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. Jill

    Who or what is the name of "the two parent family organization" that "shares our values"? Who is "our"? This is just an example of the totally incoherent nonsense that McCain says everyday. This alone is an example of unclear thinking – whether he was always like this or is getting worse as he gets older, I don't know. But this statement means nothing.
    As for those who don't see how anyone can be pro-choice...you are either too young to remember "back alley" abortions with wire coat hangars (yes, they happened – I knew someone who had one), a male with no idea of what it means to be faced with an unwanted pregancy, or a woman with no empathy for other females. I marched for abortion rights when I was younger and if we lose these It will be a major step backward.

    July 9, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Kathy

    Good for McCain!!! Stand up for human values. Abortion is wrong!! Life is precious. He may not be perfect but face it, He's the best choice we have. He has far more knowledge and courage than Obama. Some people only say what they want you to hear. Others stand up for what they believe.

    Mc Cain 08

    July 9, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Jeanine

    It should be a women's choice and no man or politian should be able to change that....plain and simple!

    July 9, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Independant Thinker

    I believe in abortion when;

    1) The mother’s life is in jeopardy.
    2) Rape
    3) Incest
    4) Maybe some others

    I do no believe in abortion when;

    1) It is used as a matter of convenience.
    2) It is used as a form of birth control.

    Liberals usually believe in abortion for all of the above. They believe in abortion on demand. They do not believe in the child’s rights nor that the mother has any RESPOSIBILITY in trying not to get pregnant.

    What ever happened to being held accountable for one’s actions???

    Ever hear of contraceptives?

    Recently I saw a little girl on TV that was born prematurely at 26 weeks into the term, she is now 12, and there wasn't a thing wrong with her.

    What gets me is that some liberals believe in partial birth abortions at over 8 months of term. A procedure that would that if wouldn't be done, 5 minutes later would produce a healthy child.

    How sorry some of you people are. Maybe YOU sould have been aborted.

    July 9, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. the extreme

    I think abortion should be allowed up to birth. Extreme, but it's still in the woman's body.

    July 9, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Roe V Wade in danger

    Okay PUMA crybabies, there was your Roe V Wade warning shot by your endeared John McCain.
    Still want to vote for McCain? My guess is yes because you are morons!

    July 9, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. Dew5050

    CNN, what is wrong with my comment that you have refused to publish it? It has been awaiting moderation for over 30 minutes. Have you guys gone partisan too? Or do you want to tell me that you did not hear Mcsame making jokes about killing Iranians with cigarettes?

    July 9, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    So, John McBush is pandering to right-wing evangelicals for votes. What's new ??

    The man is not qualified, unless being an angry, old white fart that got shot down 3 times and spent countless years as a POW...then came to the senate to do the work of lobbyists and special interests (see Keating five) qualifies one to be president.

    BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. Sue

    Why no mention of the Vietnam Veteran who challenged McBush's voting record on veteran issues??

    McBush looked like a McFOOL

    July 9, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  10. DRF

    (sigh) Both these guys are pandering. They both bend on this issue, leaning toward what they think the audience wants to hear. It's human nature and it's good strategy for the lowest common denominator.

    That's why I go with the voting record. McCain's a good guy in a lot of ways, but Obama is better on birth control and sex ed–and if you've got those, we don't need as many abortions.

    And while we're talking about abortion, who's talking about infrastructure? Who's talking about the economy? Abortion law is important to me, but those are the things that will affect our country's future.

    July 9, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. McGaffe

    What about children born to drug addicted parents? Crack babies are a sad reality, and those poor kids didn't have a choice to be born that way. You'll be taking away the only option for some women who live in abusive relationships, are caught up in drugs, alcohol, prostitution and gangs, and if their lives were headed in the right direction, they might decide to bring a healthy child into this world. More of these disadvantaged mentally challenged children will be born, because you do not support planned parenting. I don't think the majority of women want the option of back alley coat hanger abortions or dropping off your unwanted kid in the mail chute at the baby depot. Let us chose what's best for our children. It's wrong to make our future children pay for our mistakes.

    July 9, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. ProChoice

    I wouldn't have gone there if I were him...he's not thinking. And this is from a first time rep woman voter. I might still vote for you, but you're making me wish I had voted for Obama like many of my friends, including one of my sisters. Watch me as I cross over...

