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. go away mongers Ventura ca

    Is this 2004?
    CAN WE TALK ISSUES???????
    I hope your swiftboasts SINK FAST and we can get back to what's important here..........OUR COUNTRY!

    September 10, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. Linda K.

    Poor little Sarah.

    These men have to defend her from the evil wolves lurking at her door, and yet they hope to put her second in line to the president.

    September 10, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. beartrack

    Because Palin is so unqualified for the office, all of this is just a smoke screen that Repugs are putting up to hide the fact they have no game. Sorry Sen. Graham but, "only blinded partison people" will vote for them. No intelligent person would ever fall for this low tactic

    September 10, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Holly from Minnesota

    The sooner we all stop paying attention to Palin's antics and start paying real attention to the presidential race and the ISSUES involved in this election, the better off we as a nation will be. Palin was picked because she is a distraction from the ISSUES, pure and simple. This is not American Idol–this is the future of our children at risk here!

    September 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. MarkieBee

    WHAT HAS SHE ACCOMPLISHED? I'd like to ask her. She ran up $22 million in debt for a town of 6,000. She kept our tax money for the bridge, which she lied about killing, and then gave it to the Alaskans as a form of bribery. She supported Ted Stevens and actually ran a 527 for him. So what EXACTLY has she accomplished?

    September 10, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. sarahdoodle

    Ooohhh - okay. Thanks

    September 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. peterline labranche

    Sarah Pollin is fake. The sooner America realizes this, the better off we'll be. The Obama campaign, i think has been fair throughout the whole election. If you ask me, i think the Mc.Cain campaign are being very unfair.Any body in their right mind would know Obama and Biden are the ones for the job. This lie is why we should really vote for Obama. If Mc.Cain can lie about this, God knows what else he can lie about to America! Bottom line is, if you're going to play a tough game, play it fair! God doesn't like ugly! OBAMA AND BIDEN ALLLLL THE WAY!

    September 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. rory ryan

    "THAT"S REALITY" WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

    September 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Cindy from NC

    Stop Freakin Apologizing to them Daggg... Everytime, he has to distance himself. They are hypocrites. They don't apologize for slamming your wife. They don't distance themselves from their crazy faith base, they don't do squat but tell you what to do.

    STOP FALLING FOR THIS CRAP....I am voting for BARAK but daggg.. where are the dems out attacking the hell out of the repub.s
    CNN POST THIS DAGGG>....

    September 10, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Dill

    Women should really look and think about the possibility that a woman is being exploited by the Republican party just to get back in the White House by using a female to to sway female voters. Have the Reoublicans really done anything for women in the past?

    September 10, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. Republican

    What goes on with a family and their own personal life is none of anyones business. Don't judge someone else until you have been in their shoes. Another thing, if you trust your child to go out on a date and later find out they are going to have a child don't try blaming someone else. It takes two. Also No one ever said it was ok to have sex out of wedlock but it does happen so blame no one except your own child. You pay the price and you must accept the responsibility of
    your own actions.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  12. Lynn Houston

    I wouldn't defend one thing!!! Pain takes the meaning of working mother to a hold new level. I don't care what anyone says but I guarantee that there is not one mother out there that would not say that something when trying to balance a career and motherhood. It is extremely difficult and one of the two will suffer at various points. I would have hoped that McCain would have considered that the VP job during these times will require more involvement than 'cutting ribbons'. This country needs prayer and strong committed leadership, where both roles bounce off each other. Just like children do and there is nothing like having YOUR Mother around instead of the NANNY all the time!!! McCain and his campaign are making a mockery out of this country and has slapped America in the face with his choice and Palin has slapped America and her children in the face. And if my boss says to me one time that the VP has 5 children and can balance things so "why can't I", I will slap him/her in the face with a 'don't go there'.....

    It's is SO critical that everyone read and research for themselves to learn and know the truth to make their own judgment. This is my opinion and you are entitled to yours. But, first listen and see for yourselves. Some strictly go off the bias media, no research, no nothing. Whatever Mike Gallegher says, Sannity says, Hush says or FOX says, goes!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. JASON FROM LOS ANGELES .

    IM GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF THESE REPUBLICANS ACTING LIKE BABIES !!!!
    OBAMA IS A GROWN AS MAN !!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. Carol

    Because Sarah Palin chose not to have an abortion does not make her a saint, that's a choice she had.
    If she gets into office, and my fervent hope is that will not be the case, women on the other side of the coin, who were raped by strangers or family members would never get the luxury of " CHOICE".
    Women of America think long and hard about that when you vote this Nov, your rights will be taken away totally by this woman.
    Shame on you supposedly " Hillary" supporters if you vote for this very sad ticket of Mc Palin.

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Alexander Vaul Vindur....Independent

    CNN...I wrote this comment hours ago and it is 'still awaiting moderation', aka you're censoring it. Please, with all due respect, post my comment? I like to think it's at least SOMEWHAT intelligent

    "Your comment is awaiting moderation."

