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. Ken

    McCain before presidential office: "I believe that women have the right to chose but I am against abortion"

    McCain After Presidential Office: "I think it's a crime to abort a child at any trimester and my new 5 supreme court justices agree. "

    Roe v. Wade

    July 9, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. McCain=the draft

    Women Beware:
    McCain has voted against ALL women's issues.
    He wants to take women's rights and choices away.
    Obama supports women's issues.

    July 9, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Bryce

    The funny thing is the baggage that everyone takes into this. McCain didn't advocate outlawing abortion, or trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. All he said was that we should do everything we can to eliminate abortion. Does anyone really disagree that we would be a healthier, more respectable society if we tried to grow to where we at least minimize the abortion rate, say, with better birth control, greater personal responsibility for birth control, better prenatal support medically and psychologically, and better adoption procedures? Abortion may be a woman's right – no argument here to the contrary. But it also is not the best possible solution. People need to back off the rhetoric and the presumed content of McCain's comments and start looking for a way for our society to grow beyond abortion.

    July 9, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. debby in Pennsylvania

    "the 2 parent family organization that shares OUR values" Uh–didn't McCain admit repeatedly cheating on his first wife whom he dumped for his then 24 yr old second wife after having an affair with her while still married?
    Bottom line: he has promised conservatives he will ad judges to the Supreme Court resulting in making abortion illegal again. At least he is true to himself on that issue which is admirable even if we may not agree with it. While abortions are a terrible thing I would hate to see us once again criminalize women and doctors for it.

    July 9, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. lesson

    People always want to protect the unborn, then once they are here, you are on your own.

    What about the people who are here? Cant we do more to make life not only about survival, but quality as well? Isnt that what makes us human.

    Practice safe sex and most of this wont be an issue. Oh wait, safe sex is an issue too. Geeze, practicality VS 'faith'.

    How about my body is mine, and i live with whatever mistakes I make, period.

    July 9, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. M.S. Indiana

    Anonymous, if you mom had had a choice...

    July 9, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown

    Another old Fart who can't get pregnant telling women what to do with their bodies!

    July 9, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Love the comment about McCain being a hypocrite for being against abortion and for the death penalty. So that would mean that moron would have to be for the death penalty and for abortion to avoid the same label? riiiiiight.

    July 9, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. Sandy

    You can say what you want on this issue, it won't stop them, many will find a way to abort a child especially if it involves rape, to me it's a personal choice that many have to live with.

    July 9, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Michelle

    And, I know that McCain is divorced. I am not about the past, and my question was not an attack on his character. I want to confront this crisis for the future of my children. I can't even take them to the play ground because little Jonny from broken homesville is cussing and hitting the other kids and little regressed Lizzy is getting yelled out by her mother who is so tired becuse she's pulling the wieght of two parents and taking it out on her child.
    We can't give our children the time they deserve when we are worn and emotionally damaged ourselves. We are wrecking our kids, and it has to stop. Parents have to be aware that everything they do effects their children. We are just like our parents wether or not we want to be. And when your child acts up, look hard, because you are seeing your worst qualities being thrown back at you, because your child repeats your behavior. We should be seeing kindness from them, not hardship. We deserved better, and our children deserve better! Parents can only do the best they can, and right now, with all their stress, a parents' best is just not good enough. WAKE UP AMERICA! we are self destructing!

    July 9, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Tyler in Raleigh

    So are those Hillary women still eager to vote for their buddy McCain???

    Lets spite Obama, and then allow McCain to trample on our rights, our money and our soliders in Iraq all so he can serve the right wing. I am a Libertarian and don't like either candidate especially, but seeing women willing to give up so much out of petty anger.

    July 9, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. McCain Sucks

    No McCain in '08

    July 9, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Willy

    McCain & Ohio in 08

    July 9, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. McCain Sucks

    All life is precious until you deploy them to a useless war....

    July 9, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  15. baby in the womb

    "my body, my choice"

    your baby's body, your choice????

    It really isn't funny anymore, it's sickening.

    July 9, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. lil

    Now he'll be running on his stand against abortion and against Roe
    v Wade.
    Well I guess thats something.

    July 9, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. J Williamson

    Ask him what he thinks about the weather and McCain surely will give his "straight-talk" views on abortion. Way to go Mr. Conservative!

    July 9, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Cole

    This is pretty sad for John McCain. Nearly no one respects Neo-Cons right now and those who are venomously pro no choice will vote for him regardless. And this is terribly ironic for any real republican to want such a big government rule. So he should try and go back to being a republican like he used to be in 2000 and before. But even a real republican can't help us in these times.

    July 9, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    NO ONE likes the idea of abortion. It's a woman's right to choose that must be upheld. I hope that those who say they'll vote for McCain because they're mad at the DNC and mad at Obama are listening.

    July 9, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Penn State Student for Obama

    I am very conservative. I am against abortion of any form. I just can't force myself to vote for McBush. We need somebody less Bush like.

    July 9, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |


    July 9, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. Chris, American in London

    Let's see how these Christian people would clap for a candidate who has enough courage to stand up and say if all life is sacred then the death penalty IS WRONG. I think it was something like 19 people cleared from jail in Texas on DNA evidence... If one, only one, innocent person is convicted wrongly and executed then how can anyone defend this system at all when the facts show it is not a deterrent to crime (countries w/no capital punishment have lower crime rates) and the only motive stems from a general lust for revenge- which is against Christ's teachings. How many souls of unborn fetus's does it take to weigh equally in importance on a scale in God's eyes to the weight of one fully developed individual, innocently convicted, then put to death by a self righteous system? I guess babies are cuter then getting down into the guts of the death penalty which also will kill blacks convicted of the same crimes and let whites serve life. Jesus help you hypocrites who vote Republican again and again on this issue alone, WAKE UP!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |


    July 9, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. proudTexan

    I never quite understand how people can think the supposed "fetus" is merely an extension of their body and because of that "it" is a part of their body and they can do what they want with "it".

    Do they then have twenty fingers? and twenty toes?

    Two heads? Four arms? Four feet? Four eyes?

    And if it's a boy, then the woman really has a problem!

    Somehow I really don't think so!!!!

    Hurrah for the unborn CHILD!!! These little babies definitely deserve their right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in this world!

    July 9, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Hillary supporter backing McCain

    Roe v Wade will not be overturned. There would be a revolt in this country. Furthermore, how many men are willing to pay for the child support for a lifetime. A woman has the right to choose what happens to her – whatever her decision, it's hers alone. The government has no right to interfere. This country will not go backwards. We need to have more birth control and make sure women and men become more responsible, but sometimes things are out of one's control. Forget about it, it's not an issue.

    July 9, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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