July 9th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain takes on abortion issue in Ohio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/09/art.mccain.ap.jpg caption="McCain does not stress the abortion issue on the trail."] PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (CNN) - John McCain broached his pet topic of pork barrel spending about five separate times during his Ohio town hall Wednesday, but the GOP nominee-in-waiting didn’t get a standing ovation during question time until he mentioned an issue he typically avoids - abortion.

A female voter asked the senator about the country’s divorce rate, which offered McCain a chance to praise “the two parent family organization that shares our values” as “the strongest unit in America.”

But McCain also saw an opening to discuss the abortion issue, a matter that traditionally hasn’t animated him on the stump.

After praising President Bush’s efforts to expand faith-based programs, McCain pivoted: “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”

Here, the audience leapt to their feet, eagerly applauding McCain. It’s the second time in two weeks the senator has been roundly applauded while discussing abortion in Ohio.

At a fundraiser in suburban Cincinnati on June 26, several hundred donors gave McCain only polite applause throughout his remarks. But when McCain mentioned his support for “the sanctity of human life,” the small audience roared with approval.

At the town hall Wednesday, he also drew a distinction between himself and Barack Obama on abortion, calling it “a big difference” between them.

McCain said that while in the Illinois state legislature, Obama “voted against a ban on partial birth abortion, one of the most odious things that I have ever heard of.”

He concluded his answer by calling for more adoptions.

“I want us to understand that every life is precious, and that there is family in America for every child,” he said.

Filed under: John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Notice the sign in the back indicates that only Souther Ohio was willing to welcome him?

    I heard the north specifically didn't want him to be there.

    July 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Carol, Lansing

    McCain has got to change the subject from his latest claim, balancing the budget his first term and claiming 300 economists signed on and backed it as a workable good plan.

    Why, because he's been outed as a big pants on fire lier. Not only did almost off of them not endorse his plan, most haven't read it, those that didn't said it wouldn't work and others won't endorse McCain let alone his plans.

    July 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. William,from Cali!

    "Abortion is murder, plain and simple"...............................anyway ,you "Cut it"..............................................I'm so glad, I wasn't aborted! Thank God...........................

    July 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. hussein

    the same stand on this issue as guess who?bush?

    July 9, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Dave, Illinois

    Pro-choice means pro-abortion plain and simple. Life and health of the mother and rape should be the only time that killing an unborn baby is an option. Killing for convenience sake is the Democrat platform. Planned paranthood was formed to keep the black population under control (its fact, look it up). "Change"? Yeah right, same old Democrat murder machine.

    July 9, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. JTS

    McCoathanger strikes again

    July 9, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Republican for change

    The good people of Ohio have to realize by now that all the stuff that have been constantly preached by the GOP party – values, religion, job security, fiscal policy, small government are nothing but campaign slogans.

    You hear them during a campaign season...the opposite happen (jobs leave the country) in the next 4 years, the GOP ignore you, and poof here's that message again at a new campaign season.

    Not this time – Vote different!

    July 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Dirk

    He can't even remember what he said from day to day. How is he going to run the country. He told Robin Roberts that he didn't say he wasn't strong on the economy. Now he wants to say he is, which is it.

    No, he need a long vacation, maybe even retirement.

    Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Perla

    Unless those born and unborn happen to be Iraqi or Iranian, eh, Senator McCain? Everybody sing along with him: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran...."

    July 9, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Agnes

    What about praises for the single parent who's lost his/her spouse in Iraq. Oh, are did your memory fail you again?

    I'm pro life. But I've learn that women are going to do whatever they wanted to do. Therefore, that song McBush is singing went out a long time ago.


    July 9, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. ryand.

    Wait..."our values"?

    This from the man that cheated on his ex-wife with his current after his ex's disfiguring car accident?

    Something doesn't compute.

    As far as abortion, McCain might be the first candidate to pull a hamstring from pandering and flip-flopping so hard.

    Obama 08'

    July 9, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. very important

    "pro-choice is way better" : great argument. That was brilliant! No wonder the Democrats are going to win.

    July 9, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Houston

    "Pro-choice is way better"? Very profound "not important". Thank you for your insight. We all just love you Obama supporters.

    July 9, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain finally woke them up when he said something they wanted to hear, otherwise they would still be napping and waiting to applaud him off stage.

    July 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Jill Claybourne

    There are many, many happily stable married couples in this country who would love to adopt a baby. In previous years some have gone to foreign countries to do so because of lack of babies for adoption in the U.S.A. Some have gone to Russia, but some of the foreign countries have now forbidden adoption of their children by foreigners. Instead of killing these babies, give them life and make a couple happy with adoption. Strong families is the core of our nation. Abortion is absolutely the wrong choice. It is not a disgrace for an unwed female to get pregnant as it was years ago; this unwed pregnant female should be praised for giving up her child to a loving home so that a human being can live which is what God intended.

    July 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Yep, tell them what they WANT TO HEAR, that's the ONLY WAY that he can get them to come to their feet.

    ...........respect for human life, BOTH BORN AND UNBORN...

    If you really believe McCain is being honest in his statement, please google......40 years ago this year John McCain and the USS FORRESTAL.........google........JOHN McCAIN'S ROLE IN THE USS FORRESTAL FIRE.

    July 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Seli in Delaware

    He has no standing to "address" this country's divorce rate. Considering his past. Pro-Choice. NO ONE has a right to dictate what someone else can do with their body. NO ONE... the bible doesn't give you that right. And it will not give you that right. And anway..... I don't see these pro-life people adopting the children that are in foster care now.

    July 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Gene

    Wasn't McCain pro-choice just a year or two ago? Wasn't that one of his "maverick" issues that he disagreed with the GOP about?

    And really? Talking about the sanctity of marriage and supporting the family unit? I'm just waiting for his x-wife that he dumped because she became disabled to make a comment on TV. Oh wait.. she won't.. part of the agreement for the alimony is that she kept her mouth shut about their relationship and break up 🙂

    July 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. ryand.

    For those that missed it, a standing ovation (and a vote) for a Pro-Life stance when the same candidate will send your life down the tubes otherwise is what Obama was talking about when he brought up "guns and religion" and people being "bitter".

    Small town people voting against their interests because of "Hot Button" issues.

    Republicans know how to work the babies and gay people angle, don't they?

    Obama 08'

    July 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. Liz T

    Would that respect for human life include that of our men and women in uniform as well as Iraqi and Afghan civilians?

    July 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. rexx

    Abortion is not a "choice" it is the killing of an unborn child.

    July 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Dan

    I'm not in the Bible Belt, I'm not particularly religious, I'm not even Republican. But I really like what McCain said.

    Scrambling a baby's brain at nine months in a birth canal, that's just barbaric unless its to save the life of a mother. Yet, Obama is OK with it. That's disgusting.

    July 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Len in Washington

    And yet Obama leads McCain by 4.5 points in the Ohio polls. Sounds like he's talking to "The Vocal Minority." November will tell.

    July 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Csokas

    McCain's version of the sanctity of life doesn't seem to include women whose lives are in danger from a pregnancy or women who have been attacked by men.

    It's nice to know my life is only worth so much.

    July 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. sarah

    Well, that seals my vote for Obama.

    No one will argue that abortion is a good thing, but taking away women's rights will only lead move this country backward and put young women's lives in danger instead of protect the unborn. Abortion won't stop if it is made illegal, it will only move underground and cause more heartache.

    I will never vote for a presidential candidate who has a platform involving taking people's rights away – especially women's.

    July 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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