He needed to think about it ’cause, you know, he didn’t know, but he thinks he supported the president’s policy

June 18, 2008

While engaging in a little political discourse with a good friend whose political point of view veers a bit to the right of mine, we were remembering some past McCain interviews. (For the record, my friend will probably be voting for McCain. Probably.) I found the complete interview here.

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.”

Good idea, Senator. You think on it a bit, because as far back as 2000, we knew that Africa was losing 6,000 people a day to AIDS, and that 11,000 new cases of HIV were being diagnosed.

(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.”

That’s okay. AIDS has only been around for a few decades. But you think on 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.”

Think on that too, because you were with him before you were against him, or is it that you were against him before you were with him? Whew! I just can’t keep up.

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.”

I wonder if Coburn’s report showed that fewer than 1 in 5 Africans has access to AIDS prevention programs.


One comment

  1. “I’ve never gotten into these issues before”? WTF? I’ve heard about abstinence and birth control since Junior High. This man’s what, in his 70’s and he can’t remember where he stands on birth control? If he wins the election, Heaven help us all.

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