Recently, John McCain sat down with Glamour Magazine for a wide-ranging interview and, not surprisingly, the issue of reproductive choice came up which led to this exchange:
GLAMOUR: Last year you said that the Republican platform on abortion should change so that it did include an exception for cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother.
GLAMOUR: Is that still something that you believe?
JM: Yes. My position has always been: exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
GLAMOUR: Would you encourage that platform to be changed this summer at the convention?
JM: Yes…. And by the way, I think that’s the view of most people, that rape, incest, the life of the mother are issues that have to be considered.
Of course, when the GOP platform came out, it did “not allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother” and the McCain campaign was actively involved in helping the Religious Right craft, in the words of Kelly Shackelford, “the strongest pro-life platform ever in the history of the party.”
Throughout the interview, McCain stuck by his positions that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that, if it is, it’s acceptable for states to make abortion illegal, yet still tried to come across as moderate by insisting that he “will never impose a litmus test” on his Supreme Court nominees and doesn’t believe “that a doctor should go to jail” for performing an abortion, even if it is performed in a state where it has been outlawed.
When Glamour tried to understand McCain’s seemingly incoherent position , especially in light of his 1999 statement that he did not support a repeal Roe because it would lead women toward seeking dangerous illegal abortions, well … things got a little testy:
JOHN MCCAIN: So let me make my point clear again. I thought that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, and I continue to believe that.
GLAMOUR: And, to make sure that–
JM: That’s my position. No, no. That’s my position. And that will remain my position…. So let’s move on to the next question.
GLAMOUR: Well, I do want to just make sure that I understand–
JM: No, no. Let’s move on to the next question, otherwise then we can’t continue the interview.
GLAMOUR: OK…. When we discussed it last time, you did mention that you support–
JM: I want to go forward with the next question. And this is the last time I’d like to say that, OK?
It seems that McCain really doesn’t like being put on the spot and having his “maverick” reputation undermined by his actual positions and incessant need to appease the GOP’s right-wing base.