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. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    How did Sara Palin know that her unborn child had Down's Syndrome before the delivery. I'm not certain now, but I'm quite certain the at one time the only way prenatal Sown's Syndrome could be diagnosed was by amniocentisis. Just curious that an avid prolifer would have the procedure done in the first place.

    September 10, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Donna

    Obama does NOT have to apologize for everything a DEMOCRAT says...McCain doesn't do it....go after Fowler, not Barack...geesh!!!

    September 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Sandy

    FAMILY BEFORE STATUS. PALIN IS BEING USED BY MCCAIN AND SHE SHOULD KNOW THAT.

    September 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. Carol

    Oh, c'mon, this is getting ridiculous.

    No one is allowed to say anything about her but she is qualified to lead the country and tangle with Russia, N. Korea, Iran, China, etc. etc.? I don't think that those guys are going to mince words, or actions, to avoid hurting her feelings.

    I am so sick of this crap I could scream. She wants to be a pitbull and attack others with empty words and lies, but everyone else has to treat her with kidd gloves.

    This gimmick choice is wearing thin, guys. McCain has sold his soul to try to win this election. I hope he goes down in flames.

    September 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. Mike

    I know many americans are very concerned about critical issues such as holding on to their homes, trying to save enough to pay for their children'scollege, holding on to their jobs, etc...
    It's shameful that the Presidential Election has spiraled out of control and it now it appears that we're locked into a personality contest. Has this turned into American Idol???

    THIS ELECTION IS CRUCIAL & IN LIGHT OF ALL THE MAJOR ISSUES, I WOULD HOPE THAT WE GET BACK TO THE ISSUES AND MAYBEE, JUST MAYBE WE CAN ALL WIN!!!

    September 10, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. Wally

    The truly ironic thing about this election is that it's folks like Sally from Cali and her comments (above) that are basically giving the republicans a fighting chance to win this presidential race.

    Thanks, Sally! Keep up the good work!

    Wally

    September 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Ana

    In Spanish we call this " pataleo de ahogao" the democrats are drowning and in order to grasp some air are stepping on anyone. Palin has way far more accomplishments than Obama.

    September 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. ES

    Why are others defending her, CAN'T SHE TALK FOR HERSELF...
    Gee-whiz... Its stupid and it is reverse sexism on the McCain team.
    Quit painting her as a victim. I thought she was a pitbull ...

    September 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. CGP

    Sadly, Sally, you're right....

    September 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Jill, Oregon

    Sally-you are a jerk. Sarah Palin at 44 has been a Mayor, a Governor,
    and has had time to have five kids. It's unlikely your qualifications and accomplishments come anywhere near this.

    McCain/Palin 08'

    Sarah Palin 12 & 16'

    September 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. andy

    I know the kids are supposed to be off limits, but I would really love to interview Bristol Palin and ask...
    1. Did you really not use contraception by choice? or because your mum said so?
    2. Do you really want to get married?
    3. Do you really want to keep the baby?
    4. Did your mum even ask your opinion on these things?

    ...Then I'd like to ask her Fiance the same questions.

    Although a lot of us would like to know these things... I agree with Barack that family (expecially kids) should be off limits.

    September 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. NObama

    And Obama's only qualifications come from a book the wrote about himself.

    Last time a nation elected a man that tooted his own horn in a book about his struggles, the world got Hitler.

    September 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Liz

    Yes, let's keep Barack Obama talking about anything but how to fix what's wrong with America...because if we talk about issues, he will win hands down.

    September 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. Used to Respect McCain

    Sigh. Here we go again. Is this the smoke screen to keep the Rethuligans from discussing the issues tomorrow? I would have thought they'd have chosen to further politicize 9-11 like during their convention. McCain has oficially lost my vote....and my respect.

    September 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. james

    Dear Mr. McCain Sir, if your VP can not take the heat , then get out of the kitchen. If she cann't handle something as simple of a person comment, how in the world she will be able to handle the world outthere.