    Oh come ON….are we seriously playing the 'I'm shocked and appalled' game again? Are these quotes really that disturbing?

    Let's look at this analytically. What type of message would have been given to social conservatives had Palin aborted her disabled child? Would that in any shape or form be REMOTELY attractive to the large evangelical base in this country? Of course not. Had she 'killed her fetus', she would appear to be a completely hypocritical (and *immoral*) Republican candidate. Was it 'politically incorrect' for Fowler to mention this? Perhaps…but that does not change the fact at how obvious it is, and to deny it is to deny the political rationality of the Republican base and why she was selected to be VP. Obviously she was not chosen just because she did not have an abortion (she was chosen because she's a woman and Hillary lost, not because she's qualified), that's simply the Republican reactionary spin on it. However, if she DID have the abortion, she would have NOT been picked, despite all her other political achievements, policy views, and who she is as a person. All of that would have been ignored had she decided the benefits of having her child were outweighed by the costs.

    One should never have to apologize for speaking the truth (perhaps that is why Republicans are becoming so offended at every utterance said by the Dems now?). What this country needs is a little less political correctness and a little more truth.

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. Rebecca

    Directly from McCain's mouth:

    “Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]
    “We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]
    “But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]
    "There's no doubt in my mind that we will prevail and there's no doubt in my mind, once these people are gone, that we will be welcomed as liberators." –on the Iraq war, "Hardball" interview, March 24, 2003
    "We're going to prevail and we will win and it'll be one of the best things that's happened to America and the world in a long time 'cause it'll reverberate throughout the Middle East." –on the Iraq war, "Meet the Press" interview, March 3, 2003
    "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father." –at a 1998 Republican fundraiser
    "Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'" –a joke McCain reportedly told during his first Senate race in 1986
    "The fact is that I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush. –"Meet the Press" interview, June 19, 2005
    John McCain Quotes

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. Rachel

    Lola...I'm so sorry honey, Sara Palin is not trying to make a difference. She is trying to gain power! Making a difference is being with your family more to ensure that your teen doesn't get pregnant and that your special needs child has every opportunity to bond with his mother and be secure.

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Observer

    Can we get to the REAL issues please, rather than parsing each and every comment that comes out of someone's mouth?

    September 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. 4Obama

    People PLEASE stop talking like Lying Palin is the only mother in the world.......There is NOTHING special about being a mother and working......hell I do it everday and a lot of other women do also. It's what you are suppose to do and the republicans are acting like Lying Palin deserves a gold star for taking care of her own kids.....THAT'S WHAT SHE'S SUPPOSE TO DO!

    September 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. saynotoliberals

    For crying out loud!!!! You liberals are supposed to be supporting your party and facing tough issues to help your presidential hopeful get in office. Instead your stepping in lawn bisquits before you stick your foot in your mouth. When you talk it stinks up the room.

    Go McCain/Palin we can keep the wolves at bay for another 8 years!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. aliou FL

    All americans are playing into the mcBush karl rove game.

    The media is completely obsessed with the sex or gender because it pays their bills. Now , how about you voter?

    John king is out destroying Obama and same goes to Loo Dobb and others on CNN of all places. They talk about his down side of his victories. Each time Obama is up by 5-7 poins the polls, John King and others on cnn spend all time explaining to all of us that the win should be 20 points. They gloat over the fact that he could have been better, but he is not.

    When he is down in the polls, then they divert to side issues and comments.

    Then they accuse him of not winning, then gloat over Mccain

    September 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. Independent in Chicago

    I only wish those who oppose abortion would seriously consider whether the GOP is being forthright on the issue, especially since several of Bill Clinton's "morality" critics were having extramarital affairs of their own. Considering the high-level degree of hypocrisy they continuously show, I have to wonder where they truly stand on this issue, and I have no choice but to wonder how many abortions have been performed to silence their own extramarital affairs. They've proven, on several occasions, that they do not own up to the same morality they accuse their opponents of lacking.

    I really don't expect CNN to print this.

    September 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  23. Amy

    Oh please...we need to denounce you Graham!

    September 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. TheTruthHurts

    Blah Blah Blah. Denounce nothing. Too many stupid people shooting off at the mouth to denounce them all. Simply restate the obvious. I'm not running against Palin and the American public will have to determine what they feel is relevant in their leadership.

    Move along. Nothing here.

    Lindsay Graham is a snake, but you all knew that anyway.

    It was a stupid comment, we knew what it meant - it was a political choice. Now let's get on with some real issues please.

    September 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. Elizabeth; Dallas, TX

    WHy do all the McCain/Palin comments use terrible grammar and have to capitalize everything like they are shouting to make a point? I find it childish yet amusing all at the same time.

    September 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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