Mavee Reston, the LA Times reporter who stumped John McCain on the issue of insurance coverage for Viagra versus birth control, writes today that it was that question that pushed the campaign to cut off press access.
In the driveway of the airport motel on the evening of the Viagra
question, McCain’s aides made an argument that would shape their
attitude over the next four months: If reporters were going to ask
about issues that they deemed irrelevant to voters, why should the
campaign give them access to the candidate at all?
Salter told me I had made the case for those who thought McCain should curtail his exposure to the press.
McCain aide Brooke Buchanan sarcastically asked whether contraception
was next on my agenda. And Steve Duprey, the candidate’s usually jovial
traveling companion who often visited the press cabin bearing Twizzlers
and chocolate, twisted my question into what I interpreted as an
accusation of bias: "Are you going to ask Obama if he uses Viagra?"
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Actually, the question wasn’t about if McCain used Viagra, but about underlying issues releated to the costs of birth control and insurance coverage, compared to Viagra. In tough economic times, couples are likely more interested, not less, in family planning.
Isn’t it fascinating how birth control costs are "irrelevant to voters" according to the far-right? The same people that want to ban all abortions are targeting your contraception, the best method for preventing unintended pregnancies.
If the Bush Department of Health Human Services goes ahead with its plans to issue a new ruling making contraception more difficult to get, likely to come this week before the election, voters will have a chance to decide if contraception, and its costs, are "irrelevant."