John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:
"[Katie] Couric: Harry Truman once said, 'A man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other.' Many people feel they don't feel comfortable supporting someone who's not remained faithful to his or her spouse. Should they feel that way? Or can you understand their feeling that way?
[John] McCain: You know ... that's an area that I never get into. Because I think that people make judgments, and you can judge other people. I'm not very good at that. And so, I think it's up to each person's personal view of the individual, and ... everybody has a different view.
I say that because you and I know that there have been some leaders in American history -- latest information about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I happen to still think that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an important president at a time in our history when we needed some courage. And so, it's -- that's just frankly, a judgment that I leave to others." Dec. 19, 2007 John McCain
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, stated:
"[Katie] Couric: Should infidelity qualify someone, or should infidel...
[Barack] Obama: Disqualify.
Couric: ...infidelity disqualify someone?
Obama: You know...I'm very cautious about applying strict moral rules to...or a blanket universal rule to...people. Because, you know, I mean, there are some people who might say that the fact that, you know, I indulged in drugs when I was young, disqualifies me. I mean, there are a lot of ways that you can apply that kind of morality. What I'm always hopeful of is that people...judge our public servants based on their passion, their commitment, their public integrity, how they operate with that public trust. And, you know, if we start getting too sanctimonious about some of these issues then there aren't going to be that many people who are able or willing to serve." Dec. 19, 2007 Barack Obama
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Joe Biden, US Senator (D-DE), stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Kaite Couric:
"[Katie] Couric: Should marital infidelity be part of the equation, in your view, when a voter is evaluating a candidate?
[Joe] Biden: I think that's for every voter to decide. Voters make -- as they should -- make decisions relative to the leaders based on their needs. The need of the voter. And if you have someone who is, you need someone to be a great general to win a battle and he is a no-good guy, you'd never wanna show up for dinner. You might very well say, I'd vote for that guy to be the general. I'd vote that person or that woman to be the -- you know, the governor, or whatever.
I think people make very rational decisions based upon whether or not the character flaw in the individual they're looking at relates to something that affects their lives or the life of their country. And for some people, the overwhelming requirement, overwhelming characteristic they want is honesty. And that would be a difficult thing for ... the voter who has that as the highest priority, to vote for someone like that." Dec. 19, 2007 Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, stated:
"[Katie] Couric: Harry Truman once said, 'A man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other.' Some voters say they don't feel comfortable supporting someone who's not remained faithful to his or her spouse. Can you understand or appreciate their point of view?
[Hillary] Clinton: Well, I can certainly understand why some people would feel that way, and ... that is their perfect right to do so. But I think ... [it] would be a tough standard for most of American history to be able to meet, when we look at people who have made a big difference in our country.
I think there's more to someone's honor and integrity, and to their public service. I think sometimes we confuse the private and the public in ways that are not necessarily useful. So, of course, it's a deeply personal matter that I take personally. But I think on the public stage, there are a number of people who have represented our country, led our country, accomplished great achievements on behalf of our country who might have some challenges in their personal life, but have made a great contribution." Dec. 19, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview with Kaite Couric titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News:
"[Katie] Couric: So how important do you think it [infidelity] is in the grand scheme of things?
[John] Edwards: I think the most important qualities in a president in today's world are trustworthiness, sincerity, honesty, strength of leadership. And certainly that goes to a part of that. It's not the whole thing. But it goes to a part of it.
Couric: So you think it's an appropriate way to judge a candidate?
Edwards: Yeah. But I don't think it's controlling. I mean, I think that, as you point out, there have been American presidents that at least according to the...stories we've all heard, that were not faithful, that were in fact good presidents. So I don't think it controls the issue. But I think it's certain...something reasonable for people to consider." Dec. 19, 2007 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity," stated:
"[Katie] Couric: Harry Truman once said, 'A man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other.' Some people say they don't feel comfortable supporting someone who has not remained faithful to his or her spouse. Can you understand their reservations?
[Rudy] Giuliani: Sure, I can. Absolutely. You know, they look at every single part of us. And the ... only thing I can say to people is I'm not perfect, you know? And I've made mistakes in my life. And that ... not just in that area. In other areas and I try to learn from it. I try to -- I feel sorry about them. I try to learn from them so I don't repeat them.
Sometimes I even repeat them and ... you try again. I mean, you ... so -- I have a, maybe a more generous view of human beings and a more generous view of life. I mean, it comes from growing up as a Catholic. I mean, we're all sinners. We're all struggling. We're all trying hard. We ask for forgiveness, and then we try to improve ourselves again. And I've -- relate to other people that way. Relate to the world that way." Dec. 19, 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, stated:
"If you violate the promise that you made to the one person on earth to whom you're supposed to be closest to, and this vow was made in front of your families, your closest friends, and God, and you don't keep that, then can we trust you to keep a promise that you made to people you don't even know?
