McCain Clueless on AIDS prevention – WTF??

Yes, I know, I have not posted in a while. I was attending the spectacular annual convention of the American Medical Student Association… more on that in a future posting.

For now let me direct you to a nice little conservative idiot, a U.S. senator who once was formerly known as a “straight shooter”, John McCain. Now he is more or less, how should I put this, full of shit.

McCain Clueless on AIDS prevention - WTF?

Notice I’m not saying, “I don’t like McCain because he is a Republican”, I’m saying I don’t like the guy because he has become what he (once) loathed – a liar. Take his reversal on Jerry Falwell, a demagogue who is getting filthy rich telling people such filth as:

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For The American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped [9/11] happen.”

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

“Global warming is Satan’s attempt to redirect the Church’s primary focus.”

But I digress. The man who could one day become president of the most powerful nation ever on Earth is clueless about the deadliest disease to ever affect mankind. The ignorance needs to be read to be believed.

From “The Caucus” Blog of the New York Times:

SOMEWHERE in NORTHERN IOWA — The unthinkable has happened. Senator John McCain met a question, while sitting with reporters on his bus as it rumbled through Iowa today, that he couldn’t – or perhaps wouldn’t – answer.

Did he support the distribution of taxpayer-subsidized condoms in Africa to fight the transmission of H.I.V.?

What followed was a long series of awkward pauses, glances up to the ceiling and the image of one of Mr. McCain’s aides, standing off to the back, urgently motioning his press secretary to come to Mr. McCain’s side.

Feeling awkward answering difficult and important questions is not unusual, even for a speaker at McCain’s high level. Giving a bullshit answer, though, is apparently within the reach of McCain’s level. All emphasis is mine:

A transcript of the encounter follows. (Weaver is John Weaver, his senior adviser, and Brian is Mr. Jones, his press secretary):

Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?

Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”

(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”

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.”

This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.

So folks, there you have it. I was going to sneak in some figures of HIV/AIDS, like 40 million worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 25 million of these living in sub-Saharan Africa, 48 million orphans in Africa, a quarter because of HIV/AIDS, but my guess is facts are worthless with these bunch of conservative idiots.

And by the way, asking your assistant about “your” position on a subject is preposterous when it comes to AIDS. If it were something like the microeconomics of Indonesian farmers I would cut you some slack, but AIDS? Give me a break.


33 Responses to McCain Clueless on AIDS prevention – WTF??

  1. J-Ro says:

    Preposterous is right! But hey, the Straight Talk Express has been sitting in the station for a couple years now right?

    But we expect too much of our leaders right? I mean, they have to read all those bills before they vote on them (wait…they don’t?). And they have to have a position on every single issue. And they can’t flip flop…no no, that’s a death sentence. With so many publicists and PR-types surrounding them how can we expect anyone to be more than a mouthpiece. There is so much big money at work here that political leadership has come down to being a face, a voice, and a position. Real people don’t get into politics these days….

  2. Seldona says:

    He actually had to ask his aid to double check his position on people dying of AIDS in Africa? For once I am stumped. These people are so going to hell, and they will be the most surprised crooks there.

  3. bloggernista says:

    My fav part was when his press secretary had to come and clarify his position by pointing out that he has a record of voting against government funding for condom distribution. McCain may be straight, but he has never been a “straight talker.” It was all a media creation.

  4. flexkitten329 says:

    I think it is wonderful that this is a man who is running for prez. and yet he has “never” thought about AIDS or anything beyond teaching abstinence. If it’s not working all that great now…

  5. chartreuse dog says:

    Dr. Coburn? As in Senator Tom Coburn? This coburn:
    The one who makes abstinence-nly the centerpiece of his career?

    Straight talk, indeed. What’s my position on AIDS – is it God’s punishment for gays? Or is it a left-wing conspiracy? I can’t remember!

  6. Truly Equal says:

    Yes, it is that Tom Coburn. He does know his position, my guess he is afraid to say what he really thinks out of fear he is going to alienate that conservative base he is so desperate for.

  7. Mr. McCain, you spineless straight shooter wannabe. Go do a poll in and see if they think condoms are made by Satan, then come back to us with the answer. Take your time, it’s not like we’re in any hurry here.

  8. RandyBastard says:

    I’m not sure what scares me more; that McCain is acting like a triangulating crazy-man, or the possibility he’s always been like this and I never recognized it before.

    Either way I just want to look the other way and run.

  9. abu ameerah says:

    Do RepubliCONS really consider McCain a better alternative to our current Commander-In-Chief?

  10. […] McCain Clueless on AIDS prevention – WTF?? Yes, I know, I have not posted in a while. I was attending the spectacular annual convention of the American Medical […] […]

  11. Naughty Heather says:

    I am an HIV Educator – and I am so angry – THERE ARE NO WORDS!

