Today’s posts have been heavy on the John McCain because his interview with Tim Russert gave the candidate the opportunity to explain many of the flip-flop accusations against him. A few weeks ago, Reality Check wrote a post in which McCain flipped on abortion. He discussed the flip with Tim Russert this morning.

Our initial post went something like this… John McCain wrote an e-mail to Alabama supporters in which his campaign said “John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.” This contradicted statements made by the Senator in his 2000 presidential campaign. On August 19 of 1999, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I’d love to see a point where it [Roe] is irrelevant and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary…But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations.”

Today on Meet the Press, McCain said,

“MR. RUSSERT: Back in 1999, you gave an interview to the San Francisco Chronicle, and you said this…

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: …”Certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in American to undergo illegal and dangerous operations.”

SEN. McCAIN: Well, it was in the context of conversation about having to change the culture of, of America as regards to this issue. That is a conversation that I had in that context. I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support a woman–the, the rights of the unborn. I have fought for human rights and human dignity throughout my entire political career. To me it is an issue of human rights and human dignity. That conversation was in the context of we have to help young women who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy. We have to help them with compassion, and we hope–have to help those young women with courage. And we also have to do whatever we can to let them know that if they don’t want the child, if they’ll bring them into life, that we’ll do everything we can to help with adoption. Just like there’s three–I have three adopted children. It’s a wonderful thing. But my position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record. Is it a tough issue in America? Yes. But I believe the states should be making those decisions.


MR. RUSSERT: But if Roe vs. Wade was overturned in a–during a McCain presidency…

SEN. McCAIN: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: …and individual states chose to ban abortion…

SEN. McCAIN: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: …would you be concerned that, as you said, X number of women in America would undergo illegal and dangerous operations?

SEN. McCAIN: No, I would hope that X women in America would bring those, those children into birth and into life in this world, and that I could do whatever I could to assist them. Again, that conversation that you–that–from 1999, which is so often quoted, was in the context of my, my concerns about the issue, and the need to change the culture in America to understand the importance of the rights of the unborn. And I will continue to hold that view and position.”

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