August 19th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain planning VP surprise?

Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week.
Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week.

(CNN) – Republican sources tell CNN that John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Charlie Black have been calling activists to sound out the pros and cons of several possible running mates – including former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, a choice that could spark major discontent from the conservative base.

Several campaign officials say they do not believe a final decision has been made – though two sources say McCain may have already decided, and told only Davis. One party insider tells CNN that Davis has called several state party chairs indicating Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle – although it is possible that Christian conservatives may be playing up the former governor’s chances in an effort to raise alarm and prematurely kill off his candidacy.

Several conservative activists say they know McCain’s campaign manager has been warned of possible dire consequences for the Arizona senator’s presidential bid at the convention and beyond if he picks a candidate who supports abortion rights.

"If he picks Ridge, the convention blows up, you will have a base completely demoralized,” said one activist. “And it will be viewed that he is ceding the future of the GOP to a liberal Republican. It would be a disaster."

But the same activist also says McCain is unlikely to make that move, pointing to comments by the presumptive Republican nominee that he would most likely have an anti-abortion running mate, and remarks this weekend that he would have a "pro-life" presidency.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain • Tom Ridge
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    McCain is a very smart man and I'm sure he will pick a good VP

    Hope it is Mitt

    McCain's plan for energy is great. He suggests drilling, nuclear power, and wind power with solar boosts.

    Obama's plan is to put more air in the tires. What a plan but he is inexperienced and a loser while being risky and it would be a gamble with our country and our values if Obama is in office.

    August 19, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Clinton Supporter

    Well, this will be interesting. Watch out if Obama picks Biden, ladies and gentlemen.

    Do any of you Obama fans recall that Biden WAS RUN OUT OF THE 1988 ELECTION because of his record of plagiarizing speeches by members of the British Parliament? Scandals are not new, but they ARE fatal.

    Also caught plagiarizing as a law student at Syracuse University, and during his 1988 bid he was caught exaggerating his academic achievement record?

    It cost him the 1988 nomination, and I'm sure the McCain folks are just chomping at the bit to revisit this! It is so very well documented.

    Of course Obama is very comfortable with plagiarizing the work of others himself, so he wouldn't care.

    But the question of PERSONAL HONOR, McCain's bailywick, will be ON THE TABLE.

    Personally, I fervently hope it's Biden, and I can't wait for the fallout!

    August 19, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. ChicagoJosh

    So basically, when it comes to the most decision of McCain's campaign, he still has no clue what he's doing.

    Sounds like how he's been running the rest of his campaign.

    Oh, but I'm sure he'll do better with our economy.

    August 19, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Joe Kiloz

    In the end, FEW WILL CARE WHO THE VP TURNS OUT TO BE. More

    importantly, McCain is seeing the tide turning in his favor on a number of

    fronts. Most importantly, the recent debate in Saddleback showed him

    in control, well within mainstream America on the issues, and absolutely

    polished when confronting the most difficult issues. In short, VERY

    PRESIDENTIAL.

    August 19, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. T GUY

    MCWAR WILL LOSE ANYWAY NO MATTER WHO GETS PICKED.

    OBAMA...........08

    August 19, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Why not pick Romney he is Pro-Choice and Pro-Life................depending on the week.

    Perfect fit for McFlip!

    August 19, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Denise Groves

    Who cares, he will not win in Nov.

    August 19, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Voting Obama

    Lieberman is a racist idiot. Who cares...

    August 19, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    god forbid Ridge is on the right side of the choice issue. The GOP is scary.

    August 19, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. A C-Span Junkie

    If McCain is tacking to the center majority of voters he could win with Ridge, however if he is a Party man first and a statesman 2nd or 3rd, well nice to see ya hate tobe ya.......;-)

    August 19, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. spencer Mohead

    The hotlink said Obama gives shoutout to VP. This article is about McCain. please adjust it.

    August 19, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Helene

    Who cares who and when and how McCrook is chosing another gang member. Tom Ridge or Judas Lieberman ...

    August 19, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Marilyn

    McCain needs to stop worrying about the Christian conservatives. It isn't like they would vote for Obama if McCain ticks them off!! What he should be doing is trying to get the votes of us moderate Democrats who will not be voting for Obama. If he picks an anti-choice, ultra right-wing conservative most of us will not vote for him either. We'll stay home and let Obama win by default.

    August 19, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Since when would something McCain said prevent him from doing the complete opposite?

    August 19, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. kayla

    IT WONT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHO HE PICKS, HE WILL STILL LOOSE. THE REPUGBLICAN EMPIRE IS CRUMBLING.

    August 19, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Linda from Prescott AZ

    whooppee and who cares.

    August 19, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. tedious898

    Tell me which candidate is most hated ? Barack. Why..because he's African American and intelligent. Which candidate receives more threats? Barack. Why...because he's AA and intelligent. Let's name the groups of haters. ...the current WH, McCain camp, Puma's, Hillary camp, Notfallinginline, and every pointy head / white sheet wearing trailer resident in america. I'd also say Barack receives more death threats than any of the candidates. I'd bet my small paycheck on that.

    So please Hillary supporters quit acting more ignorant than your sub zero IQ level indicates. No one cheated or mistreated you or your candidate. Try being AA for just a day. Better yet ..pay Hillary's debts

    August 19, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Scott L

    Man if he picked Condi Rice, it would be a done deal.

    He won't though, she is too aligned with Bush. Plus if I was her I would want to sit on a beach sipping Mai Tais, kind of like Obama does.

    August 19, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. anon

    Now are you PUMAs and women convinced he will do away with women's rights?!?!

    August 19, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Shawn

    Huckabee 4 VP

    August 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. proud army and navy mom

    please pick ridge, so I can watch the repugs faint from the injustice of someone actually supporting a woman's right to choose. How dare they?

    i wish he picks hillary, she's already doing his dirty work. backstabber!

    August 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. HUM!!!

    Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week.....Davis has called several state party chairs indicating Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle I FLAT DO NOT CARE!!!

    August 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Yvonne

    The Right is just blowing smoke. They know they have nowhere to go if McCain picks Ridge. As a loyal Obama supporter, I hope he doesn't pick Ridge because that would put Pennsylvania in play. But it would be smart because the religious right doesn't have a choice. It's McCain or bust.

    August 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Karen - Missouri

    With all the troubles in this country and around the world, this election is NOT the time or place for single-issue abortion to rule the day. We need a president who will tackle multiple issues, like Obama can, and not just abortion. How ridiculous to pick candidates based on abortion issue when our country is killing innocent women and children in an unwanted war.

    August 19, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Jason

    No. One. Cares.

    August 19, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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