    OK, yes there are.

    This disease is killing people. Here. In America. In my town and in yours. As long as we (yes, we the voters and the taxpayers) allow HIV/AIDS to be fought based on MORALITY instead of SCIENCE people will continue to die.

    I can show you parts of NC that look as bad as anything you will see in Africa. Condoms and needle exchange and opportunity could have, should have, and can still make a world of difference.

  12. jeremiahandrews says:

    This article also informs as to just how much “church” influences the answers for politicians. Abstinence is the answer to all of our disease problems as the church dictates, especially in Africa. Most of these men, McCain and others of his generation come from that 50’s-60’s Catholic teaching orthodoxy. I don’t think we shall see a position change because of the church’s threat to banish those who even speak of contraception or condoms. ( one in the same)

    Republicans like to follow the herd, and on Aids, the herd mentality demonizes us all, LGBTQ and those living with HIV. Like we caused the world to go to hell… AIDS is a global crisis that I haven’t heard any candidate take a solid stand on making any upwards changes and I am not a republican either.

    When abstinence is the first word out of their mouths, you know right there, Holy Mother Church has influenced the speaker…


  13. droppingoff says:

    Oh for crying out loud. A politician who doesn’t know anything about a disease that has plagued our planet since the 80’s at the very least?? (That’s as far back as I remember hearing about it.) WTF??

    A politician who doesn’t even know where he stands on things? Wow. What a concept! What’s next? A politician who doesn’t even have a stand on anything?

  14. zackhensley says:

    Respectfully: HIV is killing people, because people are irresponsible and lack self control. It is a horrible, wretched, wicked disease, and I pray it’s stopped. With that said we can’t blame governments for not supplying contraception. Contraception isn’t the issue, the issues are 1.Stop human trafficking 2. put an end to prostitution 3. Be responsible with your body and don’t sleep with multi partners. Contraception is only a band aid that we what to put on the nations to feel better about our efforts to stop the problem. It’s not that simple. If you really care teach responsibility. Sex is sacred, and was not meant for casual pleasure, but for divine union between two people who have made a commitment to be faithful to each other for their lifetime. That’s my two cents thank you for your time…

  15. […] of this stupid and purposeless war, but this just takes the cake. I mean, really, you have to ask your aide what YOUR position is on something?!?!?! WTF, for real. Lying sack of shit, whatever he can come up with that he thinks […]

  16. zackhensley is completely right. Respectfully of course. If abstinence and responsibility is old-fashioned, then it follows that being healthy is also old-fashioned. If irresponsibility and condoms are progressive, then it follows that AIDS is progressive. I’ll take one large old-fashioned lifestyle, please.

    Respectfully, of course.

  17. studiotodd says:

    Excuse me, but zackhensley is NOT completely right (unless you mean right-wing). He is somewhat correct that the issue isn’t contraception (the intentional prevention of conception or impregnation). The issue is slowing or stopping the spread of disease. And to do that we need to utilize every avenue available. The belief that by keeping people uninformed of any form of self-protection other than abstinence you can affect their behavior and stop the spread of disease is preposterous and deadly.

    Zackhensley’s “sex is sacred” diatribe, interspersed as it is with religious buzzwords describing “divine union[s]” and lifetime “commitments[s] to be faithful” along with warnings that sex is “not meant for casual pleasure” represents the sort of head-in-the-sand guilt-laden repressive denial of human nature that has allowed this disease to run rampant. This sort of thinking ignores the reality of “how things are” and focuses solely on the individual’s idea of “how things should be.”

    While I have no problem with suggesting–even emphasizing–that abstinence is a great way to protect oneself from acquiring this disease, it cannot be the only method that is presented. It seems criminally negligent not to fully inform people of ALL known methods to prevent or decrease the likelihood of becoming infected.

    And the fact that people like thelonedrifter manage to conflate condom use with irresponsibility worries me beyond words….

  18. truly.equal says:

    Zackhenseley and thelonedrifter… fuck off… “respectfully” of course. Contraception is a part of sexuality, as is abstinence. That shitty pseudo-analysis that “irresponsibility and condoms are progressive, then it follows that AIDS is progressive” is straight out of conservative hell.

