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. Jason

    Typical of the "NEW POLITICS" all his surogates and supporters can do is smear lie and hate. But Obama says it wasn't me it wasn't me. Liberals are why the democrats choose losers and I'm a democrat. This guy and his arrogant message of change is wearing thin. That and the democratic attack points are so tired even if they were true some of the time they are no longer effective. Nothing learned from elections past gets you elections lost.

    September 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Mike

    And that would be Obama's job ... because ? The GOP is a joke. Everytime I think of McBush/Paleny I picture a Pig wearing lipstick.

    September 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. LYNETTE IN CA

    The comment does seem to hold true! My husband is one of 12 children. His mother never had an abortion, but that doesn't make her qualifed to be VP or Pres.

    OBAMA / BIDEN '08

    September 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. KATHLEEN

    Palin's qualifications? Fine, get them, state them and let the possible
    President to be talk, Not Sarah! Are we stupid. McCain stands there
    with his hands crossed. Most of what I have learned about Sarah, is that men drool over her, and she is really not "for the people". Sarah only talks about Earmarks, and war along with MCCain's views!

    Who is running for President of the USA here? McCain! He says nothing about the economy, health insurance, education. He admitted
    he doesn' t know much about the economy and the people hurting in
    this country!!!! And Palin's views are pretty much the same. She says
    NOTHING about how she would fix the economy.

    When and if, McCain has to stand on his own, he will fail miserably
    with his popularity of the American People, which he never had in
    the first place!!

    Are we crazy????

    Obama Biden 2008 and Hillary and Bill.

    September 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. James

    It is truely amazing that the people who think they are the base of the republican party (low and middle income blue collar, church going whites) continue to think that voting the same type of people into office is going to give them a different result.

    You're anti choice or pro life?

    You just had a Republican President for 8 years, a Republican Congress for 6 years, and a moderate to conservative court for that entire time.

    I dont' remember any hard republican push to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Every four years they try to get the so called "base" to turn out to vote for prolife, pro gun, less government, anti gay presidents and representatives and they never deliver.

    You are all being used.

    The sad part is you don't even care as long as someone you think you can't stand doesn't win. What is that phrase about cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    And now you're considering voting in someone more hawkish than Bush to send your sons and daughters off to fight thier corporate wars for the sake of patriotism?

    McCain was just in clips about expanding markets for American products. Wake up. He was talking about CAFTA without naming it. One of his first trips as a candidate was to Columbia, a nation one of his staffers is a lobbiest for. Say goodbye to more American jobs.

    When are you all going to wake up and realize that the true base of the republican party really does have an income of several hundred thousand dallors to several million dallors. Look at his tax cut proposal.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results

    September 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. BJ

    Clearly, Obama and his surrogates are getting desperate about how to attack or neutralize Palin. They just keep putting their feet in their mouths.

    The more statements their surrogates make only serves as an impetus for women to rally around Sarah Palin. Yeah right, she's not Hillary... BUT they don't seem to understand how deeply wounded a lot of her supporters still are by what Obama did to Hillary. While some did rally behind Barack, the same amount wants payback!

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Lori

    My Body, My Choice !!!!

    Can't wait till Palin is just a bad dream.

    September 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Fowler is right on the point.

    September 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. how

    Here we GO....isn't even in the White House and already trying to start taken away our FREEDON OF SPEECH..........AGAIN..........Trying to distract the VOTERS from the REAL ISSUES that the 98% of us as voters are struggling through day by day during this BAD economy...

    September 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. SUE

    Shame on Obama,,Now they wan,t the clintons to help him..shame,shame on you..you make me sick..what a disgrace you people have been to our country..I can,t wait to vote for MCcain,,yes i thank we need change and he is the one to bring it about,,and his v.p. is wondiful..What makes you thank Obama can bring about change when he wan,t to give ever thing away,to people who won,t work and live off the ones that do work..Its time to put the lazy bums to work

    September 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Chloe

    The good ole boys once again telling us how to live our lives!
    DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO.......
    What a bunch of Republican do-gooders (Probably tapping feet with each other).
    OBAMA in 2008

    September 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. KATHLEEN

    Lindsey Graham is a dope!

    September 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Jatovi, NC

    So what! This is really getting stupid. Talk about the issues. I'd like Sen. Graham to denounce Bush and all his policies which has place the US in two wars, one which was not necessary, economic turmoil, and an energy crisis. Stop making stupid things issues like this and even worse the lipstick metaphor. John McCain used the same lipstick metaphor when he talked about Hilary Clinton's health care plan, was he talking about Hilary? With this up in arms about sexism, where where you then? So please Talk about the issues or be quiet, oh I forgot according to the republican's this election is not about the issues, well then just be quiet then.

    September 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Here we go again...

    Once again.

    Obama is expected to be responsible for every insensitive thing another person says.

    Get with it McCain camp.

    This is getting real old, real fast.

    Don't be fooled.

    The American public understands your silly games.

    You WILL be surprised in November!!!

    September 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Maggie VT

    Lindsay Graham go find Lieberman, he is looking for you. No apologies, no nothing to you

    September 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. Regina

    Graham really needs to go and sit down! Where I come from, we call people like him "mess makers".

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Don

    It did not take long for both pair of candidates to lose their sense of
    responsibilty to their position, and to their party.
    If McCain believes that by nominating a women for V.P. automatically
    makes him a winner, then think again.
    If the key to winning is by wooing the women of this country to vote for
    a candidate because of gender, then I dread thinking of our future.
    FORGET HILLIARY, FORGET THE ALASKAN GOVENOR, AND GET DOWN TO ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED.
    So far I feel as if this campaign is nothing but a "mud-slinging"
    sit-com.

    September 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. marylee atlanta,ga

    Don't do it Obama! Thet never denounce anything ... "upity ring a bell?"

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. redneck for obama

    shuddup graham! you guys have more apologizing to do to the american people ,for all the lies you spout about obama! obama doesn't have to do crap for you!

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Got Burgers

    Graham should denounce his body. It looks like he's a model for Bob's Big Boy. LOL

    What a crackup.

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. NORA, FLORIDA

    Wellllllllllllllll, from the looks of it, I guess a real American called it as they say it. I just wish the media quit playing the word games and sugar coating things for Palin because she is a women.

    A real woman does not hide behind a teleprompter. PALIN, WHERE'S THE BEEF????

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Obamacan/McCant

    well then will Mccain denounce "uppity"? it is funny to me how outraged people get over lip stick but are cool with blatant racism...this election has become a referendum on us, the American people. it amazes me every time i read one of these comments saying that Obama used the "race card"-what is the race card? because as an AA i am trying to figure out what card was played on me when i was pulled over by the police with their guns drawn and i in my Benz. i wonder why women have not screamed on Mccain for delittling the plight of women who really do experience sexism, like my mom, the first Black and the first Woman at her job who had to go through hell at her job. the diffence is, my mother NEVER played the victim like Palin or McCain....the Repubs are up to their same old tricks...if we fall for it again like 2000 and 20004 we will reap what we sough

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Deena Larsen

    I wish we could get away from these lies. But here McCain proves himself to be the same as Bush. McCain expects us to believe he will be for change–when he has consistently voted with Bush, when he has resorted to the same cheap lies and tricks that Bush did.

    What next? Will McCain steal the election, too?

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    September 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. John

    Lindsey Graham is a tool. Get that bum out of Senate. He comes off as Elmer Fudd.

    September 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Moosehead

    Sarah should denounce that big hair, I swear there's a moose under there.

    September 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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