August 19th, 2008
05:09 PM ET
10 years ago

Limbaugh warns McCain over VP

Limbaugh says McCain should not pick Ridge or Lieberman for VP.

Limbaugh says McCain should not pick Ridge or Lieberman for VP.

(CNN) - Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative talk-show host who's long been lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy, warned the Arizona senator Tuesday picking a pro-choice running mate could devastate the Republican Party.

Referencing reports McCain advisors are seriously considering both former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman - both of whom favor abortion rights - Limbaugh said picking either of those men would ensure a GOP defeat, and damage the party’s brand for years to come.

"How about some discussion from the McCain campaign about a conservative who can be counted on across the board, who can help lead the country in the right direction?" said Limbaugh. "Who can help rebuild the Republican Party? Lieberman can’t do that - and rebuild the conservative movement? McCain nor Lieberman nor Ridge can do that.”

The comments come amid reports senior advisors to McCain are floating both Lieberman and Ridge's names among key social conservatives in an effort to measure the blowback the Arizona senator will face if he names either man to the ticket. One party insider tells CNN that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis has called several state party chairs and indicated Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle.

Limbaugh said Tuesday that the drawbacks of choosing either man far out-weighed any potential benefits.

"McCain has already seen to it that he can walk across the aisle that he’s the top of the ticket," Limbaugh said. "If anybody is going to attract moderates, it’s going to be the top of the ticket guy. He’s not going to help himself any additional way, he’s going to hurt himself by putting a liberal or a liberal Republican on this ticket, particularly pro-choice.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Red Rotor

    Isn't it amazing how the future of a political party could swing on an issue owned by the religious right wing? That's actually fascinating and frightening all at once. As for Limbaugh, I didn't even know he was still out there. Are people still listening to him? Now THAT would be funny....

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. Western voter

    John McBush...the ORIGINAL maverick (?)...letting the Limbaugh bulies bully him. If he does that as a candidate, what will he do as pres?

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. democratic from tx

    i'm not voting for mccain, but he shouldn't let this pill popper tell him what to do.

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. phoenix girl

    As a conservative Republican I have to say I would sit out this election if a pro-choice VP is chosen. McCain would be saying farewell to his presidential bid.

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. gigs

    what has this country come to that a presidential candidate must appease rush limbaugh to get elected?

    i thought it was bizarre when george h w bush, george w, and jeb called limbaugh's radio show on his 20th annivesary.
    if mccain cowers to limbaugh and lets limbaugh pick the vp then what will mccain do when the russians say boo?
    rush limbaugh has done a great deal of damage to the greatness of america

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley, Missouri

    Well, Well..... Mr. Limbaugh has struck again. The sad part is that some people really believe in his stuff... like it's all roses or something. The truth is that most of what he spews resembles something else, and smells like a sewer.

    McCain... PLEASE take his advice... it's a guarantee to your defeat...

    August 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. robert drummond

    McCain looks like a puppet on strings...

    August 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    McCain needs to pick a moderate as his VP. Otherwise we moderate Democrats, who are NOT voting for Obama, will not vote for McCain either and he will not win. Do you really think Christian conservatives are going to vote for Obama if they don't like McCain's VP choice? Not a chance!

    August 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. well well now

    remember Rush also lobbied for is such a shame that the Republicans have turned America into a third world nation...thanks Bush/Chaney/McCain/ Limburger...hold the mayo

    August 19, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. J. Dean, Juno Beach, FLORIDA


    August 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Commie Tommy

    I feel Mr Limbaugh is showing his colors again. Mr L is very unamerican due to his meddling in politics. Is his middle name Adolf? If he had the choice, this would be a one party country. Just ask him. Even he will agree to that.

    August 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Please Love Me and Post My Stuff

    You people are sad with your hate!

    August 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. beevee

    McCain should tell this guy to stay out of politics and shut up. He can't tell McCain who he should pick as VP.

    August 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. John Lubeck Livermore, CA

    Rush Limbaugh is a proven liar worthy of only the utmost contempt. That he is a Republican firebrand shows what they are made of.

    August 19, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Crush Rush

    Rush is a Coward,school dropout, and Chaos producer. His followers are either filthy rich or totally stupid.

    August 19, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. robert drummond

    Why doesn't McCain select Senator Clinton? Maybe she has too much BAGGAGE!! Cue in Angry PUMA Operation Chaos voters in 3..2..1

    August 19, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. GOP Thinking

    A pick of Ridge would be an attempt by McCain to lay claim to his 2000 "Maverick" label.

    Anytime the incumbant party candidate is running against the current administration ... consider McCain's are you better off than you were 4 years ago ad ... he wants to show that he is "different"

    John's handlers know they need to do this is a big way and trying to defend the old Maverick status is their way to do it.

    They think that republican conservatives will hold their nose and vote for McCain over Barack.

    August 19, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Texas Trail Kitty

    Rush baby, GET OVER YOURSELF! Thank goodness you are the conservatives cross to bear. If McNumbskull listens to you, he really does not deserve the job, which is 'ain't' getting anyway.

    August 19, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Deserve better than the Repugs.

    This is a replay of the 2000 and 2004 elections.
    I sure hope those so called Right wing voters out there 'think' for themselves. Oh, sorry, I forgot, they are too lazy to do that.
    If McCain wins, it will sure be a horrible next 4 years. We think we are in a recession now, just wait!!!

    August 19, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Ardnuas

    "Exxon" John is a warmonger, just relax Limbaugh, he WILL pick another warmonger to make YOU happy.

    August 19, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Puttman

    Please McCain, pick former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman and let Obama win. gotta love that

    August 19, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. mello doug New Mexico

    What is with white men and pro-choice? I detect abortion however I have spent the majority of my adult life working with children who were not wanted. These men do not want women to have abortions but then do they step up and help care for the children who are not wanted? No they do not! Our institutions and prisons are full of people who were not wanted as children. These conservatives are hypocrites and liars. If they were truly "Christian" they would do a lot more than try to legislate morality. Don't talk to me about Christian ethics I have seen the results all too tragically often.

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Mark NJ

    It really doesn't matter who John McCain chooses, the end result is that he will be controled by the ultra right wing of the republican party. If any reader has a semblence of intelligence he can easily see that the republican party platform is based on ideolgy not intellectuality. Henceforth, I am dying to see how many of them will follow the Pied Piper off the cliff when the democratic nominee becomes The President of The United States. "THEY ARE ALL RATS"

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Todd in Texas

    There are very intelligent people who listen to Rush. It was so obvious in the primary and even more obvious now that the average democrat only knows how to insult and name call. Democrats don't seem to care about real issues, but they do care about their agendas and handouts.

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Jeff


    McCain/Romney in a landslide. Count on it. It really won't be close. No one trusts the Muslim, I mean Christian, B. Hussein Obama.

    Say No to the Big O!

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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