(CNN) – John McCain said Wednesday he's compiled his initial list of potential running mates.
The presumptive Republican nominee said on his campaign bus that the list has approximately 20 names on it, but said it will take "weeks if not months" to narrow the list down.
"It's the same process that has been used by Democrats and Republicans," the Arizona senator said. "It's not an unusual thing. You put the list together and then you just could do a cursory kind of a look that I guess you could do on Google."
McCain also said he hopes to name his running mate before the party's convention in September, as has been the practice in several recent presidential elections.
"I'd love to do it earlier in the run than later, but it depends on the process," he said. "We just really haven't gotten far enough along in the whole thing to really be able to even predict what we're doing, seriously."
In 2004, John Kerry announced his selection of John Edwards in early July - more than six weeks before the Democratic convention.
But McCain said he did not want to rush the process, hoping to avoid what he said were mistakes past nominees had made in choosing a vice presidential candidate. Specifically, McCain singled out the first President Bush's selection of then-Sen. Dan Quayle who had "not been briefed and prepared for some of the questions."
"I'm a great friend of Dan Quayle's and I think he was a fine senator," McCain also said. "I just think that it was you know, a lot of people in retrospect would have thought maybe the process should have been...I just think you have to have a measured process, make sure that you have taken every, all the factors into consideration and then decide."
Related: McCain mulls list of potential running mates
– CNN's Dana Bash and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report
The ideal choice is someone who is widely respected, intelligent, experienced, and extraordinarily capable. Strategically, Condoleeza Rice is a good fit. She does have conservative credentials to appeal to the far right, but doesn't carry the same political baggage of a Romney or a Huckabee, who would add nothing to the ticket except ammunition for the Democrats.
As an independent, a lot hinges on his selection. Any neocon or Bush lackey (i.e. Rice) would drive me away for sure. I'd say on the decisive issue, Iraq, Lieberman does NOT represent any form of moderation. The man continues to be wrong time and time again on Iraq.
We'll see who he ends up courting more: right wingers or independents.
My choice would be Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a real patriot, experienced in foreign affairs and military affairs, a vet...respected, a great American and very knowledgeable.
When you can't remember who is on what side, you better pick a good VP. Lieberman whispers nicely in his ear.
When you can't remember if someone is shooting at you, perhaps it's best your not answering the telephone at 3:00AM.
I am a Democrat and Clinton supporter. Having said that I hope that McCain will pick someone younger since I think his age (McCain's) will be an issue in the general election, and someone who is intelligent, moderate (not a conservative or war hawk) and someone who can unite and be acceptable to many factions of the party. Why? Because if Obama gets the nomination there will be many Democrats voting for McCain.
Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham have been shadowing McCain for months now. Both look like they've been promised something.
But – If McCain wants to more competitive in the general election with Clinton or Obama, he needs to diversify his organization starting with the VP pick. His demographic is just not representive of the country as a whole anymore.
Cheryl – After you turn your CAPS LOCK off, go see if you can find a clue! Your rants sound like those of a locked up lunatic. Just typing something in capital letters does not make it true – sorry you were misled by the instructions on the box.
Shady Rich Republican cannot win, after Bush. Won't happen!!!!!
Hillary and Edward all the way to the white House.
Beware of the still insane 'Nuke' Gingrich.... he's been lurking around the fringes for the last year or so.
But he'd be a dream for Obama/Edwards to run against!!
When he picks someone, you know it will be someone who has a similar level of integrity – he will vet the person properly, I hope.
I love it when McCain tries to back-peddle. He's not very good at it and it's fun to watch.
Basically the VP pick for McCain will be the real presidential pick, if he wins this person will take over within 12 months of the inauguration
Not that it matters, but Chuck Hagel might be able to keep McCain focused and away from reminiscing about the good old days. There is NOT going to be a Republican in the WH this term, but dreams are what McCain seems most comfortable with.
One thing is certain: McCain's short list of VP's will each have more experience as an executive and more capability to serve in the executive branch of government thatn either of the current Democratic Presidential candidates.
i vote for sheriff joe arpacio of arizona for mc cains veep choice. he is exactly the kind of leader this country needs....not another washington lawyer/pol! rocky ruoff......disgruntled in sarasota, fl.
It doesn't matter who he picks for vp, John McCain will be the next president of the U.S. because all the Hillary supporters will vote for him.
Colin Powell should be on McCain's short list. They could run on a platform of experience and tangible need to execute change. Obama-Oprah won't stand a chance.
Who cares what stupid Bush III wants to do for his VP. Our Hillary will defeat him and whoever McBush picks. McShrub is way too dumb to be president and we cannot be in iraq dying for 1000 years like he wants us to do.
Vote Hillary and stop McBush!
A vote for Obama is a vote for McShrub!
CNN will be too chicken to post this I bet!
NO BUSH 3!
And definitely not CHENEY2!
If we elect BUSH 3 and Cheney2, the rest of the world can consider the US an insane asylum confidently!
I THINK HE OUGHT TOP PICK DICK CHENEY. THAT COMBINATION WOULD SURLY BE A THIRD TERM FOR GEORGE BUSH.
Hmmm, McCain/Condi vs McCain/Clinton or Clinton/McCain.....any of them would be fine compared to Obama on any ticket in ANY form. You Obama supporters better start preparing for a McCain victory.............
Okay.... and who ELSE is on the list?