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. RJ, CA

    It's just not worth it to post a reply to these Obama idiots! Get a job, folks!

    August 13, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. Dan, Maryland

    Chalk that up as another flip from McCain's "it's fundamental to our party" bull.

    August 13, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. TonyinKentucky

    Man that would be great!!!

    Maybe Ridge can color code all the different oil wars they are bound and determined to get into for us.

    Iraq is Orange
    Russia is Red
    Iran is Yellow
    Venezuela is Blue
    Canada is Green

    What a pitifully sad attempt to grab some deadender PUMAs. Yeah, that Pro-Choice VP will fix any concerns about the judiciary.

    McCain is so arrogant that he thinks Americans are dumber than he is. Sir!!! You make George Walker Bush look like the brain child of Ben Franklin and Solomon.

    August 13, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. Jahon

    Um hasn't anyone noticed that the GOP is serving McCain up for failure. Hello the man will lose in the election. Historically this is true. I'm not saying I'm against him and I'm not for him. He's not excited about being President. Obama is very excited about being President, I'm sorry to say but generally people vote for who really wants the job. It's sad because I think McCain really cares, he just doesn't show it. As far as his VP pick like the one commenter said nobody really picks a President based on their VP.

    August 13, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    CNN

    Please would you be so good as to find out from the DNC, why they have NOT KICKED LIEBERMAN OUT OF THE DNC PARTY?

    Joe Lieberman is a REPUBLICAN IN DEMOCRAT'S CLOTHING!
    I CANNOT UNDERSTAND HOW HE COULD FLAUNT HIS SUPPORT OF JOHN McCAIN, AND STILL BE GIVEN DEMOCRATIC PRIVILIGES, SOMETHING IS REALLY, REALLY WRONG WITH THIS SITUATION!

    CNN, I am sure you have a huge INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING STAFF, SO WOULD YOU PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE START REPORTING ON THIS.

    THANKS

    August 13, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. Obama supporter

    It doesn't really matter who McLame selects as his VP – Obama will still win the election and be our next President!!

    August 13, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. EGObama

    Obama opposed a measure designed to protect children who were born as the result of a botched abortion. One can't get more barbaric than that. Remember Obama said he wouldn't want his daughters to be "punished by a baby." With that record, I'd resort to name-calling too if I were an Obama supporter.

    August 13, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. Jason

    McCain needs a VP that will energize & inspire not only the Republican base but also the American people, he should put Gov. Sara Palin on the ticket

    August 13, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Thomas5

    After reading literally hundreds of posts here on CNN's "Ticker" section, I've noticed that Obama's supporters all say virtually the same thing regardless of the headline: "McBush", "McSame", "McDrill", "Warmonger!", "Bush's 3rd term!", etc... It seems that almost none of them have anything original to say.

    It would seem these Obama supporters are about as deep and original as a puddle of mud.

    Let's hope Obama himself is more original and complex than his sheeple followers. But then, birds of a feather usually do flock together.

    August 13, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. Mark Trueman

    I agree that Tom Ridge would be a great, strategic pick for Senator McCain!

    The country needs and wants to be governed from the center...by those who espouse fiscally conservative, and pragmatically tolerant, liberal positions on social issues.

    The top political ticket should also be one that demonstrates experience, character, and leadership.

    McCain/Ridge would, in fact, be a formidable team that meets these criteria! There is absolutely no need to appease the evangelicals and the hard, Christian 'right'.

    Mark Trueman
    Sterling Heights, MI

    August 13, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. anoymous

    Georgia/ Russia . No wonder John McCain kept referring to Czeckosovakia. He knew what was coming down the pipes. Bush sitting with the president of Russia at the Olympics. It's all coming together now. The two conspirators couldn't wait for October. Do they think all people are as stupid as they are? As once stated by McCain's advisor, another war or attack could be good for McCain. How convenient?

    August 13, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    In the last election, the moral issues were the focus of it. I ask you what was done in this administration about any of the issues. Nothing as usual. Abortion, Gay Rights are only talking points to these crooks. They have no intention of doing any thing about them no matter which way you think is right. Vote for your candidate because of the issues that are in your face, the wars, oil and food costs, and no good lying politicians.

    August 13, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  13. Ian

    What difference does it make? Abortion should be a state issue anyway, just like a million other things the Federal Government shouldn't be involved in.

    August 13, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. JR, Plymouth

    Code beige.

    August 13, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. aaaaa

    another repuica crook that mccains VP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAR WAR WAR DRILL DRILL DRILL mcDRILL

    August 13, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. Mike

    Man you Obamabots are such fools.

    August 13, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. MTK

    Ralph– To say McCain doesn't stand for anything is frankly laughable and downright ridiculous to say. Do you actually believe what you said?
    McCain has dedicated his entire adult life to serving the United States. He has spent his entire political carreer standing for his beliefs, not what polls tell him to believe or vote for. That's what he's known for and why many conservatives don't like him. I've disagreed with him a lot and have been frustrated with his past issues, but I still respect him more than almost any other politician becaus of his trustworthiness and his unwillingness to let polls dictate his moral and intellectual directions.
    Obama literally changes his positions based on polls and what others tell him he should be doing, as blatantly seen on energy and foreign policy. That's simply not debatable.

    August 13, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. Lourdes

    McCain has no core values...just goes with whatever he thinks the American people will buy on any give day. The most dangerous, insidious type of politician. EMPTY SUIT = JOHN MCCAIN

    August 13, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  19. Erik

    Another Bush appointee under consideration by McCain for the VP slot. Those who call him McBush or McSame seem more wise every day.

    August 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. right source

    Who cares CNN....Let's put the Ticker in real terms. Like when Obama wins the White House...

    August 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  21. Seanm

    I say go for it. That way the Democrats are sure to win in November. No way the Christian Right lets him get away with it.

    August 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Jo

    I am truly undecided how I will vote in November, and my decision almost entirely hinges on the pro-life position. But I'll tell ya this: If McCain chooses a strong pro-life running mate, it's likely I'll vote for him. If he chooses pro-choice, it's likely I'll vote for Obama. The life issue is that strong with me.

    August 13, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. Luke

    Oh please let this happen. Tom Ridge is a joke. When most Americans hear his name, they think, "Oh, the duct tape guy?" Ridge would not be able to deliver Pennsylvania to McCain.

    August 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  24. Hawk Texas

    MCCAIN IS AGINST ANYTHING THAT DOSEN'T PLAY WITH BIG OIL. HE HAS VOTED AGAINST ANY VETERAN BILL THAT HAS COME UP. HE WANTS TO LOAD THE SUPREME COURT WITH MORE OF BUSHIES. YOU THINK W. IS IMPERILISTIC. MCCAIN WANTS EVEN MORE POWER. HE CALLS FOR CONGRESS TO COME BACK AND VOTE, YET HE HAS NOT BEEN IN CONGRESS FOR A VOTE I 4 MONTHS. PLUS HE WON'T TALK ABOUT HIS WAR RECORD. HE DOWNS EDWARDS FOR HAVING AN AFFAIR BUT HE HAS DONE WORSE. HOW ABOUT HIM PROTECTING ALL THE REPUBLICAN PEDOPILES IN OFFICE. WON'T TALK ABOUT HIS VIOLENT TEMPER. SAID HE WAS AGAINST LOBBIEST, YET HIS CAMPAIGN IS LOADED WITH THEM. THE LIST COULD GO ON AND ON.

    August 13, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. McCain hates russia

    He's trying to disract us form the mess he caused over the Georgia/Russia conflict. Don't let him weasle out of this one with another campaign trick.

    August 13, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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