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. S. Holt

    Go Obama, you've got to get tough. Have no mercy and take no prisoners. All the Republicans do is attack, attack. You can retailiate so intelligently and still talk about the issues. I love it. I can't wait until she opens her mouth to say an intelligent thought.

    September 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Orlando O.

    This is an extremely misleading headline that should be revised. It insinuates the Senator Obama made the comment. He did not. Why does Obama has to apologize for things that other people did. Did McCain have to disavow Congressmen Wemoreland calling the Obamas uppity. Did McCain have to denounce Daddy Yankee's lyrics after he endorsed McCain. Where's the apology for the misleading ad that McCain put out stating that Obama paid for sex education for kindergarteners. Even though that was education to prevent kids from predators.

    September 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. Dewey

    No Sally, I doubt a even a majority of the people that come on here have enough evil in their hearts to think like that. Could you say that to Sarah Palin if you met her in person?

    September 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. georgia independent

    Why is Obama somehow responsible for what a party leader in SC said? I don't get it... Has anyone asked McCain to apologize for the Republican nutcases who say slanderous or just stupid things?

    Perhaps it would have been better to have said that Ms. Palin wouldn't have been at the top of the list if she:

    – wasn't female
    – didn't have a strong anti-abortion stance
    – didn't have a special needs child
    – didn't have a daughter that has sinned, but isn't having an abortion
    – didn't advocate gun ownership
    – didn't kill moose
    – wasn't a friend to the oil and gas lobby...

    If experience was the issue – she would still be in Alaska shooting or snowmobiling or getting paid to live in her home by Alaska government. Those per diems add up...

    September 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Independent woman voter

    How dare this people demand an apology for this. Sara Palin owes me , my 17 years old daughter (who is not pregnant and is getting ready to go to college) and also the millions of mothers and teens in this country who believes that is not ok to have sex and get pregnant during your teenage years an apology.
    Are these Hypocrites republicans going to tell our teenagers once and for all that is wrong going around having sex, not using protection, exposing them self to STDs, that at 17 they suppose to be finishing high school and thinking about college, or they will continue telling is ok as long as you keep the baby.
    I am independent with conservative values but this republican nonsense and standing up for just the values convenient for them, makes me feel sick.
    Obama or his campaign will not say it because is not politically correct but I had it enough is enough with all this double standard.

    September 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. Lola

    Sally U R the type of person who fails to respect people and their choices. Great leaders make choices everyday on how to fullfill all their duties and have their lives mean more than what biology meant for them. Sarah is good leader, a strong, smart, high achieving person who isalso a mother. She has said that she has the support and help of her family. It does seem that they are a close family and support each other. May Sarah continue ways to find meanginful ways to be more than a uterous while pursuing her dreams as a human being. She is lucky to have such a greatly supportive family and ought to take advantage of it. We only live once and good for her she is trying to make a difference.

    September 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. whybuffetmatters

    This Lindsay Graham should ask the guy who said to apologize. This is ridiculouos how the right wing bible thumpers are going after Obama. I am increasingly moving away from my Republican party. Graham made incredible accusation about Obama's partiotism and his wife. Graham proved he a sexist and a racist. BTW – anyone who talks about Trig the baby are inhuman and obnoxious. Leave this baby out of this discussion. Likewise, whether a family chooses to have a baby with down syndrome is their choice. We were told that we had 20% probabilty of down syndrome. We said screw it and we will have this baby and deal with that. If anyone told us to get abortion I would have slapped and kicked them. So, I am pro-life for myself but I don't care about other families. So, leave that baby alone.

    September 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. That's Reality

    No Sally we are not thinking the same thing. if Sarah was an opportunist she would have aborted her baby. You libs just don't get it. What is the difference between surrogates taking care of her baby and government funded daycare taking care of him? The difference is Sarah will have time to take care of him and the "surrogates" will do the housework.

    CNN, I'm taking time to write for your blog; how about the courtesy of posting this one since it is the second time I've tried. Please.

    September 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Lone Star Wolf

    YOU OBAMA SUPPORTERS ARE IDIOTS IF YOU THINK SARAH PALIN IS NEGLECTING ANYONE. SHE CAN BE A CONSCIENTIOUS PARENT JUST AS HER HUSBAND SHOULD BE. SHE HAS THE RIGHT AND THE SAME RIGHT AS ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL IN THE COUNTRY TO SEEK A PROFESSION WHETHER IT BE A DOCTOR, LAWYER, SECRETARY OR ANY OTHER PROFESSION. DOES A DOCTOR WHOSE TIME IS NEVER HER OWN NEGLECT HER CHILDREN I DOUBT NOT. WHETHER A NANNY OR AUNT, MOTHER-IN-LAW TAKES CARE OF THE CHILD IT IS BEING TAKEN CARE OF. A MOTHER'S DUTIES IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A FATHERS. THIS IS COMING FROM A WHITE MALE EX 51-YEAR USED TO BE DEMOCRAT. WHO WILL WALK ON THE OTHER SIDE. BECAUSE I HAVE CHOSE MORALS OVER CORRUPTION.

    September 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Lynn E

    The woman had a child. There was no reason that abortion had to be an option. Kids with Down's Syndrome are around and they are often wonderful people. Talk about bringing love and joy into the family, why not?

    September 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Frankie

    Ditto Sally. My thougths exactly.

