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Old 03-29-2008, 11:36 AM  
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Shouldn't this sink a campaign immediately?

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2...iv-prevention/

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SOMEWHERE in NORTHERN IOWA — The unthinkable has happened. Senator John McCain met a question, while sitting with reporters on his bus as it rumbled through Iowa today, that he couldn’t – or perhaps wouldn’t – answer.


Did he support the distribution of taxpayer-subsidized condoms in Africa to fight the transmission of H.I.V.?


What followed was a long series of awkward pauses, glances up to the ceiling and the image of one of Mr. McCain’s aides, standing off to the back, urgently motioning his press secretary to come to Mr. McCain’s side.


The upshot was that Mr. McCain said he did not know this subject well, did not know his position on it, and relied on the advice of Senator Tom Coburn, a physician and Republican from Oklahoma.


His press secretary, Brian Jones, later reported that Mr. McCain had a record of voting against using government money to finance the distribution of condoms.


All this took place on the second day of the reprise of the “Straight Talk Express” bus trips that Mr. McCain made a central part of his campaign in 2000. It also comes as Mr. McCain has eagerly been trying to ease strains with social conservatives in the party who, for the most part, do not support using government money to pay for condoms.


A transcript of the encounter follows. (Weaver is John Weaver, his senior adviser, and Brian is Mr. Jones, his press secretary):
Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?”


Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”


(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)
Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”


Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”


Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”


Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”


Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”


Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”


Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”


Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”
This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:41 AM   #2
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Does anyone really care if McCain supported such a thing or not when running for president? I don't. I mean I do to a degree but it I were to evaluate importances this would be pretty low with our current problems.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:42 AM   #3
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Does anyone really care if McCain supported such a thing or not when running for president? I don't. I mean I do to a degree but it I were to evaluate importances this would be pretty low with our current problems.
It's more if he doesn't know something this easy, how can we expect him to solve hard problems.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:04 PM   #4
chiefforlife chiefforlife is offline
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While the issue may not be high on our list of problems, the lack of his own thought process should be.
He has no idea where he stands or if he stands on the issue? I have to check with someone else to see what I think?
I wouldnt say it would sink a campaign but it is disturbing.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:10 PM   #5
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I can speak for McCain. "Of all the problems we have going on in this country today. That would rank down somewhere on page 10,029. What kind of dumb mutha****ing question is that?" Slaps reporter upside the head.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
HolmeZz HolmeZz is offline
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The actual issue isn't important, but the fact he can't recall a position that his campaign says he has a record of voting against isn't a good sign.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
plbrdude plbrdude is offline
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i would rather hear that than a complete fabrication of evading enemy fire on the front lines. "oops i mis-spoke, it really wasn't that dangerous" now that should sink a campaign. but as of yet it hasn't.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #8
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Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”


Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”




Can't risk pissing off the lunatic fringe by suggesting condoms might help stop the spread of AIDS.

Yes, I'm aware it's not a 100% barrier, but that wasn't the question.

As for sinking the campaign, no. Though I think it's a solid indicator showing he's spineless on this issue. It also leaves me concerned about how many other basic facts he'd deny or ignore in order to placate "social" conservatives.

plbrdude, very true.

Look at it this way, even if she wins the nomination I can already see the McCain ad playing tape of her repeated lies about the event over the actual footage.
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Last edited by Adept Havelock; 03-29-2008 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:33 PM   #9
Stewie Stewie is offline
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Sink a campaign? Hardly. I don't expect anyone to have every answer to every question on the tip of their tongue. The HIV problem in Africa is not solved by sending pallets of condoms, no matter what the New York Times wants to shove down your throat.

Where did this writer get his degree? The simplest grammar is out of his grasp.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie View Post
Sink a campaign? Hardly. I don't expect anyone to have every answer to every question on the tip of their tongue. The HIV problem in Africa is not solved by sending pallets of condoms, no matter what the New York Times wants to shove down your throat.

Where did this writer get his degree? The simplest grammar is out of his grasp.

They didn't ask him if condoms would "solve" the AIDS crisis in Africa.

They asked him if he believed that condoms helped to prevent the spread of AIDS.

He punted.

That's pathetic, but par for the course for any politico I suppose. Especially a congresscritter.


Stewie, I must have missed the part of the article that suggested AIDS would be stopped solely by contraception. Could you point it out?

I see a comment about funding contraception to "prevent the spread of AIDS". However,the author specifically asks if McCain believes it can "help" prevent that spread, so it seems pretty clear to me the author doesn't believe AIDS would be stopped solely by contraception.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:37 PM   #11
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What's wrong with what he said?
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:39 PM   #12
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Absolutely. This has got to be the end of McCain. How can he possibly recover?

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Old 03-29-2008, 12:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock View Post
What's wrong with what he said?
Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”


Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock View Post
What's wrong with what he said?
So you don't have a problem with ignoring/claiming ignorance of the common (and factual) knowledge that condoms can help control the spread of AIDS?

Talk about low expectations.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfl View Post
Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”


Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
I guess it's easy to read it after the fact and understand what he reporter asked, but I have to say that's a ****ed up phrasing of a question.
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