  19. juststart says:

    the problem in africa is terribly complicated. contraception is not embraced. it is frowned upon. a woman who refuses sex without a condom will not have sex. period. no man will have sex with her. this only perpetuates the disease as we all know but it’s not viewed the same in africa. think about how not educating our youth will affect future generations

  20. feartheseeds says:

    Does anyone remember when people, someone somewhere, thought that finding a cure was the most important thing? Raise some money, buy a warehouse of condoms (preferably Durex), rent a plane and air drop the fucking things over every country everywhere. The fact is America supplies more condoms to… everyone than anyone else. For free. The fact also is, the American government is not the end all and be all of world wide condom distribution. Find a charity, mail them a few cartons of Durex Thins, maybe with a bit of lube, and attach a little card saying “Job Well Done Lads & Ladies, Wear & Enjoy, Love Jill.” Maybe throw in a couple of mosquito nets as well. And some food. And maybe a copy of some of Martin Luther King jr’s speeches. Fuck McCain, fuck Obama, fuck Hillary. They will all say stupid, ignorant shit from here until 2008 and then they’ll do it all over again every single day for the rest of their freakish lives. So fucking what. They’re politicians. That’s what they do. But their bullshit does not preclude your involvement in finding solutions. Find a charity. Support the charity. Find a cure.

  21. Ben says:

    If they were really “oldfashioned and healthy” they would take the leprosis-approach; test everyone for hiv and put the positives on an island. Let’s hope they never do that …
    I don’t subscribe the abstinence stand nor the contraceptives stand. The only way to counter hiv is to face it. As long as people are having sex and not taking responsibility (like; I won’t test for hiv or other STD’s because well, I might actually have it), and as such risking the health of others, HIV is going to remain a huge issue.
    I can understand they don’t want to provide free condoms to everyone with taxpayers money, but to deprive them from correct information is unforgivable. When it comes to hiv, in my opinion, education is the keyword.
    No-one is going to like hearing this, since it will probably invade their ‘privacy’ or other ‘fundamental rights’, but I’m in favor of a mandatory hiv-test. They shouldn’t make the results public, just make it mandatory to go and have a test, like every 2 years (preferably more), together with vaccination programs for example. That way people will be faced with their having or not-having HIV, and it becomes THEIR responsibility. Ignorance will then no-longer be an excuse.

    I don’t believe in a cure for hiv. Maybe a vaccine, but I doubt it. And meanwhile taxpayers money is going down the drain that could be used for finding and producing cures for diseases easier to treat, and by which more people are infected. It is very harsh to “condemn” those people with hiv, but in the meantime people are still dying of tb, malaria, lepra and other infections for which there is a cure and that are far more easily transmitted than by having sex or sharing needles.

  22. Ever think about the fact that AID’s didn’t start until we had widespread sex without responsibility. Condoms fail quite frequently. Does testing make the disease go away? Nope. It just tells us who has it and who doesn’t. Sure, than that person can be prevented from engaging in the reproductive process for the rest of his life (not really, you can hide just about anything you want, unless they were to brand the person.) But does that deal with the real issue at stake here? Nope.

    You failed to address exactly how my logic was straight out of conservative hell. It seemed reasonable to me.

  23. twasbrillig1 says:

    I used to think McCain had a working brain in his head. I am not Republican, and am more and more glad I was raised by Democratic parents! It’s bad enough we have an idiot in the Oval Office and an uncaring, money worshiping fool as his sidekick. Now, McCain can join the parade of those who have to steal to gain what they want. Maybe McCain should join Bush while they pour through the intricate pages of the children’s reader, “My Pet Goat”. They both have a lot to learn.

  24. truly.equal says:

    Condoms have around a 99% sucess rate when used correctly. They do break of course, like everything, but they are quite good.

  25. Carol Baird says:

    If you are a medical student, I am disappointed you do not know some of the following and I think you owe it to yourself and others reading this site to learn more:

    Do you know about the condom effectiveness study of 2000 by NIH/CDC/several other agencies that showed condoms provide only 85% HIV transmission for male/female vaginal intercourse if used correctly 100% of the time (some researchers think it is less for anal intercourse due to ease of bleeding)
    See link at:

    This same study shows the many condom studies over many years there was no proof of reduction in transmittance of many STD’s including Herpes and HPV (Human Papillomavirus) HPV is the cause of over 99% of cervical cancer.

    Were you aware that cervical cancer kills more American women than sexually transmitted AIDS yet the condom manufacturers and condom suppliers do not seem to care about these women and their families? (look at CDC and ACS statistics….if you add women aids deaths from sexually transmitted aids and drug use transmitted aids it is close to the cervical death statistic)

    Were you aware the Tom Coburn you are referring to is an MD? Were you aware that he left his successful OB/GYN practice because he had seen years and years of his women patients suffering from believing half truths, incomplete information and out right lies from supposed health and women supporting organizations and condom manufacturers? (and if you are in Med school, you should be aware of the profitability of OB/GYN practices so can be pretty certain that Tom Coburn did not enter government service for monetary reasons)

