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. Nuffsaid

    I love it, Lindsey Graham calls on Obama to denounce and reject Carol Fowler for her comments but we don't hear a peep from anyone in the GOP when Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Barack Obama.

    The hypocrisy of the WIDE STANCE PARTY is unreal.

    Teapot, meet kettle.

    September 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Cecil

    GOP Getting So Sensitive.

    They Have Thrown Trash At Sen. Obama For 19 Months And Counting, Now There Trying To Act As Though There So Politically Correct..

    Ther GOP, The Most Un-American Politcal Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Remember What There Proud Of America!

    Karl Rove, Spin The Truth, Lie, Distort, Cheat, Divide. And There Proud Of It!

    September 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |

    Not having an abortion makes her more qualified than Obama...

    So it appears that qualifications aren't important to Obama and the DNC... just women and children bashing... you know... unity and change... LOL

    September 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. John & Lindsey= Morons

    More shiny metal objects. Let's keep them flying, then maybe America won't notice the economy is in the TOILET, and we're in two wars that George Bush is about to abandoned.

    It won't work fellows. This pounce and denounce is a dirty trick that only the GOP should discuss amongst themselves. We've got other things to do.

    McCain and Graham are idiots.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. NewAmerican

    This is idiotic coming from republicans. Obama should not even bother to respond to this. How about republican senator first apologizing for uppity comment? Really republicans think we are idiots and because they have nothing substantive to offer on economy, they are creating this type of distraction. Perhaps governor moose can be clear about per diem and honest on bridge to nowhere lies first.

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Nick, Rochester, NY

    Even as a pro-choice Republican I find Fowler's remark particularly hurtful because it relates to a child suffering of Down's Syndrome. Obama and Howard Dean have the ability to ask for Fowler's resignation and I think Dean can actually remove her from office AND THEY SHOULD THROW HER UNDER THE BUS (figuratively speaking of course) ! Imagine if these insensitive remarks were made by a Republican...

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. janine

    Why should Obama denounce anyone? Carol Fowler said it. Take it up with her. Can we please get back to the issues of the American people?

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. rufnredi

    well, two months is going to be a long time for the nastiest campaign ever. 2 months to run and it is getting sooooo miserable and aggressive: not about substance or issues at all. Can't the repubs respond to policies instead of waiting to beartrap anyone that says anything? You can see how it reflets the same paranoid abridgement of free speeech and right to question: open your mouth to say something and they ram their fists down your throats.

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. focus on issues

    million of people are without jobs and the gop brought up shanigan in the campaing. please focus on american issues not sarah palin issue.

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. Mark

    As soon as you denounce referring in a "demeaning way" to Obama being a "community organizer".

    September 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. KC

    Stick to the issues for once. People are loosing their jobs, homes, and all you can discuss is this BS. The only appology that is due is from all the politians who have AD and can not seem to focus on the real problems. People are dieing so get off your buts and get our country back on the RIGHT issues......

    September 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Lets See:

    George Bush lied about Iraq and everything else!

    Dick Chainey forced the CIA to lie for him about WMD’s in Iraq!

    McCain lies about Obama evryday!

    Palin lied about the Alaska bridge scandle, also lies about her ear-marks!

    I am starting to catch on the Republicans are a the party of liers these guys lie so much they believe there lies are the truth!

    Wow! The new GOP The Grand Old Pinocchio’s

    September 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Melvin

    The mess the repubs have said!!! I guess it is a double standard in this nation!! I wouldn't apolozise for nothing. McCain has attacked Obama's patriotism and demeaned him because of not having a service record. Get a life!!!!

    September 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Ron L

    THIS is just getting downright STUPID!!
    Neither Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain needs to be apologizing for EVER DUMB THING someone else says!!!
    What the heck is wrong with this country???
    We are up to our necks in a REAL MESS and we spend time over some knucklehead making a dumb statement. or arguing about the use of "Lipstick on a Pig" which has been a STANDARD phrase for someone trying to make something LOOK beter than what is really is. EVERYONE LOOK AT THE ENTIRE SPEECH. IT IS VERY CLEAR OBAMA WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW THE McCAIN POLICIES ARE VERY SIMILIAR TO THE BUSH POLICIES BUT HE IS ATTEMPTING TO MAKE THEM APPEAR DIFFERENT. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH GOV. PALIN.
    There is only TWO main issues in this election.
    1) The difference in the policy between the two candidates,
    2) We REALLY need to learn more about Governor Palin. SHE IS NEW on the scene and we need to know what kind of person she REALLY is. Not the hype, press releases, or prepared speeches!!
    AMERICA...WAKE UP>>this is a HUGE DOSE of smoke and mirrors!!

    September 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Jan From Boca Raton

    Graham needs to get a life. What has Palin really accomplisied??
    What qualifies her to be VP...NOTHING, except McCain needed
    a woman that was a hockey mom, PTS member and has no
    trouble popping out babies one after another. Makes me sick to think McCain will probabaly die before his term is up and we will be stuck
    with this liar and flip flopper.

    September 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. GARedNeck

    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 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Whiners.

    Stop whining. You have been trying to smear this guy since day 1, without remorse. So, hows it feel?

    September 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Come together

    I agree that if someone made that statement then it needs to be taken back, but hold on one sec Graham.......

    "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.

    But I suppose its OK to mock others accomplishemnts.It was Palin herself who demeaned his community organizing.

    “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,”

    Just throwing that out there. You be the judge.

    September 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Republicrat

    Some of these Democrats need to quit trying to help Obama and just shut up. He does better without and doesn't need their help. Now it's going to be another day without any talk on the issues.

    September 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Sally from Cali

    Sarah Palin is trying to be vice president, not care giver for her special needs child. You hear countless stories of real American heroes, giving up everything to focus on their families' needs. Sarah is an opportunist. Little Trig will never know that he's being neglected by his mom because there are plenty of of surrogates to take care of him.

    And you all know you're thinking the same thing.

    September 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS! Can the Republicans spend ANY time talking about the issues. They're like whiny little children running in to tell Mommy (the press) every time their older siblings pull their hair, call them a name, steal a toy, etc. etc. etc. Although the lipstick on a pig comment was about McCain's policy, if they want to think it's about Palin then lets see Palin being tough instead of some kind of cry baby.

    September 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. KC

    One more comment, the American people should denounce our elected officals for the mess they have allowed for the past several 16 years.

    September 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Shirley-Ohio


    September 10, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Lindsey Graham needs to crawl back under his rock. I am so sick of seeing McSame's sidekicks, Graham and Lieberman. All they do is talk trash. Obama can't be responsible for what every supporter says. This victim stuff isn't going to fly for long with Palin. She's on the big stage now! If she can't take the heat, she need to really fire the chef and get back in the kitchen.

    September 10, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Phoenix

    Why should he? He was the only one who told the media to back off her daughter, and look at the thanks Palin has given him. Why are people acting as if the pitbull can't fight for itself?

    September 10, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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