August 14th, 2008
07:43 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain open to picking pro-choice Veep

ALT TEXT

McCain said Ridge's support of abortion rights does not rule him out as VP

(CNN) - John McCain has a message for those who believe former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge's support of abortion rights effectively rules him out for the VP spot on the Republican presidential ticket:

Not so fast.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who remains suspect in the eyes of many social conservatives, told the Weekly Standard Wednesday Ridge’s pro-choice stance does not necessarily mean he isn't being considered for the No.2 spot.

"I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party," McCain told the magazine. "And I also feel that–and I'm not trying to equivocate here–that Americans want us to work together. You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don't think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out."

Ridge, a veteran of the Vietnam War who remains extremely popular in his critical home state, is a close ally of McCain who campaigned with the Arizona senator during his Pennsylvania swing earlier this week.

In many ways, Ridge is an appealing choice for McCain, especially geographically. The GOP hasn't carried Pennsylvania in two decades, and a McCain win there would deal a potentially devastating blow to Obama's hopes of winning the White House. Ridge's hardscrabble upbringing may also appeal to blue-collar voters while his moderate political leanings could play well with Independents.

But the pro-choice ridge is no ideological warrior and if McCain hopes to placate economic and social conservatives, Ridge may be the wrong pick. Along those lines, Joe Lieberman - now an "independent Democrat and fervent McCain supporter who is also pro-choice - likely wouldn't fare well with many conservatives either.

McCain has a solid pro-life voting record, and he has said he thinks Roe. v. Wade should be overturned. But the issue is not one McCain appears to like discussing.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. Rob indetroit

    John MCbush,say'es he wants to run a clean race, clearly that is not the case, its very dirty, thanks to bush's croonies all around.

    August 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Ralph V. AZ

    Typical John McCain, he doesn't stand for anything, just what is convenient to sway votes. Jerk!

    August 13, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. former democrat

    John mcCain is a decnet man who made sacrifices for this country, unlike Obama. Tom Ridge brings a lot of credentials to the tickets and could help in pivitol Pennsylvania. I wonder if he would help in ohio?

    August 13, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. dkawaii

    I am sure that he won't pick a pro-choice candidate. It would not help him to pick up the pro-choice vote, afterall, he wants to appoint judges that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. If you are pro-choice, McCain is simply the wrong vote for you, irregardless of his pick for VP.

    Picking a pro-choice VP would also tend to highlight the fact that McCain is consistently anti-choice. There are still quite a few people that don't know this. Once they find out, watch those poll numbers fall. Win Pennsylvania? Why do you think that a pro-choice politician is so popular there. People vote on issues, not on VP choices.

    Let's see, who else was anti-choice and picked Judges just based upon this ideology?

    John McCain: just the same old Bush.

    August 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Old man McCain and the "Crayon" color coded man. God help our nation.

    August 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. tony

    McCain is not going to pick someone who is pro-choice. He will not carry his own party in the general election if he does. The Republican party is still against abortion, and this is explicitly spelled out in its platform. Nothing is going to change unless the Republicans start losing elections, at least several in a row.

    August 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Indie Voter

    How does a candidate for a political party that touts the values of LESS government then state "the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party". Maybe in the last 20 years.
    The Republican party needs to shape up and understand what LESS government means.
    If you're really interested in a less meddling party you may want to look in to the Libertarians... I'm just saying.

    August 13, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Rob indetroit

    Right on Ralph V, right on. MCcrazy is a jerk.

    August 13, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. HF in CA

    Talk about alienating the base!

    August 13, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. paul oregon

    mccain who ????????????????

    August 13, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. janet, ohio

    Oh this will sway my vote all right. Maybe I'll vote Democrat for the first time in my life. Come on McCain, are you really too proud to ask Romney? I've had to hold my nose and vote plenty of times, but this year I'll have to wear a gas mask.

    August 13, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. jason, Texas

    yup. no vp will save his campaign.....

    August 13, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Rob

    Gee Dr. Dobson. Imagine that. An athiest President and a pro abortion Vice President. Are the Focus on the Family crew still going to Pray that it rains on Obama's Inauguration? Idiots! You make all American Christians look foolish with your silly antics.

    August 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. Chris from NY

    CNN why is it you always don't post my comments but you do the comments of people who posted after me?

    August 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. davboz

    "he doesn't stand for anything, just what is convenient to sway votes."
    -------------
    The fact that you are saying this about McCain ONLY,...and ahead of George W.Obama shows you are one-eye-blind or just not paying attention.

    August 13, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. LOL

    Love that bus in the background... "Straight Talk Express" HAHA oh man, so out of touch with freaking reality.

    August 13, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    Unless he picks Hillary, nothing will be a surprise.

    It will be a calculated move to get the most votes....just like all candidates do. Sorry, McCain, you're not a maverick here.

    August 13, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Scott, West Chester OH

    Ridge would be an excellent choice. I'm pro-life but I would definitely vote for McCain-Ridge.

    August 13, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. J, FL

    and Obama stands for what? More rhetoric to get elected, and then if he gets in nothing happens. Similar to when the Demos got control of Congress. God help this country if Obama gets elected as I am equating his run to Jimmy Carter.

    August 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. trust

    McCain's senate allies almost looks like senile...LOL

    August 13, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Marie

    He can pick Donald Duck for all I care.

    August 13, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Fordy

    LOL!!! This is a slap in the face of all the Repugs who talk all the time about Obama not talking a stand. LOL!! By McCain's own admission "I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party,". Seem its not all that important if Tom Ridge can win me Pennsylvania. LOL!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Louis

    Any Clinton supporters who say they will vote for McCain need to read these words carefully–McCAIN 'HAS SAID HE THINKS ROE v. WADE SHOULD BE OVERTURNED'.

    August 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. hillary

    Moderate....that's what Hillary supporters like about him.

    August 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. DS

    Isn't Tom Ridge as head of homeland security responsible for illegal wiretapping? Isn't he a continuation of the current administration? How can Sen. McCain claim to be any different (represent any kind of change). More recently McCain has flipfloped on all front and has changed his stance based on where the wind is blowing from. Now he is ready to give up his pro-life stand as well (it was always a question as to where he really stood on a lot of topics)

    August 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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