August 19th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 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. Paul

    More Obamatrons spouting their usual hate filled vicerage. Makes me proud to be a Democrat listening to these robots and their idiotic, totally lacking in common sense, views. What losers!!!

    August 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Brian, Pittsbrugh

    McCain has done everything else to pander to Bush's conservative base. I think he will choose a Pro-Life VP to make them happy, and the media will call it a "surprise", which plays into his maverick image. I'd be happy to be wrong in this case.


    Obama '08

    August 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Texan Pro Lifer

    If McCain wants a pro-life presidency, he'll end the war.

    August 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. N8lol

    You people are ridiculous! How about take a History course or maybe do something in politics other than watch the news. Get out of your little boxes and stop pretending you know what your talking about.

    August 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Joe Reg

    The repubs are loosing big time this year.

    No more repubs this November.

    Obama 08/12.

    August 19, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. TyWebb

    Lieberman does like to whisper in McCain's ear a lot.

    August 19, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. John

    even if McCain picks Ridge, he will have an extremely tough time winning PA, especially if Obama picks Biden who has Pa roots and is well known in the Philly suburbs that decide PA's election.

    August 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. debra

    McCain/ something inspirational pleezzz

    August 19, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Steve

    To McBush, you call Republicans war mongers but its the Democrats who have led the country to more wars in the last 100 years. Check WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam to name a few. I think you need to check yourself before you throw out baseless comments. As far as the VP selection is, I don't think it will be Ridge, I think he has too much baggage.

    August 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. s

    WAIT! John McCain as been the GOP nominee for a longer period than Obama and he's till asking others to way in on his potential option!!!!

    Are you kidding me?!? This is a decision that should have been weighed a long time ago with different possibilities depending on who would end up as the Democratic choice. Once again we are watching the way McCain would run the country- not organized.

    August 19, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. marianna

    Arnold Schwartzenegger!

    The Constitution says a natural born citizen can be elected POTUS. But does not have such restriction for a VP spot. Once elected, Arnold could become a president should McCain resign or fell ill.

    Inviting everybody to discuss!

    August 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Observer

    Choosing Tom Ridge would surely sink McCain's chances of winning the election. Not only is Ridge pro-choice, but having served in Bush's cabinet, he's hardly a candidate for change, which people are really craving this time. In other words: go ahead McCain, choose Tom Ridge!

    August 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. California Gold

    Even if McCain made up his mind he probably forgot. As Jerome Corsi has written about McCain, he's too old. Can't remember Czechoslovakia isn't a country. Can't remember if he voted on a bill. Can't remember he signed propaganda for the North Vietnamese. Can't remember the difference between Suuni and Shiite........

    August 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Susan

    Everyone one please go to to read a fllow POW of McCains comments. It is insightful and truthful. A must read for everyone who is voting.
    As far a Ridge is converned, this man screwed up Homeland Security. He is also pro-choice. The evangelicals will have a fit if McCain picks him, and it will show them that McCain only gives lip service to get himself votes!

    August 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. KG

    I love the way the liberal Democrats jump on a candidate for being "pro-life." I guess for them the alternative is "anti-life?" Funny, how liberal Democrats will protest a war between countries, but will kill an innocent baby at the drop of hat and not think twice about it. So....let's see, which one is more mentally sick?

    August 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. John in Mlps.

    John McCain should pick Huckabee if we wants a snowball's chance of winning the South. Huckabee is a "good 'ol boy" and is less polarizing among the Christian Conservatives like Romney is.

    Rock on John and Huck!

    August 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. clara

    mccain is going to win no to oboma he has friends i wouldn't want thats whatsa wrong with the media they want oboma and ayres and rev. wright in the white house

    August 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Vincent

    I am sick of hearing about the night that changed McCain's life. I have a couple POW friends from Nam who didn't get the same fine treatment as McCain because their daddy's didn't have the same pins and ribbons. In other words, they were blue collar workers who worked to feed, clothe, and house their families.

    These men were tortured beyond belief. They came home broken and crippled. They didn't have a parade like J. McCain did and they didn't cheat on their wives.

    And they DON'T wear their POW status as a medal.

    August 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. clara

    go mccain go

    August 19, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Moe, NY

    Who cares? John McCain will not win this upcoming election. Take a look around you people and you can thank the Republicans for the mess in this country. They sold us out in more ways than one!

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Dayahka

    McCain has been bending over and kowtowing to the religious right, so it is highly unlikely that he will stop kowtowing and nominate anyone the religious right (which really is a misnomer, as this is the religious wrong) would oppose.

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. tony

    I know obama is relying on the young and dumb vote, but come on even they can't be that stupid, maybe if their man was a shoe in it wouldn't matter, but we could very well have McCain in the white house so who he picks given his age is VERY important

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. English Gent

    I've just spent a month in the States (I am a Londoner) and have followed both camapigns with great interest.
    Of course, like most of Europe, I am hoping that an Obama presidency can reinstate America's moral standing in the world. Then perhaps our own country will take note and follow suit.
    I whooly endorse Irony's statement above- being pro-life should include the innocent civilians of Iraq and Afganistan as well as the troops of several nations.
    McCain supporters I met on my trip to your country seemed to fall into a similar mould- never have been abroad and therefore no perspsective of their own government's actions.
    The world is shrinking and isolationism or an I'm alright Jack attitude which are rooted in some moral high ground will see the American empire implode, like the British Empire and every empire in world history.

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. PUMA

    Any of these will have ten times the experience of Barry.

    ahhhh..... ummmm....duhhhh.... arrrrggghhh.....yeeeeaaaa.... wellllll
    That question is above my pay grade.... LMAO

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Christopher

    Who cares who he picks...u have to be a complete HOMER to vote Republican...thier scam is so obvious.

    August 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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