September 10th, 2008
06:07 PM ET
14 years ago

Graham calls on Obama to denounce 'abortion' comment

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Graham, center, has been one of Sen. McCain's most ardent supporters and outspoken surrogates throughout the election season."]
(CNN) - South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham – a major McCain surrogate – called on Barack Obama to condemn a comment by the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party that suggested Sarah Palin’s decision not to have an abortion led to her selection as the Republican VP nominee.

Earlier in the day, Carol Fowler told a Politico reporter that Palin’s addition to the ticket would not help John McCain attract women voters, and that he had picked a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Graham told reporters on a campaign conference call organized by the new “Palin Truth Squad” that only “only blinded partisan people” could fail to appreciate Palin’s qualifications, and said Obama needed to denounce Fowler’s remark.

Listen: Graham holds conference call with reporters

"I hope he will take this opportunity to step out and get this campaign back on track and reject this really outrageous, demeaning statement of someone who’s accomplished a lot in her life," said Graham.

The Obama campaign quickly moved to distance itself from Fowler’s comment. "Carol Fowler was speaking for herself. Her comments do not reflect our views in any way," said spokesman Hari Sevugan.

Fowler herself apologized late Wednesday, and said her remark had been misinterpreted. "I personally admire and respect the difficult choices that women make everyday, and I apologize to anyone who finds my comment offensive. I clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue. Whether it’s the environment, the economy, the war or a woman’s right to choose, there are people who will cast their vote based on a single issue. That was the only point I was attempting to make."

The conference call was part of a sustained McCain campaign effort to paint Palin as the victim of attacks connected to the Obama campaign. Earlier in the day, they released a Web ad that repeated their claim that Barack Obama’s lipstick comment had been aimed at the Alaska governor, even though he used it in reference to John McCain’s policies, not Palin.

But the campaign was forced to pull the ad from YouTube after CBS objected to its use of a clip of Katie Couric commenting on Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. That distinction was not made in the ad, which implied that Couric was criticizing attacks aimed at Sarah Palin.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (478 Responses)
  1. Max

    That Sarah palin seems to have a lot skeletons hidden in her closets. She chooses to expose one of them herself, the pregnancy of her teen daughter, before the media dig it out to minimize the effect. And there is more where that skeleton comes from. One by one the media will surely dig them out and make her life so miserable that she will curse McCain for choosing her as his VP. It's just a matter of time. If you intend to defend Sara on everything that is said about her, boy! you sure have a lot of defending to do; a lot of truth to kill. I pity you.

    September 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  2. John 64 years old Independent

    Senator Graham and all the republicans should stop talking about bs and get on with the issues that define our country right now and that is jobs and financial security.

    And "oh bye the way" what about that guy that attacked us on 9/11 Osama? The republicans seem to have forgotten about him in their quest for Iraq oil.

    September 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Enough

    Sarah Palin didn't even take care of ppl with disabilities rwhen she was governor, she's a liar and a fake!!!!
    Obama shouldn't denounce NOTHING!! besides all the GOP convention was attacks at OBAMA and she belittle the community organizers!! she's dishonest and a Liar!!

    White women for Obama!

    September 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    One thing I've learned from this election season is that women can be more sexist against other women than men are. Just read the above comment from "Sally from Cali" Palin has been Mayor and Governor for awhile now and it doesn;'t look like her family is being neglected at all.

    September 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. Catrina

    Give me a break. Why should Obama have to denounce the comment when neither himself nor anyone on his campaign were guilty of making the comment? Who cares?! The Republicans are trying to distract us so we'll stop talking about the actual issues. And it's working!

    Let's focus people- back to the issues. We only have two more months left.

    No way...
    No how...
    No McCain!!!!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. Honey

    And just once I'd like Ms. Sarah to say thank you to me and millions of other women who regularly contribute to abortion rights groups. Our funding gave her the opportunity to make a decision about whether or not to give birth. And her daughter (by the way when's the wedding?) the opportunity to "decide" to have the baby.

    September 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. pam

    Sally – I think you're right on the money. Millions of Americans, both women & men, have made the choice to defer their dreams until later because their family needed them. That's real priorities.(BTW – I would be saying this about a male candidate who had a special needs baby, a 17 yr old who was pregnant & a son who was into trouble – drinking, drugs, vandalism & the like – & chose to join the military to avoid trouble with the law.) We need a Pres & VP who have REAL values & priorities – not a Pres who calls his wife the "C" word in public & a VP who's family is in chaos.

    September 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. Cecil

    For a candidate who once railed against "stale soundbites, staged rallies and over-managed messages," John McCain seems to have turned over a new leaf.

    Today marks the four-week anniversary since McCain held his last press conference (8/13 in Birmingham, MI) and three weeks since his last public town hall meeting (8/20 in Las Cruces, NM).

