS<<<< VOTE WITH YOUR MIND<<<<<< DONT JUST VOTE FOR YOUR PARTY<<<<< WE ARE THE CHANGE!!!!!!!! OBAMA AND MCCAIN CANT SAVE US<<<<<< ONLY WE CAN SAVE US!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. NoGOP

    Now there's a true Rebel that probably still considers people in the north as "Yankees." His backwards, degenerative thinking resembles the right-wing conservative autocracy, and simply knows how to survive in a stupid world sliding down a slippery slope.

    September 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. AJ

    The comment by SC Democratic Chair was disgusting (I am a liberal). Having migrated to this country many years ago, I really feel sorry I did so for the first time in my life. The politics in this country has become so dirty and awful that nobody cares what happens to the country and lives of majority of people in this country. The campaigns are talking about trivial things like lipsticks, pigs, fish and pitbulls. The whole campaign about "country first" , qualifications for commander in chief, economy, heathcare, education, uplifting lives of 90% of people rather than 10% of the people is in the gutter. Even the senators and U.S. representatives have become pitiful in arguing about trivial things that have nothing to do with day to day life of majority of the people. In short this election has become in one word – disgusting.

    September 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. MD for Obama

    TO SALLY FROM CALI:

    You are absolutely right! I WAS thinking the same thing!

    September 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Cindy

    While I admire Sarah Palin for her decision to keep Trig, I fail to appreciate her qualifications. Chosing not to abort, while admirable, it does not qualify someone for the job of Vice President.

    Sarah Palin also chose to use Trig in her speeches. If she truly wanted discussions about her family to be off limits, she shouldn't use them as props in her speeches. Palin's a candidate for the second highest position in the country. Stop treating her like a China doll; let her speak for herself, with her own words. Voters need to hear her, not her speechwriters.

    September 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Nathan.

    Why does everyone expect Obama to denounce every single "bad" thing? Too much else to worry about. Especially when it's true......

    September 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. FlaDem

    Ya gotta have a sense of humor....

    September 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. DeVone

    what make folk say palin was a good pick ,not to be sexes but
    if mccain demise and that 3am call come, and her son needs
    her as well,palin better have her focas on her son who needs her most what moral do we as a country have kick your kid to the side
    VP maybe president america be foreal socor mom so what game
    was grandmom to be at my point is not bashing but this lady
    has to many responsibilities for this job govenor of alaska ok
    this country is in a tragic mess of 8 years of poor managment
    forget ginder forget race forget mccain because he is all so a mess
    he thinks we owe him A MERICA LETS BE FOR REAL

    September 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. PALIN'S PORK

    Taking or requesting “pork barrel” monies for state improvements, is neither illegal or immoral.

    Lying about taking and requesting the monies is immoral. If you are a Republican, you will have to Google "immoral" for the definition.

    September 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. Peter of Oregon

    what did lead to her selection?

    September 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Debby

    Oh brother why are these Dems. so idiotic.

    September 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Independent

    Why are you people being so nit picky???? Is this some of that slime ball Karl Rove at work????? I don't trust you or believe you when you say he isn't in charge....BS......

    Why don't you people get on with the people's work...the only reason you are doing all of this snipping is to keep from talking about the real problems...such as $407 Billion dollars in debt!!!!!!!!!! No Child left behind is a joke, our economy is in a dive, more people are loosing their jobs, jobless up 6.1% and you are snipping over what so and so said....GET OVER IT!!!!!!

    McLame said he was going to run a clean campaign....he said tonight on the news that he didn't like the negative ads.....HHHEEELLLOOOO, who started them, who is running the most negative ads....tell you what, they are all lies, when they come on, I move to another station, I refuse to listen to all those lies...Marverick, HA!!!!!!! The Lipstick thing...you said it to Hillary...so is this a double standard....it is ok for you to say it, but not Obama???? I'm an Independent, I have been sitting on the fence watching both sides and trust me...I have fallen over to the Obama side.....

    September 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Teresa, Georgia

    Give me a break with the McCain distracting tactics...Obama and the American people have too rise above this BS! and we will!!! .

    September 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Ken - Florida

    More crap to divert the issues being discussed in the Presidential election.

    If Lindsey Graham really cares about a comment by the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party that suggested Sarah Palin’s decision not to have an abortion led to her selection as the Republican VP nominee, he should address the source of the comment, the South Carolina Democratic Party.

    Let's save the candidates time to discuss issues such as illegal immigration, inflation, jobs and immigration visas, and other issues the candidates won't discuss..

    September 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Regina

    i choked at the remark by Macain, that His VP will meet the Media when they think she's ready. EXCUSE ME but isn't she running for VP of th Repubilcan Office of VP, she should have been ready the minute she left the floor of the RNC Coinvention. Once again she has to be prepared and scripted by the behind the scenes man, you all know who.!

    September 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. William

    I'm sick and tired of the news media simply re-labeling the campaigns' conference calls and talking points and calling them "news stories." This is rediculous. When was the last time we saw a story that DIDN'T cite or originate with a statement from one of the campaigns.

    HOW ABOUT YOU DO YOUR OWN REPORTING, CNN? It's called journalism, and it's critical to the survival of the Republic. You should get on your horses and try it someday.

    September 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Barbara

    Obama doesn't owe anyone anything at this time. Graham can go kiss a$$ in SC. He is a hoax.

    September 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. choice

    It was her choice to have her child, and I respect that.

    On the same token, you have to give others who dont agree with you the same CHOICES as well.

    I honestly feel if her child were not special needs, she would be at home (instead of a care giver) raising him.

    September 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Nana

    Carol Fowler is only stating the obvious. If republicans can't face that fact then too bad. nobody cares but them.

    September 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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