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. aware

    I seldom agree with Limbaugh but either Lieberman or Ridge would hurt not help!

    But, I don't think McCain, who is on a roll, is about to pick either of these men! 🙂

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Nicole

    Rush Limbaugh and McCain refer to both of their supportes as "my friends." That's creepy.

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Upon Further Review

    I feel really sorry for all the middle income people who actually believe this liar.

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Michael

    Go away Rush. geez man...just go away and leave the nation be. You have had your run, made millions, managed to stay out of jail on drug charges...enough already. Your yesterdays news

    August 19, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Liz T, Tucson

    I am sure Lieberman will be happy to become pro-life in return for being the VP pick. Just like McCain, he comes out with the key-words he thinks his audience wants to hear, and then thinks the American people are dumb enough to vote for him.

    August 19, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Maritza

    This was a no brainer, Rush who can be at times a bit controversial only because he is to the right on the issues , has a very broad insight into the politcal scene, he is perceptive in what can happen in this political climate, after having done so well in the faith forum, McCain needs to keep the momentum to gain a lead over the over rated liberal candidate who performed poorly , example , his response to the abortion question " it is above my pay grade" what the hell does that mean? abortion is a heavy serious matter of debate and to respond by an inept" above my pay grade" is laughable and weasel like , It almost seemed painful to answer the question, McCain was strong, confident and explained in great detail his stand on many moral issues , he simply displayed his knowledge and was very honest about his personal experience, Obama seemed at times to ramble on , and much more vague, clearly America saw for itself who is qualified and ready to lead this country.


    August 19, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. jimmy


    August 19, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    Senator McCain is a bully just like Russ and probably won't listen and I think it would be great in this case if he were not to listen and do it to show Russ that he is a bigger bully. Maybe then Senator Obama can easily get into office and get the country out of the mess it is in.

    August 19, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Paul

    Rush why don't you go take a half a dozen vicodan and go back to sleep where you belong.

    August 19, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Charley

    Quite frankly, who cares about the opinion of a washed-out prescription drug abuser anyway?

    August 19, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. lp

    It's time for the Republicans to once and for all throw Limbaugh and all of his opinions OUT of politics! The party gives him entirely too much leverage and credibility.
    McCain should pick whoever Limbaugh is opposed to and begin the burial of Limbaugh. Let him take another Viagra and entertain himself and stop messing with OUR world.

    August 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Socialists for Obama

    If a voter wants to vote for a liberal, there is already one on the ballot. Why would a liberal vote for "liberal light," when they can vote for the actual liberal? Further, why should Conservatives pretend to be something they're not?

    Conservatism wins everything it's tried. The problem is, too many Republicans are not conservatives. You cannot win elections by "coming to the middle," if you've completely abandoned your base. And you don't "make a bigger tent" by abandoning everything you stand for.

    McCain is in a pickle, because he's made a 25-year career sticking his fingers in the eyes of the very people he most needs now to support him. Good luck with that... tell me how that works out for ya.

    August 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If McCain lets someone like Rush dictate his VP choice, then he's a bigger idiot than I thought (and I'm thinking pretty big idiot already).

    August 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. aware

    Be careful what you say Obama fans!

    You just remind us that Obama is the socialist/fascist! 😦

    August 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. troy, seattle, wa

    yeah – he should pick a non-hate-monger like Hagee

    no hate in the republican party these days – no siree bob

    August 19, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Phyllis/ PA

    Because of president Bush having low polls ratings, most people thought that McCain did not have a chance. Now it looks like he just might beat Obama. In order to do this he will need the republican base. I do hope that they can be satisfied tha McCain will appoint members of the supreme court to their liken and support McCain. If not Obama will win. It is time to Think – Think – Think. My best friend plans not to vote because of McCain's stand on abortion. She is strongly against of Obama because of his lack of experience and the people he has surrounded himself with in Chicago. If Ridge become the VP, I know that I could convince her to vote for McCain. How many voters feel like my friend?
    PS: I also live in PA. As Governor, Ridge was considered good.

    August 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Obama Supporter

    Although I am an Obama supporter I do have one question...........was he high when he said it?

    August 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Roger

    This election just keeps getting worse! As if McCain and Obama were not bad enough now we get sucky VP candidates too. I vote none of the above!

    August 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. My Friends, let me tell you,

    Rush will retire if we can just get the Fairness Doctrine working again.He cant stand having to tell the truth or sharing time with opposing views.

    August 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Joyce in Florida

    Even though I have never listened to Limbaugh, I agree with his statement. Picking either one of those would be a disaster. Leiberman is a total joke and Ridge just scares me. McCain isn't qualified either. I am still voting democratic period. Hopefully Hillary Clinton will become the nominee. I can wish can't I? Can't wait to see what happens during the convention. It should be an interesting and emotional one at that.

    August 19, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Yupik1

    McCain could pick Jesus Christ, and he would still lose. Republicans have spent their political capital on themselves, and wasted a opportunity to do REAL good in this country, but blew it big time.

    August 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Bill Tampa

    Go figure. The Republican Party...cowtows to RUSH LIMBAUGH?..A pill popping JUNKIE...What has the Republican party turned to when thry listen to this JUNKIE.......CNN I KNOW YOU WON'T PUBLISH THIS..

    August 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Unshrub

    Who cares what Rush says, those that listen to him are too stupid to make up their own mind and will vote for a republican regardless.

    August 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Don in Littleton

    Let me get this straight. Rush wants someone who can "...rebuild the Republic party..." If it needs rebuilding, who tore it down? The Repubs controlled congress from 94 through 06 and the White House from 2000 on, and Rush was carrying their water the whole way. And now he wants to be in charge of the rebuilding project? One would think that even "true conservatives" might not be very happy about that.

    August 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Dave

    > who can help lead the country in the right direction?

    Coming from Rush, that's "right" as in fascist, not "right" as in correct, nor "rights" as in freedom from warrantless wiretaps....

    August 19, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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