McCain's Straight Talk Express hit an uncomfortable road block yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports:
While John McCain often embodies an anything-goes attitude when talking to reporters, it doesn't mean some subjects can't make him sweat--say, birth control.
A female Los Angeles Times reporter inquired today about comments made earlier this week by McCain campaign adviser Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett Packard.
At a breakfast with reporters, Fiorina suggested that individuals-and women in particular-be given more flexibility to determine what their health insurance plans should cover. "There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice," she observed.
When McCain was asked for his position on the issue, he said--with a nervous laugh-"I certainly do not want to discuss that issue."
The reporter pressed. "But apparently you've voted against--"
"I don't know what I voted," McCain said.
The reporter explained that McCain voted against a bill in 2003 that would have required health insurance companies to cover prescription birth control. "Is that still your position?" she persisted.
During the awkward exchange, with several lengthy pauses, McCain said he had no immediate knowledge of the vote. "I've cast thousands of votes in the Senate," McCain said, then continued: "I will respond to--it's a, it's a..."
"Delicate issue," the reporter offered, to a relieved laugh from McCain.
"I don't usually duck an issue, but I'm--I'll try to get back to you," he explained.
If McCain's still having memory problems, NARAL Pro-Choice American can tell him that he actually voted against birth control coverage twice.