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. dave

    McCain has no reason to please the "religious right." They have painted themselves into a corner with their obnoxious clinging to one political issue, and there's no where for them to go but the Republican party.

    August 19, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. jen

    Who cares what war loving McNutt does!!!

    August 19, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. pat C.

    it won't matter.all of them look like they should be rocking out on the porch of some plush retirement home. McCain will never pick romney because he knows romney was the right choice for the american public to begin with. such a shame....because romney would at least put some economic sanity to the other wise war driven ,only thing this old coot can understand and talk about or should i say rave like a lunitic about. he has dribbled so long about his POW days that he can not remember facts from fiction.

    August 19, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Anne E.

    Why doesn't he pick Karl Rove, the sleaze who's really behind all the campaign smear tactics?
    Or how about his buddy, Rick Warren, whom I believe allowed him to be privy to all those questions from the "Civil Forum"?
    McCain is a stiff, scripted puppet and his veep choice doesn't matter; he won't win anyway.

    August 19, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. The Future

    McCain loves everyone! And everyone loves McCain! =)

    August 19, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    I heard last night that the McCain campaign was saying they would annonce their pick in front of a crowd of 10,000.

    So this means that they will either never annonce their pick or they will be paying people to come hear him speak.

    August 19, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. RickytheGriff

    A "pro-life" president? Oh, does that mean he's not going to blow Iran to bits?

    Oh, wait a minute.... he means AMERICAN life. Yeah, right.

    August 19, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Michelle, PA

    Let's see, Tom Ridge whose claim to fame is the color coded "alert" system and encouraging Americans to buy duct tape in case of a terrorist attack? Pawlenty Who? Or maybe Joe Lieberman, who already helped sink one Presidential ticket in 2004. Decisions, decisions....

    August 19, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Hussein and proud of it, FL

    They are all liars. I don't believe it.

    August 19, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Cheri

    If McCain picks a pro choice running mate the religious right will bury him.Bring it on!!!

    August 19, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. J

    I so hope McCain chooses Lie-berman.

    August 19, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. EDW

    Wow, they are asking the opinion of activist on this decision. Sooo, they haven't got a clue who they want????????????!!!!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Jimbo

    No matter who John "Keating Five" McCain chooses, his straight talk sham bus will be running flat. Obama is going to steamroll in the fall. And thank God for that. We need to turn this country around and start bringing back respect to the White House. The end of Bushwhack Buffoonery. OBAMA 2008.

    August 19, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Ryan, Denver

    Why not Dick Cheney? The only thing the Republicans can offer right now is more of the same anyway.

    August 19, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Remy

    McCain's hopes are still dull and a lost cause. Then who cares about his VP who may be another member of Bush & Co?

    August 19, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. dave

    P.S. Memo to the "religious right:" the GOP will NEVER legalize abortion. If they do they know you will be free to wander politically, so they will always make big promises but find ways to let "those evil activist judges" thwart their efforts. Get used to it.

    August 19, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. chris in oregon

    I have a surprise:BOB DOLE!! I think he will be an excellent running mate for MC with a Cane.

    August 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Willow, in Iowa

    Weirder things have happened. But wasn't it McCain's campaign managers that said something like, "McCain is not acting in the best interests of the McCain campaign." So even HE can be replaced. LOL. I don't think it matters.

    August 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Dan

    McCain will pick his speechwriter, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, as VP. While Obama announces his VP pick through text-messaging, McCain will have his veep pick drawn in the dirt.

    I don't care what McCain does anymore. He was once my favored candidate, but I was scammed. I thought he was a man of his word, and he's not. I thought he had some wisdom about governance, but he's proven he doesn't. And now he's a plagarist several times over, pulling his policy speeches from Wikipedia and his "personal anecdotes" from Russian writers. There is nothing this man will not stoop to. John McCain served his country honorably as a military man, but somewhere after that was over, he stopped. He says "my friend" over and over, but he's not our friend, you can count on that.

    Obama's not experienced enough, in my book, but he's still the best bet out of these two choices. At least he thinks.

    August 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC


    Picking Romney would be clear indication that McCain is out of touch.

    August 19, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Every one of his VP Candidates further perpetuates his long standing belief in obliterating our constitution and bill of rights. The current administration, endorsed and supported by McCain, has taken every sacred document in America and reduced their value to nothing more then toilet paper.

    I'm tired of watching the current GOP using my Bill of Rights and my constitutiion to whipe their A___ses with. We need to take back our country from these tyrannic dictators, we need Obama!

    To deny our freedom in the name of security, undermines what our security is supposed to be. America's security is built to PROTECT our freedoms, not deny them. The fix is actually the very thing we need to guard against. Repeal the Patriot Act, it is anything BUT a patriotic law.

    August 19, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Danman

    Ignoring his base will destroy McCain. You may even see a third party "pro-life" candidate emerge.

    August 19, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Nick

    Frankly I don't care who McCain picks because I'm voting for Bob Barr. But Tom Ridge is a TERRIBLE decision because not only will he turn off Christian conservatives, but being a former member of the Bush Administration and the enforcer of the Patriot Act won't win any crossover voters from the Democrats either. He might win McCain Pennsylvania, but I doubt it will help anywhere else, as the base will stay home and Democrats will keep voting for Obama. From a strictly political standpoint, I think McCain should pick either Pawlenty, who is making waves with the argument that the GOP should care more about poverty issues, or Meg Whitman (former CEO of eBay) who will give McCain a demographic advantage among women as well as executive experience.

    August 19, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. jimmy


    August 19, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. texas DEM

    Mccain needs to pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

    HE would win this Clinton Supporter's vote.

    August 19, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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