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. Derek Varsalona

    Pro-Life is always much better then murder. The reason why McCain has not talked about the Right to Life that much is due to the fact that he is probably pro-choice and Obama seems evasive on the abortion issue, so which means that he is probably pro-life. Come read my daily political blog on myspace and search Derek Varsalona

    July 9, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Alex

    McCain on Social Security: “Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that’s a disgrace. It’s an absolute disgrace, and it’s got to be fixed.”

    Memo to Senator McCain: That's how the system works. It's how it's always worked.

    Perhaps McCain shouldn't tout his experience so much when he doesn't even have a basic understanding of Social Security. Clearly, John McCain is also out of touch with working families, because anyone who earns a paycheck has an understanding of how Social Security works.

    July 9, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Chanda-Cincinnati

    Wow...who would have thunk it...Anti abortion rhetoric gets thunderous applause in the "so called" heartland of America!!! Let him go to Cali with that speech! What a woman does with her body is between her and God. Now I know McCain is as old as Moses, but last time I checked he is not God. I don't want to hear his opinion on abortion, I want to know what he is going to do realisticly about this economy. Let me know when I can stop paying almost $4 for a gallon of milk, and over $4 for a gallon of gas. You should not be at the gas pump making life decisions " If I get the gas we eat peanutbutter and jelly for a week, if I don't, I can not go to work"!!!!!!! Yeah...richest country in the world ...If you are RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. ron

    By the way your name states it perfectly,"not important" It fits you well!

    July 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. Franky

    Uh-Oh, someones flip-flopped, LOL!!

    July 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. rumpusgoopus

    So, what's the point of having town hall meetings if everyone already agrees with you?

    July 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Be Careful

    Those Hilary Clinton supporters that are still saying they will vote for McCain should really pay attention to this rhetoric.... This man will appoint members to the supreme course.. I do not want my right to choose taken away by a bunch of men over 70, especially one who commits adultery.

    July 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Mary

    Its funny that McCain doesn't like it when the government buds in for things such as Universal Health Care, Mortgage crisis..........


    Here is something that is a very difficult choice to make no matter which side you are on yet McCain thinks its ok for the government to bud in on this issue!

    So McCain will let the governemt decide for you?

    July 9, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. JG

    Hmmm, I remember back when McCain was a moderate who didn't touch this issue because it wasnt important to him, as he is not a particularly religious man. Now he is the republican nominee.... pathetic. But if this is his strategy for winning i guess he can go on about it. He doesn't have a chance.
    I am 26, and I know that anyone near my age group doesnt really care one bit how "grampa" McCain tells us how to live our lives. This is the 21st century, you had your chance John. You are too old.....and did I mention pathetic?

    July 9, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. Carol Long

    McCain speaks the truth. Human life is sacred and most Americans will applaud in agreement. Obama supports the partial -birth (late term) abortion procedure which delivers all but the baby's head, then it is stabbed in the back of the neck and it's brains suctioned out. Bad choice and worse than waterboarding. 4000 abortions a day in America! No one has authority to do that. All are endowed with the right to life.
    Chesterton said," To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as being right in doing it".
    We need to reclaim the dignity of human life in America!

    July 9, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. con me not

    John McCain should be an expert on divorce. After all he left his first wife Carol after she became damaged goods from a car accident for the much younger Cindy a model with money.

    July 9, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Dave

    All of this from a philandering divorced and re-married 71 year old. Spare me. It is time for the country to move on from this old tired rhetoric.

    July 9, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    This helps McCain with the staunch conservatives, and that's about it. He needs to focus on the moderate republicans, democrats, and independents. A little straight talk about Obama's far left speeches and voting record, would help McCain a long way.

    July 9, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. Tim F

    Funny that the previous poster implies that the dignity of human life is "not important". While there are numerous issues that candidates must address in this presidential bid, these issues can arguably stem from the attitude of holding every life dear. Senior healthcare, education, and foreign policy cannot have a favorable future with the attitude first and foremost that holding life precious must be upheld first. This sets the stage for solving the other problems that afflict all of us.

    July 9, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Could he and the evagelists also speak for the babies who have died in Iran and those in America who do not have health care. Cpould he also explain why he did not vote for having birth control pills covered under the medical plans??

    The hypocrisy of these people is incredible.

    July 9, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. gary


    July 9, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. David Illinois

    Do not worry.....Obama will be switching from pro choice and then back again and then switching again before this is all over. Bambi does the flip flop like no one else.

    July 9, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. Chris K

    A quote: "But when McCain mentioned his support for “the sanctity of human life” "......

    How about the lives lost in Iraq?
    How about the lives who are lost due to lack of healthcare?
    How about the lives of children who go to school hungry?
    How about the bridges and highways that are crumbling.
    Oh..... he must be talking about the sanctity of Saudi oil billionaires lives.... now I get it.

    Stop telling women what they can't do with their own bodies and start facing the real issues Senator McCain.

    July 9, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. Enlightened Voter

    He voted against women receiving equal pay about a month ago. He is against women's rights (look how he treats his own wife). He is a TRUE republican. Women are nothing. To him it's a man's world.

    July 9, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  20. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Tomorrow he will remember none of this. I guess he thought about a two parent family, when he divorced his first wife for cindy.

    Women, he is going to get rid of all of your rights.

    I have no ideal how remembers what Obama voted for, when he wont even vote for his own bill. Nothing against being old and not remembering. But with all the things, he is forgetting he said and did. I wonder if he will remember the people of this country.

    July 9, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. SJ

    There goes the female supporters of HIllary Clinton that McCain was trying to woo from Obama.

    July 9, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |

    Did he also give them that Chessire Cat Smile..? 🙂

    July 9, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Bob Dobolino

    If ever you needed proof that McCain 08 is willing to do anything to get elected, here it is. Willing to use wedge issues, just like all his predecessors. I think McCain 2000 would really hate McCain 2008.

    July 9, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    McCain's own family is living proof of Adoption over Abortion. It is fair to say that given unusual circumstances protocols can be put in place and use of language to accomodate life threatening situations. The same with same sex marriage. McCain believes a marriage is between a man and a woman but he supports civil unions. In this case, we can argue with the most respected biologist for heaven's sake. The only humane thing to do is accomodate them.

    July 9, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Paula Hussein Mack

    I am very anti-abortion but I also believe the choice should be there..we all answer to God for our choices and our mistakes should be our mistakes, This is the ONLY issue I disagree with Obama on.. partial birth abortion is absolute murder.. in my opinion but again the laws are in place for a reason. I just can't believe partial birth abortion is tolerated anywhere on this planet!! But it was in place long before Obama and that will not change even if McCain wins.

    July 9, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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