    God help American, if something happens to you and Sara become a President.

    September 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. gene

    Well... considering the "republican base" and evangelicals that were all screaming that McCain better not take Ridge or Leiberman because they were pro-choice... and everyone in the media saying the exact same thing.. how can that comment not be appropriate? People have a problem hearing the truth when it's not politically correct.

    September 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Further, John McCain should know a wolf when he sees one because he hunted women like a wolf in heat while he was married until he caught Cindy in his snarl.

    September 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. uwjeff

    No Sally, It appears you can't read all our minds out here....because I'm thinking Sarah Palin will be our next Vice President and very possibly the first female President of the United States........and that you are a very bitter and ignorant individual to make the comment you have made about her Love and devotion to her child...............so there.

    September 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. al

    Why is John McCain hiding behind Sarah Palin's skirt, Sarah has 5 kids of her own she doesn't need another child.

    I thought John McCain was looking for a VP, now it turns out that he was really looking for a new mommy.

    September 10, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Judy, NY

    Sally-Sarah Palin has captured the hearts of middle America which is where the election will be decided.

    As a Wal-Mart mom, I can tell you that we will carry the election for McCain/Palin and we will do it quietly in the privacy of the booth.
    Further, we are not telling you now or will we tell you later why we are not voting for O-blah-blah-blah. You can figure it out while you watch Obama go down on election night.

    Sarah Palin 12& 16'

    September 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. Donna from Colorado Springs

    This is one subject that Obama needs to stay very far away from. No matter what he would say, he would be wrong! Run Barack........run very fast!

    September 10, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  22. Independent Thinker

    It is not Obama's job to babysit every democrat in this country. The last time I checked, there exists a first amendment right to free speech! Just like rebublicans to censor statements they do not like. So it was in bad taste, this entire election with McCain and Palin is in bad taste. I really wish this were just a bad joke, but it's real. McCain and Palin present a very real threat to our nation and our rights. Just because her attempt to ban books failed does not mean that she didn't try.

    September 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. from ohio

    Agreed 100% ......
    I am a mom and she is one of the worst and most selfish mother ever ...abusing her own children dragging onto the arena of dirty politics.... I won't be surprised that that poor baby was drugged during the convention and the pregrant girl is forever shamed by her own mother. Just aweful that American women're falling for such an aweful abusive and fake act!!!!

    wake up America! we need a cultural revolution here...no more cheap low dirty fights, words like Jerry Springer stuff....

    September 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. MOST IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE AGENTS FROM HELL

    YALL GOT BIGGER ISSUES THAN THIS YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY THERE ARE NEW PICTURES OF McSAME HIMSELF CELEBRATING HIS BIRTHDAY IN 2006 ON THE YAHT OF THE CELEBRITY CON MAN THAT WAS CHARGED TODAY! AND WHAT ABOUT PALIN, NOW DIDN'T THE JUDGE TELL HER NOT TO BOTHER HER BROTHER IN LAW LONG BEFORE SHE WAS GOV.? WHY YES HE DID, BUT DID THAT STOP HER NO, THERE ARE PLENTY OF EMAILS SHOWING SHE WAS VERY ACTIVELY PRESUING AN ATTACK ON HIM!

    SOMETHING BETTER THAN THIS NONSENSE GO TO MSNBC TO WATCH TONIGHT'S SHOWS, THEY ARE VERY INFORMATIVE!

    September 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. WORKING MOTHER

    Palin CHOSE not to have an abortion, BUT TO GIVE BIRTH
    TO A CHILD THAT SHE WOULD USE AS A POLITICAL MEAL TICKET.At this time SHE IS NOT TREATING HER CHILD AS A GOOD MOTHER. No wonder her young unmarried 17yr got pregnant DUE TO HER LACK OF SUPERVISION AND LOVE. Palin is A LOUSY MOTHER. A pit-bull WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER MOTHER.

    September 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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