    McCain's new campaign strategy: staged rallies with thousands of supporters. Since announcing Sarah Palin as his VP choice on August 29, McCain's has appeared at 11 rallies with his new running mate where both members of the ticket delivered a 10-15 minute stump speech.

    GOPs Two Chicken Heads

    Spit and Run, I Quess Karl Rove Is Teaching Them Real Good!

    September 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. Drew

    talk about issues.

    September 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. Retired AF Female

    I think a lot of people, especially Governor Palin, are overlooking the fact that she had the right to choose. No one and no form of our Government was going to force her to abort her DS child. At least not as our current laws and rights dictate. How do you think women have come so far in any direction? We have progressed. We do have rights. And Governor Palin is no different than those who, like her, have a choice. At least they do now. Governor Palin needs to think about her rights and how important rights are to women everywhere.

    September 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Brian

    Republicans demand this from Obama, then they demand this..... Shouldn't they at least pretend this is a democracy?

    We all know that the Justice department and Supreme Court will not guarantee fair elections. Especially once McCain will pardon anyone caught guilty.

    September 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |








    September 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Tony, Miami

    2 mavericks my foot. There are 2 different meanings for the word maverick : 1) nonconformist
    2) unbranded animal
    I guess in 2008 when you spot that word only the second one matter.

    September 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. Pennsylvania

    I am a prolife democrat who like Bill Clinton thinks abortion should be legal but RARE!

    I am disgusted with Obama who made the flip comment about abortion that it is above his pay grade.
    Now the chairman of the South Carolina democratic party makes fun of Palin because she did not have an abortion.
    And Obama and the rest of our party will wonder on November 5 what the hell happened to them! People will not put up with this type of arrogance by the left wing of the party. Moderates and independents will flee.

    September 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. greentea

    This is the same party that said Obama's only qualification was a speech he gave in 2002. Let's not be so sensitive here. It's all part of the game.

    September 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. joyce

    is sarah your little twit
    you act like a jelious hubby
    so if you don't want the lable then get off it
    she is no beauty queen and she is not an angle
    stop shoving her down ever ones throut
    althou with out her you have no crowd and now you act like a teenager with a new girlfriend,god you are pathetic

    September 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. John Jon

    Why would that remark bother you Mr McCain. Is Mr Fowlers comment true? Is that the reason you choose her for VP. If it is not, then specify the actual reasons you did. It cannot be for her experience or for her knowledge in Foreign Affairs and National Economics. For sure it cannot be that you choose this Lady(and I use the term lightly) for her looks and to try and garner womans vote by thinking American woman are stupid and would flock to your side of this race?No, Can't be. If it is not any of these reasons, then what on earth could that reason be. Oh I get it. Its because of her Christian upbringing. Right?LMAO. Sorry i'm laughing Mr McCain, but I am a christian, Catholic to be exact and my parents brought me up to have respect for others and yourself and never to lie about yourslef and others. All I have seen from the both of you is one lie after another. So i'm sure it cannot be that. So maybe Mr Fowlers comment bears some resemblence of truth after all.

    September 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. GARedNeck

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Lindsey Graham should be ashamed of himself. If he really loved this country he would not support McCain now, nor would he have supported Bush before. He also wouldn't be using abortion as an issue in this or any other election, because no one in government will do anything about abortion except use it to alienate the citizens.

    If abortion is made illegal in this country we'll just go back to the old days of rich girls getting their abortions overseas and poor girls getting theirs in back alleys. Is this really what we want?

    September 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Get on the porch

    I want to know how she is being a mother to her children. They are not with her or the husband, because he is with her...And why is it that every time I see someone holding the baby, it's not Sarah Palin. The only time I've seen her hold him, was to parade him around in front of the GOP at the convention!

    September 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |

    I don't have a real problem with Sarah, however., when I was close to her age, I made a commitment to NOT have a child because of my age. That means I never had to consider having an abortion if my child was not healthy.

    September 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. pa for mccain/palin

    THE democrats are at it again
    they cant sell obama so they pick pick pick

    September 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  22. Ms Gunn

    Sen Graham, needs to take a seat

    September 10, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. adrian

    only blindly partisan can possibly find Palin
    the least bit qualified.
    after all, as mayor of a tiny town she attempted to
    fire the librarian who opposed Palin's wacko
    book-banning requests.

    September 10, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Obama didn't make the statement so what's the problem??

    September 10, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. LS

    I have had enough of McCain and Palin. Hopefully, their days are coming to an end. It's about the issues, not about their Tricks on trying to collect votes. They don't care about the American people, or the issues we are facing.

    McCain and his camp, and Palin are all about dirty TRICKS. They are all clowns performing in their own 'little circus', that's what they are – CLOWNS.

    No thanks, I perfer to place my vote for the men who are set-on helping and doing good for the people and the future of our precious generations to come.

    September 10, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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