    September 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. Jake

    Wow Sally that takes some stones to think you speak for "us all". You do not speak for me. I am a life long conservative DEM who has not gotten on the OBAMA band wagon. For one reason he is an opportunist, who gave a great speech, and then decided he was going to run for PRESIDENT after only 18 years in office.
    I think you are deplorable to call a woman who chose not to have an abortion an opportunist. I feel sorry for you.

    September 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. NORA, FLORIDA

    Ok CNN, Please post my previous comment for this blog. If you all are chicken to say what needs to be said, then don't take away the viewers civil liberties!!!!

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. Roz, IL

    senator graham i denounce you. i an american citizen approve of this message. this is really getting stupid.

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. COUNTRY FIRST McCAIN / PALIN

    You far left democrates and stupid kool-aide drinkers are without a doubt the scum at the very bottom of the barrel.
    You people are very sick. You call Sarah Palin everything in the book because the American people finally see a worthwhile person to join John McCain and you can't stand it. You're all like a bunch of rats on a sinking ship.
    This race will be over in a couple of months but you people will be slugs for the rest of your life. The misfits that just mill around at the edges of a proper society. God, not only would I hate to be you people I would not even want to know you people. Worthless space takers.

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. B.I.G

    With all of the issues that we in South Carolina is faced with, large population without healthcare, High Foreclosure rate, High STD rate you would think that Graham would spend more time trying to improve the life of South Carolinians. What a joke this guy is!

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. Patty

    Antoher woman who didn't have an abortion was Obama's mother when she was an unmarried pregnant teenager. I guess her story doesn't interest you.

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Just Plain Tired - St. Louis

    Another republican distraction. Nobody is going to apologize to you selfish tight butt windbags. News flash: You aren't special, and you should be able to take as good or BAD as you give! Little Miss Governor is allegedly a shotgun toting, scorpion tongued Pitbull in lipstick. Surely she can take it like one. Please, get over yourselves while everyone else gets over your whole doggone ill-principled "pre-Civil War" party. Did you get this insult too?

    September 10, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Silky Terrier K

    Obama is for women's choice. That is so important. He is not advocating abortion. He is advocating women's choice-because he cares about women and women's issues. Contrast that with McCain who is taking this woman away from her children that she choose to have to win an election. He is using her. For his gain. 44 yr old women ususally don't have an infant,but she does. SHe chose that.SHe ready failed on her two oldest children. They are uneducated,discarded children. There is no defense to that. None. She has only had this baby 4 months. She has no idea what his true needs are. She is uneducated. An infant needs her mother. She went back to work after 3 days.Pitiful, unwise,unsafe,unstable.

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Frank

    Democrats are sick, twisted and out of their minds! Vote out all Democrats and send that Liberal party a clear message...Americans do not want this garbage!!

    September 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. mabel floyd

    mcCain's campain was dying because he is a boring and unattractive candidate. he is a noun, a verb and hanoi hilton. he had to find some way to appeal to the evangelicals who could care less about the country or anything else except abortion and getting rid of roe v/s wade===hence sarah. lies she has told make no difference to these people - she did not sell the plane–did not get rid of the chef(she did change his title)she charged per diem for living at home–believes in creationism and against stem cell research so she is perfect for this type of person.
    these people can not discuss issues so sarah whines when she thinks whinnig will get sympathy and they attack when they want to play pitbull–lies and thinks she does lnot have to talk to the media in a non scriped interview. someone should tell the women that if she wants to play on the big boy turf she can't run away and whine when she is found out and called on her lies.
    picking sarah is an insult to women–
    last election the thought was to pick someone we could have a beer with so a dummy who was is a dry alcoholic was picked and even the repubs admit he was a disaster -now some people are enthralled with a lying self styled pit bull-wake up people before it is too late–this is not a game-it would be nice to have a pres smarter than a pit bull and i do not want to have a beer with any of them–i want a pres than will be able to run the country and not pander to the red necks.

    September 10, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. truth now

    I'm sorry! You people have put this woman on some type of pedestal that she does not belong on. If it were anyone else's kids running around tampering with the brakes on school buses or snorting, eating or shooting drugs. How about drinking and having sex without protection? What happened to the family values.

    People keep saying that she is a good mother and maybe the father can stay home and care for the children. Well, evidently that is not working because her kids are out of control. So you can get mad at me if you want but, someone should have been home with her unholy kids.

    Then you sit and spin this mess for political gain and try to make people believe these are the kids from Father Knows Best. Please!

    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Rachel

    When will the GOP Pigs apologize and denounce crude and untrue statements that they've made? Ummmm...never. So why should Obama? Keep it rolling guys, you don't owe Palin anything. The statement is basicly true. She is McCain's pick to appeal to the right extremist. It's a mirage, smoke and mirrors, a trick , by a party who wants to hang on to control and screw this country up even further in the process. We all know that politicians make promises, sometimes tell untruths, but this is the most BULLDOODY I've seen in a long time. I'm offended, as a woman, to see this mess. She is scary. Wake up people. I don't want a frickin hockey mom, I want intelligence, integrity (she fights too dirty to have it), and some good sound judgment to lead America and to deal with leaders from other countries. Enough is enough!

    September 10, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. Law

    I can not believe as a woman herself, she does not stand with women's right. If a woman had been raped, she can not have an abortion? Palin might support the idea that the woman should marry the man who made the baby!!

    September 10, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. Jeb

    Graham, quit saying what Karl Rove tells you to say. You are just a pawn on his chessboard.

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