    July 9, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  13. Will

    Speaking of Govment spending, McCain is the 2d ranking GOP member and former chair, when the GOP controlled congress, of the Commerce Committee. Next to defense, Commerce spends more tax dollars and creates deficit. McCain voted for the bridge to nowhere, in Alaska. He has never voted no a any spending bill to come out of his committee. And now he worried able Govment spending. This guy will say anything to get elected. Since he has been on both sides of the abortion issue, who really knows were he stands.

    July 9, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  14. Myron

    Dry your eyes disenchanted Hillary supporters and pay attention. That PUMA business was cute for a while, but there are some heavy issues at stake.

    July 9, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  15. David Hillman

    I'm pro-choice... but I'm voting for McCain. Why? Among other reasons, I don't agree with Obama's position either. Obama favors allowing a doctors to kill a baby that someone miraculously survives the odious procedure to which McCain refers. It's one thing to abort a fetus, but it's a whole other deal to kill a baby outside the womb. Only something like 5% of the country actually agrees with Obama on this issue. You have be a seriously cold-hearted bastard to do so, in my opinion.

    July 9, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  16. Sue in MI

    McCain does more flip-flopping than Obama could ever think of doing, and the media lets him do it, even when he is on tape and the tapes are readily available. The media wants Republicans in control. Isn't that interesting? Don't be fooled..we need a cleaning out of Congress, and a Democrat in the White House, or we will be bombed very soon.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  17. Jack from California

    Well all you out-of-work conservative can get as excited as you want about a womans personal issue but, with John McBush, your going to be still out-of-work.

    Hope you feel better in the bread line!

    July 9, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. texas DEM

    If OBAMA does not pick CLINTON he will loose.


    July 9, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  19. Kris Hussain from AZ

    A woman's right to choose is her right. Not polititions. Not men and most certainly not another woman. Her own. RIGHT TO CHOOSE! It is a sad situation but possibly worse for a child who has a mother who is not ready or not fit to be a mother yet or at all. God bless all our children. God Bless a woman to choose for herself 🙂

    July 9, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |

    When will Obama say he respects all life and outlaw the death penalty which allows for a few innocent people to be executed as collateral damage to feed the nations general lust for revenge? One thing I can say about these pro-lifers is at least they're consistent and they did get partial birth abortion curtailed. If youre allowed to murder a baby that would live outside its mothers womb in late trimesters by inducing labor then stabbing its skull, (thats what it is) then maybe if you have an infant in the first few days and change your mind, re-insert it and do the same procedure to it, that should be legal also. John McCain and the Republicans are a doomed lot. One day soon what is now a Democrat will be the far right end of the spectrum and America can wake up to the modern world. Perhaps Obama will be the new Regan, in that he redefines the mainstream- we got a lot of catching up to do!

    July 9, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Greg FL.

    Does anyone else find it odd. The GOP is Pro-life and Pro death penalty. Your right to life only extends til your born then they can kill you with a clear conscience.

    July 9, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. PCS / North Carolina

    Ray wrote July 9th, 2008 6:50 pm ET

    "Protect born and unborn life UNLESS it's life in the Middle East, then just shoot no need to talk about it."

    Did you know people dying from gun violence in our country is far more than people dying in Mideast ??


    July 9, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. McLiar !!!!

    McSame__my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”.........are you against the DEATH PENALTY?and For the WAR in IRAQ .........What is death count ?--What a hypocrit

    July 9, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  24. Eric in Ca

    In my male -humble opinion Pro-Choice is simply giving a WOMAN the right to choose what is best for her body. It doesn't advocate that the end result will be to have an abortion. Abortion whether outlawed or not will still take place, but the best compromise is to teach abstinice, and safe responsible sex education. I'm often confused by those pro-lifers that are for WAR and the Death Penalty. Save a life only to send it to war!

    July 9, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  25. California Gold

    I remember before Roe v. Wade women would go across the border to get abortions, or the back alleys and get butchered, infections or other post operative complications. No amount of legislation will stop abortions. So allow choice and maybe, just maybe, some woman won't have to die at the hands of a basement butcher. If you really want to maintain the "sanctity of life" then leave well enough alone.

    Strange how McCain pounds on the "sanctity of life" and wants to continue war.

    And when was the last time he was pregnant?

    July 9, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
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