And I think that's the parallel. And that's ... the concern. Is, that a promise you make to a spouse is the most sacred one you ever make to anyone on this earth. And if ... you don't keep that, and you break that, then I think there's a good reason to be afraid that you might break other promises, because your credibility ... has really been damaged at that point...
I don't think it means that a person can't be a good president. Obviously, there have been some great presidents who had personal issues. I think that's going to be true of all leaders. Nobody's perfect. Nobody. Me, anybody else. We all have flaws." Dec. 19, 2007 Mike Huckabee
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Jan. 21, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, was quoted by OnTheIssues website in an article titled "Alan Keyes on Principles & Values" which quoted from his book titled Our Character, Our Future: Reclaiming America's Moral Destiny:
"The moral requirements of freedom what the Founders called self-government. Self-government begins with self-control--the willingness to postpone our material gratification to the extent necessary for economic success and the discretion to limit our passions to the extent necessary to live in peace with our fellow citizens. The real crisis of our times is therefore, a crisis of character. It is a crisis that has been caused by our inability to admit the moral requirement of freedom." 1996 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Jan. 10, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"I can't blame voters for taking such things into account when deciding whether or not a candidate is trustworthy, but disqualify? No. It's just one thing to take into account. If everyone who had ever made a mistake was disqualified from office, we'd have no government at all. Hey, maybe you're onto something there..."
Frank McEnulty, President of Our Castle Homes, in a Dec. 20, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"Since a political candidate basically runs on the premise that we should trust that person to follow through on what they promise to do if elected, I believe that an affair should usually disqualify a candidate for most public offices. If they cannot be trusted in their personal life, what makes you believe they can be trusted with promises made to people they don't even know." Dec. 20, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview with Kaite Couric titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News:
"[Katie] Couric: Do you think infidelity is reason enough not to vote for someone?
[Bill] Richardson: I don't think so. I think that, you know, infidelity is ... a serious problem in any marriage. But, you know, everybody sins. And it's whether you're forgiven, whether you forgive yourself, whether you have faith in God. You know, perfection ... is something that politicians, they should not stand themselves for perfection. Nobody's perfect." Dec. 19, 2007 Bill Richardson
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity" on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:
"[Katie] Couric: Well, what do you think of people who base their judgment at least partially on a candidate's ability to remain faithful to his or her spouse?
[Mitt] Romney: You know, I let people look at me any way they want to. I'm not gonna give advice to the American people in which aspects of a person's life they look at. After all, the president of the United States is gonna be under a microscope. He will be. The first lady will be. The whole family will be. Every mistake will be open to the world. In some respects, you respect the nation.
In some respects you represent an example to the children of America. So we're gonna get looked at in all sorts of ways. And I'm not gonna try and counsel the American people as to what to look at. I know they look at my faith, for instance. And I'm happy to have them do so. Some are critical. Some are positive. It's just part of the package. And take me as ... the whole character that I am.
Couric: Do you think that people shouldn't vote for candidates if they are -- commit adultery, for example?
Romney: I think people should be able to do what they want to do. And express their own views when they get into the ... voting booth. I'm not gonna tell them how to ... do that. And I know that people will, again, take their own counsel." Dec. 19, 2007 Mitt Romney
Fred Thompson, former US Senator (R-TN), stated in a Dec. 19, 2007 interview with Katie Couric CBS Evening News titled "Candidates Offer Views on Infidelity":
"[Katie] Couric: Harry Truman said, 'A man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other.' Some people don't feel comfortable supporting a candidate who hasn't been faithful to his or her spouse. Can you understand their reservations?
[Fred] Thompson: Yes. I can understand where that's coming from.
Couric: Do you think it's an appropriate way to evaluate a candidate?
Thompson: Everybody's gotta make up their own mind about that. I think that you can evaluate a candidate any way you want to. It's a free country. There are a lot of things that go into it. When we elect a president, we're electing the leader of the free world. We're facing tremendous challenges ahead. I don't think we've come to terms with the nature of the threats against us, really in terms ... of radical Islam and the things we've got to do and the threats to the economy with the growing retirement population, things that, of that nature.
So, nobody's perfect. Everybody has weaknesses and has made mistakes one time or another in life. But everybody's gotta decide for themselves what they want to consider that go into making up. The leader is going to have to deal with these problems of the country." Dec. 19, 2007 Fred Thompson