McCain’s Gay Bashing Robo Calls

John McCain Gay Sweaters Floridians are being treated to some robo-calls attacking Mitt Romney that HuffPo’s Sam Stein and some homosexual activist leaders call “gay bashing.” Here’s the ad in question:

Mitt Romney thinks he can fool us. He supported abortion on demand, even allowed a law mandating taxpayer-funding for abortion. He says he changed his mind, but he still hasn’t changed the law. He told gay organizers in Massachusetts he would be a stronger advocate for special rights than even Ted Kennedy. Now, it’s something different.

Some of the reactions:

“It’s ironic that Sen. John McCain is using the same tactics that George Bush used against him in 2000; surreptitiously trying to exploit anti-gay prejudice for votes,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “So much for John McCain being above that.”

“I think this is definitely an attempt at gay baiting,” added Jon Hoadley, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats.

According to many in the community, the robo call hit is not simply a timely attempt to scare voters away from Romney, but a reflection of McCain’s true colors on social issues.

This gives “straight talk” a whole new meaning.

Does this amount to “gay baiting”? That seems a bit much, since the target of the attack is Romney, an open heterosexual. The main thrust of the message is that Romney is a dishonest flip-flopper who’ll tell you what you want to hear. But, certainly, the choice of abortion and gay rights among the dozens of issues on which Romney has changed positions to highlight would appear to be aimed at social conservatives.

Photo source: Practical Reasoning

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Gender Issues, LGBTQ Issues, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    At least Romney didn’t father a black love child, help the Viet Cong down American planes, or go crazy in prison.

  2. RH Potfry says:

    The call is intended to highlight Romney’s constant shifting on issues. Reading “gay-baiting” into that is a stretch, at best.

  3. Brainster says:

    I assume the objection is to calling “gay rights”
    “special rights”.

  4. floyd says:

    And of course social conservatives are supposed to be obsequious to every whim of judgment wafted by Joe Solmonese.

  5. legion says:

    It’s ironic that Sen. John McCain is using the same tactics that George Bush used against him in 2000

    That’s really the money quote from this dustup. Even after the vile & dishonorable things the Bush campaign pushed around about him, McCain puckered up and kissed himself a whole lotta neocon backside the last few years. The fact that he’s doing the same things now to Mittens just shows that, ‘maverick’ image aside, there is literally nothing McCain won’t do or say to get that vote.

    Of course, that doesn’t really differentiate him from his competitors, but hey…

  6. My question is: jazz hands or Jedi mind trick? (If confused, consult photo).

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    It seems any attempt to counter the political gains of the gay lobby is labeled “gay bashing”. Associating a politician with promoting any advances in gay rights in order to expose his positions would accordingly be “gay bashing” as well. You’re either with them or a bigot.

    Now I’m not a McCain supporter but since when is stating an opponents positions and changes in position considered dirty pool, bad form? If one candidate misrepresents his record (they all do) correcting that would be in the interest of the voters. Sounds like the proper thing to me.

    Getting reaction to such a (non)story from people who would never in a million years vote for him is political silliness that just will not go away. It’s a sign of a weak argument.