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. V

    McCain A Republican who will not vote for you, Reason today more nasty ads shame on you. you have truly change my opinion about you and not in a good way you have abandon every piece of moral etical values you had you can tell who is running your campaign now, how come the media aren't saying anything about these ad.

    September 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. W

    I am a Republican woman that was supporting john McCain but Last night I saw the new ad the McCain campaign put out about Barack Obama and teaching sex education to kindergarten children, it disturbed me very much that a campaign would use kids in such a way in their campaign that it brought me to tears, as I look at my kids and said to my self that they are just so innocent and to use kids in a campaign to me has cross the moral and ethical line. I screamed how could John McCain put out this false ad how could he try to play with my love and my motherly instinct to protect my kids, how could you john McCain how could you I thought kids were off limits.this has offend me as a mother and I hope other mothers stand up and speak out about it and say my kids are off limits to you John McCain and the McCain campaign. And that we see that you will do any thing to become president even exploit kids. You have lost my vote. Your ambition has clouded your judgment.

    September 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Chuck

    Now there is a pair ... President Clinton (who no doubt underwent a form of Obama's sex ed in kindergarten) and O'bama. Now that is CHANGE! LOL! Did Edwards also study this form of quasi-pornography? Why tell 5 yo children about "parts of the body that feel good when you touch them ..." Why McCain/Palin will win: America is not as stupid as the 3 aforementioned politicians think that they are! Biden ... gonna hang on to your senate seat in order to give it to your son if you win or go back to the "back pocket bank Execs..." when you lose LOL! Change that you cannot count on... O'bama/Biden/Clinton/Edwards/Gore/Kerry ... et al

    September 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Obama 08: White, 60 yr old female

    CNN: I challenge you to report ONE clear policy statement and clear plan to implement it from McCain since the Rep. Convention.

    I also challenge you to actually cover Obama's education plan as outlined by him today!

    Your coverage of this campaign has been disgusting; constatntly complaining that it should be about ISSUES and then spending hours and hours on slams, lies and smears. Shame on you!!

    September 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. down with the GOP.

    give me a break! they are grabbing at straws at this point.

    September 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Reggie Yamanaka

    it's all part of the game. this is the fun part for them. the poker match. barack doesn't get it...john mccain can talk issues and policies and he has been an agent of change. john mccain has been honest, and this is the spin stage when you're allowed to enjoy making the other candidate look bad bc they're speaking to the lower common denominator that are undecided. barack's addressing the issues but his resolutions are impossible! infeasible according to him!

    September 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. shannon

    The Dems are completely melting down. Is anyone in control of these morons?

    This is what happens when you put Dean in charge of the DNC.

    September 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. T

    In my view, America does make the Bible a Western, even American, text as we read into it the values that come naturally to us due to our upbringing. Capitalism is nowhere taught as such in Scripture; socialism isn't either. But American right wing Christians and Latinos are proponents of liberation theology both will use the Bible to promote their agendas.

    My own view is that many Republicans struck me as angry people.
    Rudy G and Tom Delay both come to mind. That's all I am going to say about that.

    September 10, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Tom in Delaware

    Obama keeps being given one opportunity after another to do the next right thing...but will he?

    September 10, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Ever See a Wolf run down, shot and bleed to death

    Graham crackers: just another right wing whinner.

    "I said thanks, but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere, after I worked to get the funds. Then, I kept the money and built a road to nowhere."

    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Yeah, Honor, Right

    John couldn't stand how he was treated as a POW, so he came home and did the same thing to his wife and kids, by abandoning them.

    Great, just great John. You're a loser, and no matter how much lipstick you paint over your past, you're still a pig.

    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. rhoward

    If Ms. Palin is such an accomplished and "tough" politician, why doesn't she get out and stand up for herself ? She criticized Hillary Clinton when Ms. Clinton complained about sexism. She had no problem making disparaging remarks about community organizers while parroting a canned speech from the convention. Now the poor widdle thing can't defend herself and has to get the Republican party to defend her "honor". Are world leaders going to be so sensitive to her delicate sensitivities? I think not.

    Like everything else that has come from John McCain and the Republican party this year, it's one more way NOT to have to talk about real issues.

    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. Policies matter.

    Obama doesn't speak for Fowler. He doesn't need to say anything. Give the sexism charges a rest, Republicans. Campaign on the ISSUES.

    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  14. NC4OBAMA


    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. John = Selfishness

    Sarah and John are selfish. He left his wife and kids, and she is leaving her baby. They are two peas in a pod.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    I don't think that Barack Obama has to apologize for anything. I don't hear McCain apologizing for all the crap he says about the Obama camp! But he and his camp can surely whine and cry around about everything just like big political babies.

    These people are the BIG Dogs.... they chose a Pit Bull Dog in Lipstick to be their VP choice. THEY and SHE are open to all comments. No one should use kid gloves with either of them. They do not use kid gloves with ANYONE! I'm sick of their whining and crying when they do nothing but lie and attack with falsehoods!

    If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!
    Go Obama!

    Playing the Victim card is typical Republican Rhetoric. We are all sick of them and their POOR ME attitude. It is one thing for everyone else, and another for them. Pooh, pooh, pooh!!! I'm sick of it!

    September 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. Mike

    Senator Lindsey Graham would better serve this country and his constituents if he were in the Senate writing a bill to stop the over-
    blown speculation on our country's sweet light crude, instead of
    shooting his mouth off on someone else's behalf.

    I am so tired of politicians not doing their jobs and stealing the
    wealth of the country from good working people while making it
    look like they give a hoot about an issue.

    Senator Grahm, I so hope your 15 minuets of fame are up soon.

    Pissed in the west,

    September 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  18. Que Quedas

    preach it Sally.......I'm with u

    September 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  19. Time Marches On

    OMG, John McCain can't even read this because he's a loser on the internet also.

    Come join the 21st century John, the water's fine.

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. Louis

    Two points:
    1–the abortion comment was out of line
    2–McCain used the pig lipstick comment against Hillory in 11/07

    Obama '08

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. Cecil

    Graham Where Were You When The GOP And Your Supporters Were

    Calling Sen. Obama Un-American,

    Or When McCain Said Sen. Obama Wanted To Lose The War For Personnel Gain,

    The Fist Bump Between Him And His Wife, Was A Sercret Evil Code,.

    The conference call was part of a sustained McCain campaign effort to paint Palin as the victim of attacks

    "This Is Sexism America"

    GOP, Why Don't You Put Gov. Palin Back In The Kitchen!
    The GOPs Own Personal WindUp Doll.

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. Sal

    Fowler apologized, why does Obama have to apologize. Palin is a psycho nutcase, she doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the White House.

    Obama in '08

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. Lana, California

    Obama should "denouce and reject" the SC Chair just after Palin "denouce and reject" her Jews for Jesus whack jobs that she sat in the pew and nodded her head in agreement to.

    Politics ain't bean-bag Lindsey. My, oh my....we CAN dish it out but we cannot take it, eh Rethugs?

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Rita

    Your headline (again) is misleading, suggesting Obama made the comment. C'mon CNN, you can do better than this. Please stay out of the poisonous media frenzy that is such the stuff of tabloids. You are losing me quickly as the source I go to for real news.

    September 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. please

    I wish I was in the tissue business because I could sell a ton with all the crying the repubs have been doing – boo hoo hoo

    September 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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