June 13th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain: Treat our wives with respect


Watch portions of Dana Bash's interview with John McCain Friday.

(CNN) - John McCain said Friday that every candidates' wife "should be treated with respect and if there's any disrespectful conduct on the part of anyone, those people should be rejected.”

“I have the greatest respect for both Senator [Barack] and Michelle Obama. … I've never met her, Mrs. Obama, she's a talented and a very effective person. And I admire both of them. We have stark differences in views,” he told CNN's Dana Bash in a one-on-one interview.

Earlier: Obama expects Michelle to take heat

“Americans want a us to have a much more respectful campaign than the kinds they've been seeing recently.”

The comment comes a day after Obama’s campaign launched a new Web site, Fightthesmears.com, which aims to debunk rumors against the Illinois senator and his wife.

McCain also touched on his own vice presidential vetting process - and whether he's considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate.

"Not yet," he said.

Romney, who had clashed with the Arizona senator during the Republican primaries over economic issues , has campaigned for McCain since suspending his campaign.

McCain, however, sought Friday to downplay the negativity between the two during the hard-fought primary.

“There were specific comments and times that are made in primaries, but overall, I'm proud of the kind of primary that all of us waged. It was - with a few exceptions - a very honorable primary, which allowed us all to come together," he said. "And as I have gotten to know Mitt better, and his wonderful wife, Anne, we have become quite friendly.”

The presumptive GOP nominee also said that it’s important for the vice presidential vetting process to play out.

“One of the things about this is that sometimes, if you aren't careful, we've seen in history, that it's harmful to the ticket. And that's one of your first criteria, to make sure that there's nothing out there - the people who you are really considering that they would not have a harmful effect on the ticket, or some - so that is one of the reasons why you look very carefully early on at just about everything and try to get some help in doing it.”

McCain also touched on his proposal for joint town hall meetings with Obama, saying “I think Americans, one of the reasons I wanted so badly to have the town hall meetings, so they have a chance to look at us and respond to them, rather than the soundbites and the spin and the Web sites and the 527s.”

He has called for a total of 10 unmoderated town halls between now and August. The Obama campaign, however, rejected the proposal.

McCain’s campaign recently sent a letter to the Obama campaign urging the debates after receiving invitations by the Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Libraries to hold joint town halls meetings.

In a statement Friday, Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe responded to the letter saying the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate offered to meet McCain at five joint appearances between “now and Election Day” – which would include three traditional debate “plus a joint town hall on the economy in July and an in-depth debate on foreign policy in August.”

“That package of five engagement would have been the most of any Presidential campaign in the modern era – offering a broad range of formats – and representing a historic commitment to openness and transparency.”

soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yeah, don't be using the C-word, right pal?

    June 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Marilyn

    Your wives are fair game, John. Just think of all the crap Hillary had to put up with when Bill was running for president and after he was in office. Why should Cindy and Michelle be exempt?

    June 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. joe

    You Obama peeps are scary, I cannot vote with you all, you freak me out!

    Hillary supporter for McCain 08

    June 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. jimmy velman


    June 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. pb

    peakarach..I can tell that you were a student on the short bus, right? You seem to believe anything that you hear. Have you thought about checking facts out? No?
    For those who think that Mccain in all of his pathetic wisdom can pull skeletons out of the closet, he'd better be prepared to look at the rolling bodies that surface from his own closet. for starters:
    His wife was or maybe is still a drug addict who stole drugs from her charity organization
    McCain the adulterous man with all his so called integrity, left his crippled first wife and married Barbie...oops, I meant Cindy, the multi-million dollar baby! What kind of integrity is that? He called his wife Cindy a c–t in public by her husband. What kind of respect does he have for women? Is this the kind of mind that you want in office? He served the country honorably while in Viet Nam as a POW...unfortunately, I think his mind and spirit was left in Viet Nam.

    June 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Lana, California

    As an Obama supporter who has NOT bagged on anyone's spouse with the exception of Bill Clinton who is a bonafide public figure, I must urge all sides to refrain from the cheap shots on the spouses!

    That goes for both Cindy McCain AND Michelle Obama. I also expect their husbands to immediately reject in the strongest possible terms promptly any self appointed "conservative" or "liberal": blogger, press, commentator, rumor monger, etc. etc. etc. within a 12 hour period if not sooner.

    Now, pigs will fly and next year's Stanley Cup Final will take place in a little town called "Hell".

    Women for Obama.

    June 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Ilona Proud Canadian


    You are quite right Cindy did jump right in , but can you imagine if it was open season on wives? Cindy has sooooooooooo much baggage! This is why McCain is pretending to the public that wives should be off base!

    And when it comes to treating Wives with respect, I think McCain is the first one who should clean up his act. His temper is something else.

    June 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. ATLian

    Sean Hannity will be so crushed.

    June 13, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. randy

    Obama will make good president despite how the republicans will spine this election we all know that obama is better than macain.

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Keisha

    All you people saying too late – I have never seen or heard a quote from McCain bashing Ms. Obama. Of course, Mr. Obama said it would probably happen during the campaign, but that doesn't mean it has.

    It's the same as with all the old age comments, those are fine, but any comments against Mr. Obama MUST be racist, even if they're just talking about his policies (or lack thereof). "If you insult my candidate you are a no good racist bigot KKK war monger but your candidate is so old he probably wears diapers, and divorced his first wife so clearly his second wife is a skank, (and so on and so forth with other comments I've actually read on this site).