    Are you aware that a law was passed late 2000 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton requiring the national health organizations to inform the public about HPV and that it was causing cervical cancer and that condom labeling was supposed to be medically and scientifically correct that they did not prevent transmission of HPV….all was to be done by late 2002 and I would encourage you to read a condom label to see that the deadline was missed and it seems the law was totally ignored. This is Public Law 106-544 and 42-USCS & 2476-17 (you many need a lawyer friend to pull these specific laws)

    By the FDA/CDC/NIH/etc. agencies ignoring these laws (yes these laws were passed by large majorities in both the house and the senate and signed into law by Pres. Clinton) they would have been doing the same thing if they let the cigarette companies avoid or postpone for 5 or more years the cancer warnings required on cigarette packages. I do not understand why federal agencies can ignore federal laws. I guess because for so many years they told the public condoms protected against all STD’s it is hard for them to admit they were wrong. But continuing to be wrong when the medical/scientific studies and laws are now here is totally irresponsible and even possibly criminal.

    I would also recommend you and your readers go to the National Cervical Cancer website at: and read the survivor letters. Cervical cancer not only kills more American Women than HIV Aids, it causes extremely hard struggles for the 10s of thousands of survivors. National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s Web site:

    I believe the CDC, condom manufacturers and educators (who all left out the scientific facts about condoms doing nothing to prevent the transmission of HPV which causes cervical cancer) all owe a huge apology and maybe more to the victims of cervical cancer (whether survivors who went through many treatments, dealing with infertility or families of those who lost daughters, wives and mothers). If you are wondering why the all mighty condom does nothing to prevent the spread of HPV, because you are a medical student, hopefully you should have already known this……
    HPV is spread by skin contact and it is on the parts of the genital skin not covered by condoms. NOTE: HPV is also linked to Penile cancer, Anal cancer, lip, throat, esphogeal cancers too.

    If you are questioning anyones honesty, I would encourage you to look at the condom manufacturers. For many years they said that Non-oxyl 9 (a spermicide) would reduce the transmission of AIDS but after they found that because it was an irritant IT ACTUALLY INCREASES THE TRANSMISSION OF AIDS. Do you think the condom manufacturers shared that information? NO, because they make billions of dollars on sales of products with non-oxyl 9. They now have a weak statement about those products only being recommended to reduce pregnancy. In contrast, condom manufacturers in the UK ELIMINATED ALL PRODUCTS WITH NON-OXYL 9…..You do not have to take my word for it, you should look for yourself on US condom mfg. sites and UK condom sites.

    Now, I challenge you to read all of the links above and then think very long and hard….who is lying, a politician who is trying to reply with his most medically sound trusted sources (an OB/GYN who has seen the facts and consequences of free condom programs) or a condom manufacturing and condom worshiping health system (both in the US and worldwide) who is ignoring the fastest growing cancer death cause to women worldwide. (I could go on for hours on the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer issues, but that can be posted at another time.)

    Thanks for your time….I hope you continue studying medicine and will help people world wide with not only treatments but also correct, complete, factual medical information to make educated decisions.

  26. chicago dyke says:

    mccain: loser. he seems more impotent by the day.

    off topic: truly equal, the next time you go trashing me for a post i did, i suggest you read the whole thing first. if you think i’m an apologist for the SCLM, including the one from the white house i interviewed, you have no idea how ridiculous that is. here is the entire post, in which you will see that i explicity say that we have differences and are each only speaking for ourselves. the quote on C&L were his words, not mine.

  27. truly.equal says:

    I trashed you? I meant the “wake up” thing to the MSM in general, not to you in particular. I did read the whole thing. Guess that happens when typing too fast.

  28. gladheart says:

    Those who say abstinence is all that is needed to control the spread of AIDS are desperately out of touch with the reality of women’s lives in Africa and many other countries. So many women are forced to choose between having sex with their unfaithful husbands or to be kicked out of their homes and facing complete destitution and societal ostracization. This isn’t the only factor in the spread of AIDS, but hell, if handing out male/female condoms and anti-viral gels and other barrier methods helps these helpless women, why not???? Failing to assist these women simply reinforces the sexist social structures that make them vulnerable in the first place. It is cruelly ignorant to blame all (or even most) victims of AIDS as being promiscuous.

    For a wonderful education of this and some of the other realities of AIDS in Africa, I highly recommend reading “Race Against Time” by Stephen Lewis, who recently finished a five-year term as special envoy to the United Nations on AIDS in Africa. Lewis is a passionate and incisive speaker, and one of the most articulate, dedicated, and compassionate people you could ever hope to meet.

  29. […] the way, there is another conservative idiot that had some problems on AIDS prevention – remember John McCain? Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent […]

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  32. Jessie says:


    you have a very nice blog and very informative article

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