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. George

    To hell with the press. Just take a tiptoe through CNN's articles. They're pro-Obama all the way. I like the way they've closed comments on half their articles. I particularly wanted to comment on the AFL-CIO endorsement of Obama. I am a member of the AFL-CIO and I have never once voted for any of the candidates they endorse. Half the people in my union laugh at the AFL-CIO's endorsement. They don't own us. To hell with the AFL-CIO. I vote the way I want to vote and nobody twists my arm. Just because some dummy in a suit says the AFL-CIO endorses a candidate does not mean the rest of us are stupid enough to vote for him or her.

    McCain is a true patriot. Obama is not. Guess who gets my vote?

    July 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    I would never tell another woman what to do with her body or her situation and I don't think that anyone else should attempt to tell her what to do that decison should be between that woman and her higher being.

    July 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. smokesignals

    Yep, sigh.....
    When all else fails, pull out the bible and the abortion issue.
    I'm pretty tired of men politicians using this personal women's issue to gain votes.

    I would be more inclined to say that a reduction of population will be necessary for us to survive the next 100 years if the Republicans stay in office.

    July 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. richard

    conservatives are all about the fetus, as george carlin would say, but they have no real interest in improving the lives of children.

    if you're pre-born, you're fine. if you're preschool, you're screwed!

    July 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Donna

    Hmm...THIS is the topic that gets him a standing ovation?? WOMEN BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Nunya

    There will be no more clear case of pandering if he starts to make abortion speeches a regular part of his campaining. He's not done so in the past and shouldn't in the future.

    July 9, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. He is not going to win Hillary's voters

    By taking a religious right stance on abortion, he will not help himself in his attempt to win over Hillary voters and Independent voters. How can he not see that? Obama voted against the ban on so-called "partial birth abortion," yet he is winning in all the polls. Hello?? The notion of turning back the clock on the pro-choice movement is absurdly ridiculous.

    Onto another issue...maybe a winning issue? Like issues that directly affect all of us individually–the economy, taxes, global warming, clean, affordable energy, civil liberties, illegal immigration.

    July 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. DJ

    It's not McCain. I just think the country is tired of Republicans. Bush gave us the part line and the sfaft–we're exhausted.

    So now we're ready for a change. That change is Barack Obama. He will be our next president and he will do the right thing for this country.

    Not bashing John, but this is not the time for him. I don't know if they'll ever be a time.

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

    Do these people that want his opinion on abortion even know that he left his first wife for his current trophy wife, Cindy. Doesn't it matter to anybody?????????!!!!!!!!!!!????????????

    July 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Peter

    Hmm...is he picking his audiences like Bush did. Invitation only-just read the question off of the script–clap at the end.

    July 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Why are people one-issue voters??? Both sides are guilty of this and it is sickening. Grow up and realize that 7 out the past 10 administrations have been lead by the GOP. You just had 6 years of GOP control of all three branches and you still couldn't overturn abortion. Its not gonna happen anytime soon, because even supreme court scholars have said the likelyhood of SCOTUS reversing itself is next to impossible.

    July 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Ian M

    No one WANTS abortions to take place. But the way to keep them from happening is not to ban them. It's similar with gun control except the two sides have opposite opinions: we can't stop violence by banning guns. That's something conservatives believe in. We can't stop abortions by banning them, either.

    July 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. aware

    McCain is right! 🙂 Obama is wrong!

    Protect the life of the born and unborn! Support for “the sanctity of human life!”

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

    I hope all you HRC supporters who are voting Mcsame are paying attention to who and what you are voting for.

    Stop the nonsense we need to UNITE!

    July 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Diane

    Oh great, maybe the born-againers will elect someone primarily on this issue. Oh, yeah, they already did that with Bush, the darling of evangelicals for his "right to life" stance– you know, the guy who killed thousands and thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens. THOSE VOTERS are responsible for those deaths. How many of them do you think hold themselves responsible? How many will buy this same used car a second time?

    July 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Joe

    What a suck-up. So much for both his "maverick" sales pitch, and his "straight talk express".

    July 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Brian

    This man has no right to talk about family values after what he did to his own family.
    He cheated on his wife many times. Left her in a wheelchair and married a month after his divorce.

    He makes me Sick !

    July 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. H. Thompson

    Is it join McCain's "choice" to pump more than 10 prescription meds into his aging body every day?

    July 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Phil

    Let the states, not the courts, decide on abortion.

    July 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Kent

    People who think mcbush will actually change roe vs.wade are just not really thinking about the reality here. I mean the majority of our presidents since the pro-choice law were republican and look were we are.
    Nixion did not change it....
    Ford did not change it...
    Regean did not change it...
    Bush sir did not change it...
    Bush jr. did not change it...
    What makes you think Mcbush will really give away his parties election winning tool?

    July 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Jim

    So how many kids has the Senator and his millionaire wife adopted? My guess is ZERO.

    July 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Rob

    I'll still vote for Obama, but McCain is right in this instance: partial birth abortion is really, really, really gross. It's really gross. Seriously. I can't describe it any better than that.

    July 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. not important?

    Obama voted against a ban on partial birth abortion and people think that isn't a valid issue? Read up on it, it is barbaric and is used often times on perfectly healthy babies. In a nutshell they jam scissors into the babies skull, expand the hole, then suck the brains out. The dead baby is then removed. Obama apparently thinks this is an ok way to end a human life...

    July 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    If life is so precious, why do they support the death penalty? You can't have it one way and not another. Thou shall not kill ring a bell? The religious right just crack me up. Separation of church and state.

    July 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. ron

    Hey prochoice guy! Wait till you get before God and say that. Enjoy your eternity in outer darkness!!!

    July 9, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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