    Voting for McCain because I actually haven't heard him put people down – not the case with obama. Yet democrats are the party that claims they care about people. Apparently you only care about people you like, the rest of us can go to hell as far as you are concerned (didn't I see a posting of someone on a different thread who claimed to be reagan in hell? Must have been god posting under some stupid name since that person clearly has the power to send folks to hell for disagreeing with him)

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. LaShanda

    I agree. Leave Michelle and Cindy out of this!

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Greg

    I'd like to repeat the things that McCain has said to his current wife, but they would undoubtedly be moderated by CNN.

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Of course he does, because his wife have a lot of dirt they can dig up!

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Mr Fix it (fixmaster33@yahoo.com)

    All i can say brutally honest about McCain that he is:

    – Such an opportunist and nothing he says here on this article is meant.
    – What a flip flopper (just youtube mccain and you will see what i mean)
    – He indirectly uses his age to sick simpathy and turn right around and run negative attacks.
    – Being a war hero does not provide him the right to be more qualified than any other American.
    – Being a war hero is a guesture the nation give to one as an appreciation and understanding of what they might have endured during the war and possible captivity as is the case for McCain
    – But with all fairness to the rest of the country, of recent McCain has demonstrated, mental instability and sorry guys his age has everything to do with it.
    The man is old and does not remember facts very well. Do you imagine him approving an attack to Iran and waking up 12 hrs later and say he didn't say it?
    The man is a Hero for his war duties but that is about how much this country can take from him. My son perform CPR and save the life of her chocking friend at school. My son is a hero right? Should we not use that 30 years from now when he chooses to run for an official public office and use the Hero card to advance his agenda?

    My point is every American should have the right to run for the highest position in the country based on their vision, goals and love of their country.

    June 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Chris

    McCain didn't treat his first wife with respect

    McCain calls his current wife by some rather offensive words

    McCain can't lead his party to control Michelle Obama attacks... "great" leadership /sarcasm

    That said – if either wife campaigns for their husband, they are fair game (just like Chelsea should have been) – but McCain's wife wants to continue with her easy life and not participate – probably because she's hardly worked a day in her life. SUPER Rich $100m, cheerleader and has said wants no part in helping the American people in the White House. Neither she nor McCain are close to representative of the American People – how in the world would they know what I/WE want??!??.

    June 13, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. needed tobesaid

    Does McCain treat women with respect? Does he treat Cindy McCain with respect by calling her the "c" word? My husband always spoke highly of McCain' ethics until I told him about calling his wife a "trollop and 'C' word". My husbands response- "that is really bad. I can no longer think highly of McCain."

    June 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Mary from Sarasota FL

    So, Barak Obama is ready to face John McCain nose to nose, huh?
    Well, he needs to have a "sit down" with Hillary Clinton and let her tutor him in how to go about debating John McCain. I grant you, I won't vote for him but I gotta admire his tenacity in a nose to nose ...
    Good Luck Obama.... get with Hillary for a tutorial on how to think on your feet. Hillary 2012...(and this doesn't mean I won't vote for him.) Mary from Sarasota, FL

    June 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. BJGT

    Let's hope he doesn't use the C word when he addresses his trophy wife anymore.

    June 13, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Crush Rush

    Im waiting for just one of Limbaughs racist followers to have the guts to come out of the closet and say they wont vote for Obama because they are indeed racists.They are the true cowards still hiding under bed sheets.

    June 13, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. ObamaYes We Can

    Its a great Idea McCain leave the nasty comments about 'Their wife" out of this " They are not running for president.

    I am hope you have learned your lesson for change but sad it is to late to change the way you treated your first injured wife while you were out fa la la,ing with Cindy while still married to first wife.
    I blame both partys equally and guilty when such behavior is happening .

    June 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Why try 08

    Jan from Boca Raton, Fl.

    Why should you respect Michelle? Let me help you understand the black woman experience. Came from south side of chicago with a public school education, worked hard all her life, a princeton and harvard graduate, but to most white folks she just Obama "babies momma"

    But cripple woman's husband stealing, pill popping, never worked a hard day in her life Cindy, she deserves all your respect because she says she has always been proud of her country.

    June 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can understand that desire to leave the wives out of the debate. I would hope that all of the surrogates do that. I can't see all of the Republicans or surrogates doing that; I consider some of these conservatives as McCain surrogates. I just can't really see that they would leave the spouces alone.

    As for the public meetings with no moderator, I must insist that there be someone there to keep one from saying things that just aren't true or just not stopping saying something. There must be someone there to keep some kind of time.

    June 13, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Greg, NY

    How about the McCain's having $100,000 credit debt? Oh, and a listed 'dependent child' as having another $50,000 credit card debt.

    Not a lot when you think of the millions that Cindy is worth is it? But wait, how much is their interest rate?


    Zero. Percent.

    Yeah, that's the interest rate an average family would have on their credit cards right?

    June 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. TD-Texas

    This is the only thing I agree with this dude on!

    June 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Democrats No Matter What!!

    He must have either forgotten he is backed by the GOP or he is taking Cindy's drugs to help him forget his lies. They didn't care what McBush thought when they had that ad on Wright to smear Sen. Obama, so he is talking out of his bad ear. They don't hear him, and he knows he's lying to our face.

    And CNN? Why not fill in the lies from McBush with the truth sometime? CASE AND POINT:

    Didn't Eric Holder work temporarily for Bush after Clinton left office? McBush needs to get rid of Charlie Black before he talks about someone's vetting committee. He has a war lobbyist running his campaign so this is far worse than the pot calling the kettle black. And Black should go!

    June 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8