McCain Gaffes, Volunteering Wife For Topless Contest

Aug 5, 2008 1:31pm

ABC News’ Gregory Wallace and Sara Just Report: Sen. John McCain, R-Az., perhaps unknowingly, volunteered his wife for a beauty pageant on Monday that often features contestants topless — and, occasionally, without any decency — at the Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally. 

"I was looking at the Sturgis schedule, and noticed that you had a beauty pageant, so I encouraged Cindy to compete," McCain told an audience at the rally.  "I told her [that] with a little luck, she could be the only woman to serve as both the First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip."

The audience, clearly better versed in the details of the pageant, cheered and whistled their approval. 

This annual rally, now in its 62nd year, rally attracts upwards of 500,000 riders in August to the small town of 5,500. The contest is named for the Buffalo Chip campground, home to about 25,000 riders for the nine-day rally. 

The Arizona senator, according to the Buffalo Chip campground website, was participating in "the Buffalo Chip’s annual Tribute to American Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen."  The site also says that many attendees are "veterans and active duty servicemen who will have a great appreciation for McCain’s family history of service to our country."

McCain also promised the audience that he would only speak briefly.

"I know that we are waiting with great anticipation for Kid Rock and the other entertainment," the Arizona senator said.

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