McCain’s Troubling HIV Answer

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Dumb Things Said By Smart People, Money, Science, Sexuality, Social Programs, The World

He was on his bus answering a question about whether our government should spend money to provide condoms in Africa. And then the reporter asked him an excruciatingly simple question.

You will be amazed…

Q: 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.�

Seriously, if McCain is this out of touch with the most basic and effective prevention methods for one of the worst diseases known to man, how can we reasonably trust him to make decisions on far less important matters?

Very disappointing to see him imploding like this. But what can you do except stand back and watch the train wreck?

For more on McCain, try these posts:
- McCain Shuns Club For Growth
- McCain Continues Implosion?
- Santorum Says Nay To McCain
- What Is McCain Thinking?
- Chuck Hagel: The John McCain Of 2008?


This entry was posted on Sunday, March 18th, 2007 and is filed under Dumb Things Said By Smart People, Money, Science, Sexuality, Social Programs, The World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

28 Responses to “McCain’s Troubling HIV Answer”

  1. bob in fl Says:

    I think John needs to get an Alzeimer’s test. I mean, sheesh! this can’t be the first time he has answered the question. then he really stickes both feet in his mouth when ha says “I need to go back to see what I said before!” Even Bush is smarter to utter something like that.

  2. David Markland Says:

    I really, really, really hope McCain gets the Republican nomination. Better way to guarantee a landslide victory for Obama.
    But it won’t happen – they’ll go with Romney and energize the Republican base, along with anyone else skeptical of a black man in office, and raise the ire of the Islama-phobes out there, and make it a tough race.

  3. dj Says:

    Wow. That kinda makes me wonder if he’s okay. Medically, I mean.

    There was a time I would have considered voting for him — that time has long passed.

  4. ford4x4 Says:

    heh… that guy is such a [thinking of right word] POLITICIAN

  5. sleipner Says:

    The last thing we need is another senile president…wasn’t Reagan enough of a horrendous example?

    I kinda hope either he or Romney get the nomination…neither could ever win a general election. Giuliani would be far more dangerous…and yet he’d also be the least repulsive Republican option (to me at least).

  6. Joshua Says:

    Actually sleipner, IIRC McCain, if elected President, would be slightly older on Inauguration Day 2009 than Reagan was on Inauguration Day 1981.

  7. probligo Says:

    Hey, give the man a chance!! It is good enough to get him elected!!

  8. Tom Says:

    I don’t know – McCain was much more attractive last time around. It kills me seeing him suck up to Bush and the hard right social conservatives. I mean, I voted for HIM back in ’00 because I DIDN’T LIKE Bush.

  9. yortuk Says:

    I wonder if his confusion stems from being unsure of the current Evangelical views on this and a desire not to step on any Republican toes. It takes planning and preparation to be able to answer in a way that pleases everyone.

  10. rolandog Says:

    I think he’s avoiding a flip-flop…

    Everyone’s got a stance on certain issues, but perhaps this was the ‘wrong’ question at the wrong time…

  11. Steve Says:

    Isn’t it clear what’s going on? Obviously he knows that condoms prevent the spread of STDs. The question is whether it’s in his interests to acknowledge that. For many people (ie, the religious right), acknowledging that fact is tantamount to endorsing premarital sex. And there’s probably some very carefully chosen line which satisfies everyone, but he can’t remember it for the moment, so he prefers to say nothing. No Alzheimers, just political nonsense.

  12. anonymoustroll Says:

    I lost all respect I might have had for McCain when he voted for torture despite being a victim of it himself (to me it was fairly obvious where he stood on the issue, but he toed his party’s line right down to the point of crushing his own soul). You simply can not trust a man that does not stand up for what he truly believes in his heart to be true (torture is bad), especially when the majority of the people would have agreed with him. That’s the kind of spinelessness I expect from the current president and it is a leadership character flaw the United States of America should not have to endure any further.

  13. Misreading Says:

    Most contraceptives don’t stop HIV. Condoms do, but not all contraceptives are condoms. It’s not as simple a question as it seems.

  14. Stijn Says:

    I think we’ve got another Dubya here.

  15. Pietro Says:

    this is what they say happens when your sex life dies. very unfortunate for Mr McCain… especially with one hand.

  16. TheGolem Says:

    The only excuse I can think of is that McCain hasn’t gotten any since the invention of rubber.

