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The education of John McCain — on condoms

Read this exchange between a reporter and The Tool McCain on the campaign trail (aboard, ironically, the Straight Talk Express bus).

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.”

If you’re running for president and you don’t know whether condom use can help stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, it’s a pretty clear bet the man doesn’t know a hell of a lot of things of grave importance.

Think about it — this is a man whose response suggests that he has had his head up his posterior since the dawn of the age of AIDS, and during the explosion of STDs in students since abstinence education has been rolled out in full force under Bush. He has to ask an aide to find out what McCain’s position is on condoms and contraception is.

My God. McCain has seven children. One can only hope that each of his first wife Carol and his second (current) wife Cindy had “The Talk” with the kids.

Joe at Americablog was as aghast as I was:

McCain was stumped by a very simple question — a question that can be answered with a modicum of research. He was stumped by a question that can mean the difference between life and death. He was stumped by a question that every responsible adult in American should know the answer to.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding