McCain on autism

Shorter John McCain:

I’m such a great advocate for special needs kids that I think autism is the same as Down syndrome.

Actual quote:

“parents come with kids, children — precious children who have autism. Sarah Palin knows about that better than most.”

The rest of John McCain’s debate performance roughly matched that level of sensibleness.

Bonus shorter McCain:

Barack Obama is being disrespectful to veterans in questioning the morals of my supporters who call for Obama’s political assassination.

In other news, John McCain didn’t have the courage to either repeat the claim that Obama pals around with terrorists, nor to denounce those, like his running mate, who make such claims. “So the point is — the point is that I have repudiated every time someone’s been out of line, whether they’ve been part of my campaign or not, and I will continue to do that.” Bullshit.

Voters didn’t buy the BS. CBS sez undecideds broke 53%-22% for Obama, CNN has it 58%-31%, and MediaCurves has it 60%-30%.

I also have to ask what McCain’s problem is with astronomy? In two successive debates he’s complained about money given to replace the Adler Planetarium’s new star projector, a replacement for a 40 year-old piece of equipment that couldn’t be repaired any more.

Finally, why does McCain oppose nuclear safety? Why did he scoff “Sen. Obama will tell you, in the — as the extreme environmentalists do, it has to be safe.” When he talks about “building 45 new nuclear plants, power plants, right away,” that’s madness. We haven’t built a new nuclear plant in 30 years here. The capacity doesn’t exist to produce the necessary parts and equipment for 45 new plants, and the facilities to produce those parts and equipment are all in other countries. Wind, solar, and other alternative energy sources can be produced domestically, and using equipment built in America. We can’t do that with nuclear, at least not on any reasonable timeline.


  1. #1 Monica
    October 15, 2008

    I found the A bomb offensive, especially the way McCain used it. The reason McCain chose to use autism as a platform, is simple. Since prenatal testing for Down’s Syndrome has become available, the amount of children born with Down’s Syndrome has decreased 90%. Considering 1 in every 150 children in the US are now autistic, autism commands a larger population of voters.

    It had absolutely nothing to do with the issue, only a ploy to gain more votes with empty promises.

    It was disgusting how McCain has preyed on parents of children involved in one of the worst epidemics in US history. No better than people who sell costly fake “autism cures” on the internet.

    McCain has done little for children with autism, and Palin has done nothing for the children with special needs in Alaska, although she has a 12 yr old autistic nephew. In fact, she cut special Olympics funding by 50% before her son was born.

    Don’t let the lies fool ya…

    Top 20 most recent autism related bills-

    McCain has sponsored only one, which Obama has also sponsored, and is only vaguely related to autism.

    Obama has sponsored 2 bills that would actually HELP those with autism-

  2. #2 Sullivan
    October 16, 2008

    McCain’s comments on autism looked too much like pandering to the vaccine/autism vote, from where I (a member of the autism community) sit.

    It looks like autismstreet felt similarly

  3. #3 OmegaMom
    October 16, 2008

    Actually, according to Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy), the planetarium did *not* receive that money. They’re asking for donations instead. Phil has a post up with a link.

  4. #4 JYB
    October 16, 2008

    Also on energy: What I got from McCain was that committing to offshore drilling will lower prices right now. I don’t see why that’s not applicable to alt energy. If we commit to investing in fuels that will replace oil, shouldn’t that immediately lower the price as well?

  5. #5 Sharon
    October 16, 2008

    Re: the autism issue

    I also thought McCain’s comment about autism was strange. It turns out that a child with Down Syndrome is 10x more likely to also present with autism than the general population. Sarah Palin’s sister also apparently has a child with autism. It would have made McCain sound less schizophrenic if he had actually explained this link between autism and downs, however. The way it happened, it sounded like a desperate plea for votes from parents of autistic children, and/or mcCain having a senior moment.

    Regardless, for McCain to portray Sarah Palin as someone who knows “more than just about anyone” about autism is laughable, considering all of the researchers working on unraveling the puzzle of autism, and the parents who have put their very lives on hold to try and help their autistic children. Palin hardly fits either of those descriptions.

  6. #6 eddie
    October 16, 2008

    Y’all lookin’ forward to the McCain landslide?

    Voting machines fr jeezus!

  7. #7 Josh Rosenau
    October 16, 2008

    OmegaMom: Correct, the planetarium didn’t actually get the money.

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