  17. derek Says:

    Seriously think about this for a second. The reason for this man responding in this seemingly ingnorant fasion is not becuase he is not aware and well informed of all the topics at hand, but it actually falls upon the fact that he considers himself a presidential canidate that does not need te buren of suedo solving issues that are not directly attatched to the war in the middle east. Fuck this Viet Nam phony.I need a fucking smoke…watch trailer park boys…and jump our border.

  18. alec Says:

    The guys like 80 years old, do you think he’s ever worn a condom or even used contraceptives before? Doubt it.

  19. Eddie Keator Says:

    Pretty reckless of a presidental candidate not to know even the basics to some major health concerns… oh wait – he’s following George Walker Bush’s exampla and it’s pretty clear that moron doesn’t know his butt from his elbow.

  20. bryan Says:

    I think he is being sarcastic more than anything. you people need to read a little past the actual words, and put a little inflection in them. since the reporter didn’t get the hint, he simply moved on to something else.
    Don’t get me wrong i am not at all defending the guy. if he can’t stand for something as obvious as AIDS prevention and condom distribution when it doesn’t effect anything, i don’t want him in a position when it actualy matters.

  21. peter Says:

    This is one of those typical questions that reporters ask when they are trying to trap someone into saying something embarassing. The reporter didn’t ask McCain if he thought that condoms help stop the spread of HIV, but whether he thought contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV. It would be irresponsible of McCain to say yes, because a) he is not a medical expert and b) most contraceptives do not stop the spread of HIV (the pill, diaphragm, patch). It would be irresponsible for him to say no, because a)he is not a medical expert and b) some contraceptives (condoms) do prevent the spread of HIV. Thus, no matter what his answer, he will be criticized. Of course, if he doesn’t give an answer, then bloggers will decide that he is senile and out of touch.

    Sounds to me like he knows more about contraceptives than most of the people on this website. I’m not suggesting that he is qualified to be president; he’s an ass for a variety of reasons. However, this is not among them. Some clever reporter tried to entrap a candidate he didn’t like, and anyone with half a brain and an open mind will realize that. The reporter is obviously supporting the distribution of condoms, which is the job of a lobbyist, not a reporter.

    What McCain should have done is ask for clarification of the question. “When you say contraceptives, do you mean all contraceptives, or just prophylactics?”

  22. Prose Before Hos » the reality is that America’s position is undermined and nobody needs to understand that more than Americans Says:

    [...] You know what gets me excited about the 2008 Presidential election? That the leading Republican candidate, none other than John Bamboo McCain, doesn’t know that a fucking condom prevents the spread of HIV. And no, I’m not kidding: Q: Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?â€Â? [...]

  23. Around the web | alexking.org Says:

    [...] McCain’s Troubling HIV Answer – I’m really disappointed at the “what am I supposed to say here?” guy that McCain seems to have become. [...]

  24. Noty Says:

    Umm..I usually hate republicans, but what’s the big deal here? :o)

    The man isn’t informed on it; Condoms do help prevent HIV, however, possibly encouraging more sexual activity through the process of distributing them could be worse than not distributing them at all. He wouldn’t be a very good lawmaker if he blindly took positions on every subject.

  25. Adam in VA Says:

    The question here should not be do condoms help prevent the spread of AIDS. I believe the major point to look at here is should the US gov’t provide condoms to Africa. The answer, quite simply, is no way! Why should my tax dollars go towards providing free condoms to the people of another continent. The US gov’t should quit taxing my to death and stop spending so much damn money on BS like this!

  26. Rog Says:

    I’m not gonna vote for the guy, but in his defense, this reporter wasn’t very smart and his question was worded very badly.

    If I were asked ”
    Q: Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?�

    I would have to answer, “No, I think help spread it. Because in my experience men and women on oral contraceptives are generally the most sexually active and almost all drugs that help stop conception from occurring don’t affect HIV at all. Condoms, on the other hand, are the best physical barrier to HIV transmission.”

    So, my point is, if you’re going to make fun of somebody for being “out of touch,” maybe you should look at the question better to begin with.

  27. Andrew Says:

    Good Point Rog and I would totally believe you except the reporter clarified his question by referring to Condoms specifically and John’s reply was ““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.â€Â?
    John is admitting that has to be told what to say even on things as simple as condoms. This means if you elect him you will never actually know from where or whom is making the big decisions in our government. I would never trust this type of “shadow government”. Especially when there it is often necessary for Presidents to act boldly and decisively w/o referring to “Colburn’s thing” (I.E. Katrina, 4hyjacked planes, using a condom with interns, ect…)

  28. Andrew Says:

    dam I should reread my post before i submit…haha

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