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. No McSame/Palin, CA

    More repubs crap. I do not believe a word lindsey graham says. I saw this ad & Katie Couric was not allowed in interview Palin (no other press either) but yet they used her in this ad. What a low, small shallow mind it took to put this ad out. McSame has nothing new to offer, they may have a new face but same old failed policies. McSame/Palin an extension of the Bush administration. No Way, No How, No McCain.

    September 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Ronald

    I want an apology from Graham for saying US citizens are a bunch of whiners!

    September 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |

    W I S H F U L

    September 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Palin Rules

    Silly pumas, elections are for grown ups, not screaming little children who want their witch Clinton in the oval office. You have lost. Palin is a true American woman.

    Palin 2012

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Tracy from Wisconsin

    I ditto the opportunist comment. What kind of mother would use her childrens' challenges and problems to get ahead in her career?

    The Republican Party may think they are going to get the women vote by adding the entirely under qualified Alaskan to the ticket, but not mine or any of the women I know.

    Sarah Palin is a disgrace to American women.

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Edgar

    Did you know that Senator Grahm is a known racist, and will do anything to keep a black man out of office? The report also shows that he has comunist ties. That is what we are seeing here people, a lynching of a black man right in front of the public media! I only hope and pray that this election is not close because there will be riots everywhere. The Republicans have finally shown their had and it is the hand of hate and racisim.

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Gracie

    I guess Sen, Graham is going to to the "babysitter" for Gov. Palin's baby huh?

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Hall for Obama

    Mr. Obama, please keep this race focus on the real problems that real people are having, and come up with a solutions. If John McCain want changes let him change, Mr. Obama you stay the same. I personally do not care what McCain do, or who he picks for a running mate. I just want Obama for the next president of the USA.

    CNN Please try to be fair with both Obama and John McCain.

    Maybe John McCain is to old to remember when and Why he use the lipstick on the pig or maybe that is a saying for white men to use, not half white men.

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. John McCain

    Hi, this is Johnny McCain, and I approved this message.
    I picked Sarah because I got bored and pushed aside by the thinking crowd of America. I just wanted to have some fun! I used to watch Jerry Springer all day long, and since he is gone, my dream came through when I realized that I can do the same thing in life size: the election campaign.
    I love to see how people get pissed when I say something which is not true. I also keep repeating it, because my fellow comrades belive it after about 50 times saying it. I love to watch the liberals when they get pissed when I pick a nameless hockey mom for running mate. Yes, I want to mate her...khmm... You know, my life line is based on my Vietnam story. It hurt, and after getting out, I thought I make money on it. I married a rich chick, I used her money and influence to get into "circles" and since I had no other profession or education, I thought I get into politics. Can't hurt? Right?
    So, life is fun, take it easy kids, lean back and... ops, I lean back and watch YOU fighting. FUUUUUN!!
    I am just having a lot of fun!

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Dems 4 McCain

    Wow, these kind of sick attacks on Palin and her family are enough to turn any lifelong Democrats off Obama for good.

    Hope and change? Gimme a break.

    September 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    More GOP distraction from the real issues. Maybe it is the GOP agenda to turn over you human rights of choice to State control. The RNC looked to much like China in Tibet excerting State control. Bailling out the rich and their financial banks now under State control. The corprate managers won't have to worry who will be buying their products the will soon become property of the State. GOP going down the road of Socialism, but won't provide healthcare you get the privelage of paying the State for it

    September 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Terry from GA

    When is John McCain and his campaign going to talk about the real issues? Why is Sarah Palin a puppet who is not allowed to speak for herself? According to John McCain she's good enough to nominate but not good to answer questions from the press. Now, that's sexism. They are sure working hard to distract the american people but it's not going to work this time. Enough is Enough !!

    September 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Heather, Cleveland, OH

    CNN – What? Are you reporting EVERYTHING negative about Obama today? What about the earmarks that Sarah Palin requested for her state to study baby seals and fish? Other networks are covering that. What is going on with you people?

    September 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    Well at least the Republicans are finally touching on an actual issue. Still none from McCain nor Palin though. Enough of the smoke and mirrors illusions from the Repubs. Issues please.

    September 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. sue

    Lindsey is a pansy-he is an angry bitter closet homosexual-who probably has a kthing for obama–remember Lindsey, once you go black, you never go back!

    September 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Why isn't the media spending as much time talking about the disgusting ad that the McCain camp ran trying to paint Obama as some sexual pervert? That was the most despicable thing I've ever seen. Obama should be calling on McCain to denounce his own campaign OR asking McCain why HE doesn't want to protect children from sexual predators? Why he doesn't want to keep the littlest children of America safe? But no. Democrats are too nice to allude to such things and the Republicans are apparently controlling the media...again!

    September 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. sety

    I just can not Stand these two fake people, McCain and Palin.

    September 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Phoenician, AZ

    What moral values are we talking about if you are planning to have a child with disability only to give it to 'care-givers'? Palin's kids are surely her business (as long as they aren't completely neglected), but this idiot want to enforce her hypocritical "values" on others, and that's OUR business!

    September 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |



    September 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. Michael

    Sarah is married and it is the man job to help raise the kids just as much as the womans. So who is to say that he can't stay home and care for the child while she goes to work. As for sally's comment about Trig the same could be said about Obama's daughters,

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. Voter

    Distraction & Reaching... can the GOP ever turn a blind eye and stay on the ISSUES?????

    And I agree with Sally... both McCain and Sarah are being opportunists, pandering and their speaches and advertising focus primarily on attacks and smearing instead of ISSUES

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. cmc

    maybe McCain's camp needs to apolgize for some of the stuff that comes out their mouths, seems to me that this is all one sided. I think they would do better to get back on the issues, instead of this garbage.................

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Child Care

    social workers / child care protection workers- please keep an eye on this disfunctional family .

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

    This is ridiculous....Obama/Biden08...America do not fall for 4 more years!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. Danny, OH

    Republicans have nothing to offer so everything that anybody says is an offense.
    Everything that one says in this country will offend somebody. Republicans act like uncivilized bunch.

    September 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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