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. JJ

    Once again, The Repubs are underminding the American people. They think we dont have enough common sense to know that he isn't going to pick a pro-choice VP. Gimme a break.

    August 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. John McCain't - New Leader of the DeceptaCONs

    The surprise is...no one wants to be on the ticket with the new leader of the DeceptaCONS!!!

    McCain't – remove our troops from Iraq.
    McCain't – stand up for our troops or support them (New G.I. Bill)
    McCain't – understand the economy!!!
    McCain't – provide security to the American people!!!

    Ole man scream at clouds – John McCain't, New Leader of the DeceptaCONS!!!

    August 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Richard J H

    McCain has a good base (polls, anyone?) that he shouldn't risk losing by choosing a pro-choice VP.

    August 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Steve

    It will only be a surprise if he picks Richard Simmons or Boy George for his running mate. Otherwise...yawnnnnnn.....

    August 19, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. WIlly

    I hope he picks Hillary

    August 19, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. KenB, MI

    J. Lieberman, hmmmm can you say, "sell out."

    I can't wait until the RNC...no telepromp McCain wingin' it with a pump you up town hall meeting styled reaganesque story telling bungled bush delivery on what should be the biggest day of his campaign...sad.

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

    Most Republicans believe the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

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

    I truly believe that Sen. McCain will choose Gov. Mike Huckabee. He even mentioned him in the foroum Saturday night with Rick Warren, which McCain did an excellent job in by the way. If McCain really wants to have a real shot at winning this thing – Mike Huckabee is the only pick for him to make!

    McCain/Huckabee '08!!

    August 19, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Ed Livingstone

    Let him select a man who in accord with his views...How about Dick Cheney?

    August 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Mayor McCheese

    If anyone still believes that abortion is a deal-breaker in this election, we're in more trouble than I thought. Seriously, we have bigger issues at stake.

    August 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Mike Philly

    A "pro-life" presidency? I actually am pro-life...but it's sad that a presidency should be pro-life or pro-choice. Republicans are really pretty sickening.

    August 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Bill

    That leaves only Pawlenty who's anti-abortion, but a social liberal. McCain loses.

    August 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. BaCrock OBIMBO

    To all you Obama maniacs, you mindless drones. Its gonne be McCain Giuliani in 08

    August 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Bubba

    Gotta be Lieberman! Go for the joke and hope they vote you in before they stop laughing and realize the truth.

    August 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Bobbie

    I feel sorry for all you people that sit at your computers all day long and look for ways to run down other people. You need to be glad that the war is being done on foreign land and not ours. If Obama does (heaven help us) get elected, you can plan on a terror attack in our beautiful USA.

    August 19, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Mccain loses either way even though he will lose the election anyway. Ridge because he is pro-choice (bye-bye base) and Lieberman because he is a boring treacherous individual who has less talent and appeal then your common centipede.

    August 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Bob

    Looks like only Liberals post here!

    August 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Jesse

    It would be a disaster if he picks Ridge??? Here I was under the impression it was already a disaster.

    Obama 08

    August 19, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Please pick AIPAC Joe! Your ventriloquist act should play REALLY well to all your supporters who remember the glory days of Vaudeville..

    August 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. rachae

    I hope he picks Lieberman. Please pick Leberman.

    August 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Texican

    The VP is not a make or break situation as it is in the Democratic Party. McCain will not lose the base even if he picks Ridge. The
    Right Wing of the Party will never vote for Obama and neither will
    Patriotic Americans of both parties and the independents. We love our country too much to turn it over to a Socialist/Marxist Candidate
    whose loyalty to the United States is questionable to say the least.

    August 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. cliff c kirtley

    pick the gov of florida, i have 20 bucks on it , bet it 6 months ago,

    August 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. JPCanada

    I do agree that Gore should have been the president back in 2000, However I believe that regardless of who was President at the time the current events would have unfolded in the exact same way..ie 911// Iraq War// etc..etc..etc. The power is not the people nor their elected officials

    August 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. hsmith

    McCain needs the base of the party energized if he is to win in November. The only way he will do this is to pick a pro-life VP. Of all the possibilities, Mike Huckabee is heads and shoulders above the rest.

    August 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Jill

    That would be funny. McCain steps up slowly to the podium, taking in the enormous venue before him, and proudly announces his running mate for the highest office in the land, when, er, uh, oops, I mean, I am selecting what's his name...

    Or worse, maybe he looks at Lieberman for a cue, and says "Lieberman"!!! (will Lieberman correct him if he does?)

    August 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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