Election 2008: On the Campaign Trail

Tough Moments On The Campaign Trail

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Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain both found themselves at an embarrassing loss for words this week. Obama's problems came at a Wednesday night fundraiser, while McCain had to field a question about Viagra.


Unlike Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama and John McCain both found themselves in an uncomfortable loss for words this week. McCain was asked by an L.A. Times reporter yesterday about comments made by campaign adviser Carly Fiorina.

Discussing health care, Fiorina had pointed out that there are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra, but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice, she said.

The reporter reminded McCain that he had voted against legislation that would have forced insurance companies to cover birth control. When McCain didn't recall the vote, the reporter followed up.

(Soundbite of McCain press conference)

Ms. MAEVE RESTON (Reporter, Los Angeles Times): I guess her statement was that it was unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?

Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): I don't know enough about it to give you an informed answer because I don't recall the vote. I've cast thousands of votes in the Senate. I will respond to - it's a choice. Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: And now, to Senator Obama who attended a swank Manhattan fundraiser last night in part to help Hillary Clinton pay down her campaign debt. Obama spoke for about 25 minutes then said goodbye and the music fired up. Only after he left the stage did Obama realize he hadn't actually mentioned Clinton's debt. So off went the music and he returned to the microphone.

(Soundbite of speech)

Sen. BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): Hold on second, guys. I was getting all carried away.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Sen. OBAMA: I've got one more thing that is important to do. Now, don't worry, this is not the speech part but it is important. You know, Senator Clinton still has some debt. And I could have some debt if I had one, so I know the drill.

BLOCK: Two candidates used to having the last word at a rare loss for words.

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