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. noBama

    Obama can do anything to get votes.

    September 10, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. MISSISSIPPI FOR OBAMA

    IF MCSENILE & PAINFUL GET IN THE WHITE HOUSE WE WILL BE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. IT WILL ALSO PROVE THAT AMERICANS ARE THE STUPIDEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

    GOD BLESS THIS LOST COUNTRY

    September 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  3. Tony

    Obama didn't say that, read the article. Don't try to put this crap on Obama just because you have no ISSUES.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. wb

    Looks to me like Senator Graham is now the whiner. Everytime he opens his mouth he shows how ignorant he truly is.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  5. Jen

    DNC hate women. DNC open the war on women. I am a woman and I demand you idiots to stop telling me what to do. I was a Democrat for 10 years. After what happened to Hillary and continuing insult of women from DNC I will abundant this party for good. Thank you Sen. McCain you opened my eyes haw bad DNC is.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  6. whatthe?

    The main point is that Sarah Palin and her daughter had/have the choice to have their babies. I think that government should stay out of people's very intimate choices and whether a woman has a baby or not is a CHOICE. All the religions that oppose abortion should let the woman have a choice and then let God deal with it. Why are they imposing their views on me or any other women? And we should be working to PREVENT UNWANTED AND UNPLANNED pregnancies. Reduce abortions through education and access to contraception. It is so logical. Why don't they get it!!!!????!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. FL4OB

    Nonsense. Fowler already apologized. Obama is not responsible for every word spoken in a society with our First Amendment rights, or are Graham & the McCain campaign going to take those freedoms away, too, with their "reforms"?

    September 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Millie Gee

    Why should he? Just because a supporter says something stupid. I could understand him condemning it if Sally was part of his campaign team. The Republicans are whiners.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. jesse

    FOR GET THE PIG, SHOULD MCCAIN GET ELECTED AND DIE IS PALEN GOING TO KISS ONE OF OUR NUCLEAR WEAPONS GOOD BY IT IS A TERRIBLE THOUGHT TO THINK SHE WOULD BE COMMANDER OF OUR MILITARY AND IN CONTROL OF OUR NUCLEAR ARSINAL SHE JUST DOESN'T HAVE THE EXPERIENCE WE SHOULD NOT TRUST HER JUDGEMENT.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  10. CNN loves Palin

    I call on Graham to denounce McCain and Palin!

    September 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. how

    TO: B.I.G September 10th, 2008 9:56 pm ET
    ---------------------------
    It's just not South Carolina, it has been reported that Alaska is one of the States with the HIGHEST STD RATE, also. Yes, you would think Graham would be more concern about the serious ISSUES we face today. I guess Palin forgot to mention that in her airplane sale story.

    THE BIG QUESTION FOR US AS VOTERS..........AFTER 26 yrs. WILL he really CHANGE anything in Washington? 26 yrs. WOW and things are still the same.....

    September 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  12. Penn Voter

    Message to Obama.

    This just ain't your day Cupcake.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Sue in MI

    I agree with Sally. And something else occurs to me...when Palin's water broke during a speech in Texas, she did not go to a hospital, as any thinking woman would. She instead finished the speech, got on a plane, then another one, then drove (was driven) to the hospital of her choice, arriving hours later. This does not appear to be a woman concerned about the health of her child, does it?

    September 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  14. n jean

    Are the Republicans going to 'use" Palin's special need baby to their advantage? Isn't this sad but not surprising?

    They call themselves the "christians" but yet it is THEY who lie, cheat, steal, and whatever else that meets their needs.

    Don't they have fear,..on judgement day? maybe they don't look that far ahead.

    September 10, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. SCOTT

    YOU PRO LIFER'S WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT YOUR COUNTRY OR PROLIFE. THE REPUBLICANS ARE DIVIDING AND DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY IN THE INTEREST OF THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS. ALREADY 47% OF EVERY DOLLAR GOES THE RICHES 1%.

    THE REPUBLICANS ARE ALSO TAKING AWAY WOMENS RIGHTS TO CHOOSE, EQUAL PAY AND WANT TO OVER TURN ROE VS WADE!

    BE A PATRIOT AND STICK UP FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

    AND THAT 51 YEAR OLD WHITE GUY, KICK A BIG BRICK. YOURE THE ONLY IGNORANT ONE, OR YOU WOULDNT HAVE MENTIONED THAT YOURE WHITE. I KNOW YOURE PREJUDICE WITHOUT SAYING THAT. HOW CAN YOU COMPARE A SECRETARY, AND A DOCTOR TO A VICE PRESIDENT, OR PRESIDENT. WHO IS THE IDIOT? SHE DIDNT SPEND ENOUGH TIME WITH HER OTHER KIDS. AND THE SPECIAL BABY REALLY WONT SEE HER, NOT HER FAMIL, AND NANNIES.

    September 10, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. RapidRay

    Has anyone else noticed who the "whiners" are now?

    Yeah, I thought so...

    September 10, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  18. Geri

    You Obama supporters are the joke...not everyone else.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. Jim CO

    Senator Graham should be watching tonights news. The real truth is now coming out About Sara Palin and John McCain. Maybe you sir should pack your bags, move to Alaska with Sara and take McCain with you. The three of you could sit and talk about how great you all could of been. Nice to see the warm welcome she got tonight from all the protesters in Alaska when she landed,saying she is unfit to be the Vice President.Oh don't forget Leberman, he may be looking for a new line of work real soon.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. TLF

    Lindsay Graham is John McCains lap dog. The Palin Truth Squad is an oddly named "organization" ...... so it's a Squad. Right? Something comes to mind from like sixty years ago ... but I just can't place it? Oh well, probably better to not ask to many questions or the Truth Squad might com-a-callin.

    September 10, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. Janelle

    Why is it that the democrats are such strong supporters of women and women's issues, and celebrate women who have careers and families, but only if said women have liberal political views. If a woman like Palin "chooses" to not have an abortion, then she's not being a good mother if she has a career and ambitions rather than be a stay at home Mom? These hypocritical statements and views are setting back women's rights and the role of women in society 50 years.

    McCain didn't pick Palin to try and get Hillary Clinton's female supporter's votes, he chose her because this election is going to be won by getting the moderate and independant votes, and Palin is very appealing to those of us in that category. I don't agree with Palin on every issue, but overall she is more appealing than Obama and Biden.

    With the condition this country is in today, the Democrats should be leading by 20+ points, the fact that it's still neck and neck is very telling. There isn't anybody who isn't ready for a "change", but so far Obama just hasn't made the impression that his policies are going to make things any better. Most us us independents or moderates in either party just haven't heard anything yet to give us a lot of confidence in Obama.

    September 10, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. Concern Voter

    When is the Senator up for election because we Democrats need to get him out!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. Bob Elliott

    I agree with Senator Lindsey Graham. Senator Obama, a Harvard Law Graduate and Constitutional Law Major, spent his life studying the Constitution and Law and knows full well the meaning of "words" and "phrases". He knew his audience would believe he was speaking of Gov. Palin and their response confirmed it. There is 'no way' he could have interpreted it differently. But that is his method, to figure out how to hurl insults and then crawfish out of it. Even Senator Biden gave a confirmation by saying that Senator Clinton would have been a better choice for VP than he was. What does that say about Senator Obama's judgment. The only thing I can figure is that Senator Obama really does not regard Women period.

    God bless America, President George W. Bush and the US Marines

    September 10, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  24. Kep

    More McCain camp nonsense to try to keep the focus off the issues. This is eventually going to get old. Talk about overplaying an already old hand.

    September 11, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  25. Enough!!!

    Graham,Obama is not responsible for what other grown people say. Besides,who will apologize to him for all of your Rethuglican lies? Focus on the issues. Oh, I forgot, if youall do, then you will lose. Well, we Americans are focusing on the issues. Grow the heck up.

    September 11, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
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