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. Poetic Justice

    No apologies necessary! She was telling the truth. Palin exploits every comment made!

    September 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Lou from CT

    People are going to commit faux pas throughout the campaign. Lindsey Graham needs to get his head out of his butt and concentrate on the issues at hand and not spend his time being McCain's "ayyack dog","truth police" etc. Let John McCain speak for himself, or is he afraid he will be found to be wishy-washy?

    September 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Truth hurts don't it...

    what else does she offer?

    an ability to kill animals from a helicopter?
    an unbending refusal to believe the earth was created more than 7000 years ago?
    an adamant determination to put extreme religious beliefs into policy decisions?
    a nasty, mean-spirited, ugly personality?
    a desire to use political power for personal gain?

    She was picked to energize the evangelicals. Period. The woman bonus was just an added benefit. Which proves that:
    (1) McCain has picked politics over country;
    (2) His judgment is risky and reactionary;
    (3) McCain is desperately trying to appeal to the Bush base

    So he is no maverick, he has poor judgment, he is a risky reactionary and he will strive to continue all the poor policies that marked the disasterous past 8 years.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    O'8

    September 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. You're A Mean One...

    You're a mean one, Mr. McGrinch
    You really are a heel,
    You're as cuddly as a cactus,
    You're as charming as an eel
    Mr. McGrinch

    You're a bad banana
    With a greasy black peel.

    -adapted from Dr. Seuss

    September 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. WHAT IS YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT BALANCE?

    Palin-
    Where are the 1000 emails? Can't wait to read 'em. It will make excellent reading.

    September 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Poetic Justice

    I'd like to know what qualifications she has to support.

    September 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Cecil

    The GOP Stinking Up American Politics.

    This Whole Karl Rove Thing Has Really Gone To There Heads!

    This Is Sad Folks

    Gov. Palin Being Puppeted Around, Like Some WindUp Barbie.

    The GOP Is Handling Her, As Though She's Still In The Kitchen!

    Come On Women, What Is This All About.

    September 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. Gerry in Virginia

    Mr. Graham... Why don't you talk to your friend McCain and make that same suggestion to him... OH, I remember. He IS on the republican track.... Lies and more lies......

    September 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Just Sayin...

    Someone should take away the mic from Lindsay Graham...he shouldn't be allowed to talk anymore...what a disgrace to america Lindsay is...

    September 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. You're A Mean One Mr...

    You're a monster, Mr. McGrinch
    Your heart's an empty hole.
    Your brain is full of spiders,
    You've got garlic in your soul.
    Mr. McGrinch

    I wouldn't touch you, with a
    thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

    September 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Peggy Lucas

    I have one question to ask Lindsey Graham – when is your party going to start talking about the issues? We need solutions to our economy, gas prices, education, etc. What a women does with her body is no ones business. Especially the Republicans! Stick to the issues! Ignore Karl Roves playbook.

    September 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Leimomi Matunding

    For one thing is that both parties needs to focal on real issues.
    I am from Juneau Alaska. I am getting tired of how great Palin is. In reality we really know who Sara Palin really is when it comes to workers, laborers. It is time to put Sara Palin on the hot seat once and for all. Republican women are really taking the lipstick out of context!

    September 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. me in md

    Why don't they call on the person who said it to apologize. Typical Republican response – still trying to divert the focus off of the issues.

    September 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. B

    I think if Senator McCain wanted a religious person on the ticket he should of chose Ex-Governor Mike Huckabee, who also is a Bible Scholar. Mrs. Palin's religion has a different authority from the Bible.

    I have to admit Governor Palin is alot better looking that Mr. Huckabee but his religion is more mainstream evangelical

    September 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. Tennessee

    Why do the Rep want Obama to denounce everything that he didnt even say? Tell the people who said it to. . .

    September 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Patty

    CNN stop putting my comments for moderation. There is a lot worse stuff being put on here.
    Why does this have to be a Palin thing Sally from Cali. It is about McCain and Obama. Futhermore you are putting down all the moms and dads that have to work and have a special needs child by saying they are neglecting them. Stop and think when you blog this stuff. And futhermore don't put someone down till you walk in thier shoes.

    September 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. shannon

    Wow...Thanks Sally. It is women like you that keep driving voters to McCain/Palin.

    Keep up the smears...the lies...the rumors...

    I've enjoyed watching your party self-destructive over the past week.

    September 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Palin Is A Distraction!

    Can't You People see that the only reason Palin was brought in was to distract voters from issues that matter? That is what Carol Fowler was trying to say. She brings nothing substantive. Whether or not Palin has ever had an abortion (and none of us really knows the answer to that question but her), is totally irrelevant. The answer to that question will not create one job; does nothing to boost the economy; will not bring one weary soldier home; will not drop the price of gas; and it will not give one person affordable healthcare. Everyone is dancing to the McCain/Palin music and they spend about 5% of their time talking about the issues (very vaguely I might add) and the other 95% of the time attacking Senator Obama. They are pathetic!

    September 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Ryan

    I guess I'm "blindly partisan" because I have yet to be convinced that this woman has done anything to warrant election to the Vice Presidency.

    That said, the Fowler comment was a little below the belt. Maybe she should have just stuck with "has a uterus and is a far right Christian Conservative."

    September 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. lar

    if McCain was a Canadian he would be a frozzen french fry

    this is not about helping the people of the USA. it is just about self!
    NOT PRES, MATRIAL

    September 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. freethinker in sc

    I meant to say: republicans say obama will RAISE their taxes and they will not
    I meant to say: I'm sure Linsey Graham is counting on PEOPLE to vote based on this one issue.

    But it doesn't even matter because S.C. is a red state and will never vote for the good of mankind, only for god. I'm voting for Obama anyway, even though it won't make a difference and even though he wants to give money to faith based initiatives. Also, Sara Palin makes me sick: She likes to shoot wolves from a helicopter and thinks polar bears are in the way of drilling for oil. As an animal lover and a caring rational person, I find her repugnant.

    September 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. chippyarm

    Fowler spoke the truth. No more needs to be said.

    September 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  23. citizen Ruth

    She's being used as a political gimmick, how can she not know that? No one in their right mind thinks she is qualified for VP, however she is a good choice if you think it's ok to play politics with her personal story, uncluding her children, for personal political gain. McCain is shallow and small.

    September 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Jon

    ANOTHER WAY TO FOR REP. TO MAKE THE NEWS MEDIA TO LET McCAIN NOT TALK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES

    September 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Tammy - KCMO

    Graham get over yourself. This is nothing but headline grabbing for attention. You want someone to apologize – ask the person that made the statement.
    It isn't Obama's job to apologize for everything said by other Democrats and just because it was said by a Democrat doesn't mean that Obama agrees with the statement.

    September 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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